Monday, May 10, 2010

Melly vs. Nature

I have made a friend down here named Mary Jo. She is the wife of one of John's friends at work. She and I quickly bonded due to both being in a similar situation. We both quit our jobs to come here following our husbands and are currently not working. Plus we are both cancers and I usually get along famously with other cancers.

Its kind of funny because there are many things about being a significant other to an animator, or at least someone in this industry, that you just wouldn't get unless you were in it. She and I joke about being military wives in a way.

Anyways, so seeing as how the boys work 6 days a week we have decided to do some exploring on our own. Last week she hit me up and said that she wanted to check out the royal national park. This is a huge national park just south of Sydney about an hour outside of town via train.

So we hopped on the train at Bondi Junction near her house and John's work,

then traveled south to Loftus aka BFE!

We were hoping to take the tram from the Loftus station further into the park but we found out the tram only runs on Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays... Oh Australia.

So we hopped back on the train

and headed one more stop south to Engadine aka nowhere. I had looked online the previous night and knew that there was a trail that ran from Engadine to Audley towards the middle of the park. When we got there we had to ask some locals where the trail was because there were no markers or signs. It was literally a path leading off into the bush from the wrong side of the tracks.

At first it was kinda cool. Not much to look at but it was interesting to see what the real Australian terrain looks like. It looked pretty much like what I expected it to look like. Lots of trees,
some bushes, more trees, rocks, oh yeah and some trees.We did come across the occasional flower though. That was a thrill. lol

We ran into some massive palm bushes. Here is Mary Jo being swallowed up by some.

About halfway through the hike we came to the top of a ridge, in the middle of a bunch of trees of course. Off in the distance you could see the ocean. Everything in between was the national park.

The whole time the bugs were swarming me, as usual. They were all over my face and trying to get inside my ears. UGH Naturally Mary Jo didn't have any bugs near her. Apparently I taste good or something.

About an hour and a half into the hike I stopped because I thought I heard a noise in the bushes. Considering I had been swatting bugs the whole way I didn't want to do the "OMG what was that?!?!" thing because I didn't want Mary Jo to think she was in the middle of the woods with some paranoid nature freak. So instead I just stopped on the trail to "take a photo". Really I was just stopping to see if I heard the noise again. Here are the photos I took.

When I took the one above I even thought to myself "man that would be a nice little shelter for an animal".

I didn't hear the noise again after a few moments so I kept walking. About ten paces down the path a big ol' snake darted right next to me on the path. It was about an inch and a half - two inches wide and was a weird grey color.

I don't think I have ever moved so fast in my whole life. The stupid thing was that I moved in the direction down the path that I was already headed so when I decided it was DEFINITELY time to go home I had to back track past the spot where I saw the thing. I'm sure I looked like those cartoons where yosammity Sam shoots at the feet of the hero and tells them to dance.

This was the only other photo I took the whole time because all I wanted was to get the hell out of there. The trip back went a LITTLE bit faster than the trip into the bush, even though it was uphill hahaha LOL!

I consulted Google later on that night and found what I think it was. A Pale-Headed Snake.

I determined this by the photos I had taken before I saw it which matched a description of its habitat and behavior. It likes to sun itself on sandstone overhangs on the side of hills in that park during the day. It is poisonous but not deadly. Unfortunately while I was researching I found that four of the most poisonous snakes in the world are found in that park... the kind that are deadly.

I will not be going back, nor will I be doing any more hiking anywhere else in the bush. I had a vision of going to Ayers Rock or something like that while we are here but that is so not happening now.

Nature doesn't like me.

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