Paradise found: how I bet the crocodiles

November 1, 2015

This article is in English

THE KIND OF THING YOU KNOW, YOU WILL BE LATER LAUGHING ABOUT, BUT WHEN IT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING, YOU DESPERATELY WANT TO TRAVEL IN TIME AND BE ALREADY AT THE “LAUGHING” STAGE ALREADY.

It was one of those days. I felt like lion in a ZOO cage. I have been too long in a city and I needed to get out, NOW!

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So I focused on all the green spots on the map that seemed at least a little bit reachable without a car.. (you have to understand, here in Australia, everything is crazy far and without your own vehicle – or airplane money -you are kind of stuck.)
But I was lucky, I found this hostel in the middle of forest, where you can apparently get only by a ferry and a forest walk! Yes, Yes, yes! I cancelled work, picked a girlfriend and off we went.
It was exactly what my mind craved for so long. Green. Everywhere. Greeeeen! Trees, plants, butterflies, sea in the distance and silence.
Lovely people, that took us sailing. In the morning I saw from my bed a kangaroo that came to say good morning. (Never ever ditch the bunkbeds, you have the best view in the room!)

Off to the bush
After the longest breakfast in the word be set off to the bush walk. I am an expert to get lost, everywhere, any time. So of course the map that we were given would be for normal people a great think to have, but didn´t serve us that much. Not that we minded, though. Millions of flower-photos and one massive snacks later we were on this tiny, nearly lost bush path. I took an antisnake stick that doubled as a spider scarer as well – in Australia everything can eat and bite you (and I am not even joking here)!

The rain caught us just as we were taking selfies in the bush. (no comments, please, haha). Oh well, better get going. We met two fairy-like girls next to a waterfall. The one with a golden makeup told us, it was something like a two hour walk to our hostel. So, geared up with the antihoribblethings stick, singing whatever songs we remembered, we kept on going.
I wasn´t worried much, to be honest. I grew up forest walking and hiking, so I knew how to keep us happy, positive and going. And we weren´t that far anyway and going the king of right direction.

phototime

phototime

What I wasn´t ready for was Kristina´s announcement: “Šári, don´t panic, but there is ….” And sure if was there was this ….this LEECH! On my leg! This big massive, huge slug that sucks blood! MY blood, to be precise!
I nearly died from heart attack, has to be said. I started to scream, shake my leg, which, of course, didn´t bother the leech. I tried to get rid of it by a stick. The only achievement was that the slimy vampire went under the sole of my foot! Oh, at least I can´t see it now. But oh no! I saw a second one creeping up my socks! There was nothing I could do to get rid of it! (By this time I knew, they are probably deaf, otherwise they would have run away by the sound of my screaming!). The sock went down and was left in the forest to be eaten by leaches, if they please.
We rushed back. At this moment Kristina was upset as well, expecting her first slimy visitor. At the same time this poor, loved up, sensitive lady was getting desperate about her boyfriend not texting.
Mine didn´t text either, but I was too occupied with my forest vampire.
We came to a crossroad (what a posh word for the split of the nearly non existing bush paths :-)). One of them led down to the sea and the other up the hill. I knew that the downhill was the right one. But it was wet and looked like half flooded. I can´t go there! Let alone the horrible leeches that would surely get us, I got really horrified of snakes that would swim in the water. And also I remembered seeing a crocodile in the ZOO the other day and remembered how quick he actually can be. So it wasn´t possible to go! This would be perfect environment for him! I am sure he would eat us!
God! I never expected to die so close to home!
So we went up the hill. The path was now really non-existing, covered by bush, only occasionally we found some old staircase, so we knew, we are on the right way.
We realized we are going to this lookout Sarah, the hostel manager, told us not to be upset, if we won´t find. Well, we weren´t upset and we did find it.
It started to get dark. Still no boyfriend message. Kristina was shaking, I am not sure if from coldness, the nerves or the heart break. I texted her BF that we really need support now and if he could just reply, that he loves here and is there for her.
What a stupid mistake. Instantly I got this long reply analyzing their relationship, her every single letter in texts she was sending him and blablalblaaaaaa! With my cold fingers I got really angry. I wrote : “different problem: support needed, cold forest, we are a bit lost, leeches…”
Then I realized, he freak out. So I added: ”everything under control though, we are in touch with hostey”
The answer came immediately: “WTF??? Who is hostey?!” “Damned you idiot, stop being jealous, hostel, I wanted to write!”
By now we have reached the top of the mountain where I was hoping to join the other track…which, obviously, wasn´t there!
So to sum up my situation: I am on this windy, rainy view point, full of leeches, with a girl shaking, desperate and a retarded boyfriend on the messenger. Map was soaked and didn´t provide much information – or to me at least. I can´t go straight, as the bush is too thick and there may be snakes or spiders or some new horrendous unknown Australian creatures! I can´t go down either, as there definitely are the crocodiles and snakes. The leeches are everywhere, I realized.
Well, what could I do. I called the hostey (ehm, hostel) to explain. The calm voice on the other side of the phone told me to go back the way we came. “No, you don´t understand, we came from the other side, we can´t go forward, we are afraid of leaches and crocodiles….”! I shouted back to the phone.
There was a silence for a second, and I suspect a bit of laughing on the side: “Oh, you don´t have to worry about them, there are no crocodiles here at all!”

Ok, that was what we needed. We rushed down and in just few minutes we reached some houses. I was desperate enough to knock on some door. The lovely older man (in his pyjamas, bless him) was a bit surprised. But seeing us panicking, he brought some salt and we got rid of the leeches! His terrace was covered in our blood though! Sadly our blood.
We looked like two bleeding wet poor chickens, so he jumped on his boat and drove us to the wharf of our hostel. He basically saved us!
On the shore I put my shoe back on…and felt IT! The yuuuuuuuck! The something in my shoe! “The fat cow (ta tlustá píča nažraná, já to věděla, že tam bude, kráva jedna zasraná!) – Czech translation! And sure it was! The fat leech that fell of the sole of my foot! Was hiding in my shoe! But this was the last screaming before we reached our hostel. Just as the dark came in…….

P.s. Kristina made peace with her boyfriend some days later.
P.p.s. Leeches are apparently important part of the eco system and are still used in medicine. By putting salt, you kill them. If you want you can scrape them out or if you are patient enough, when they are full, they eventually fall out. It doesn’ t hurt, but it bleeds a lot to heave a leach.

P.p.p.s. ….next weekend I am going back!

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