Rainforest Life: Outing #12 – Day 1

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(Friday 17-October-2014)

RUNNING LATE, AGAIN.

@~12:00pm

As usual, a combination of my not being completely packed-and-ready the night before, as well as the usual breakfast chit-chat meant I was still trying to find a way to stuff a kilogram of chicken necks in my backpack at 11:30am, and didn’t start heading down until midday – or thereabouts.

This mornings conversation(s) were with the cute – but strange Indonesian chick, the old guy and a weird Irishman in his fifties. The Indonesian girl and I – along with the old dood – regularly spend mealtimes shootin’ the shit about whatever random dribble happens to get mentioned so that’s not unusual, but the Irish guy – clearly a tourist – just seemed uncomfortable and awkward. He didn’t hang around for long anyway, and he’s not a regular so nobody gave much of a shit.

Walking out here today I spotted what looked to be an absolutely massive termite mound. I’ve never seen one of these personally so I’m no expert, but even from fifty meters away the textured, hole-filled surface was visible enough to plainly see it was easily five feet tall and shaped like a scoop of ice-cream.

UNWELCOME VISITORS

@4:27pm

I arrived at camp not long ago, open the tent up and find mouse shit here and there around the inside. It wasn’t all over the place, but there was enough for me to recognise what it was, and instantly realized what it meant.

I immediately begin checking the tent inner – moving everything as I go – searching for the hole. I assume it must be on the edge of the tent and carefully examine the entire perimeter for what I figured could be difficult-to-spot splits in the fabric, without luck.

One of the last places I looked – under the camping mat – turned-out to be the point the little rodents arseholes got in and as soon as I moved the roll-up mattress, bingo: a big, chewed-out hole three inches long by an inch wide.

Naturally, that triggered a flash of paranoia about what else may have entered the tent while I was gone, and although funnel-web spider scariness was at the back of my mibd I didn’t check every square inch, or my sleeping bag, or my jacket and I’m not too worried about it really.

What I’m more worried about is having my sleep broken and interrupted because of annoying mice scampering around, scratching and gnawing on my tent all night. Of course, if they’re anything like the other nocturnals around here that won’t be any issue at all – sincevthey’ll be too timid.

We shall wait and see.

Anyhow, I patched the big chewy hole with some spare tent fabric and siltarp silicon sealant which is already touch-dry so the hole’s sorted – for now.

@6:51pm

This marks the first outing in as long as I can remember where I haven’t bothered to stop by the police station to hire an emergency satellite beacon.

I was in a hurry already, and ..and I dunno; although it’s great insurance against bad shit smiting you down it’s also not been necessary – not even close to necessary – in any of the eleven previous outings.

Hang on. I hear Kangaroo stomping and bashing about outside.

A red one, it turned-out to be.

Whether it was a red-coloured Grey Kangaroo or an actual Red Roo I don’t know: laying here as I was within my mouse-fucked tent, I began hearing the unmistakably loud thumping/crunching sound of a Kangaroo pounding the ground as it hopped around nearby.

It went on hopping for a while before I got up, put my shoes on and went to assess the situation. As always of course, the moment I started crunching across the dry leaved ground the Kangaroo in question thumped away out of sight, but I managed to see him/her for a moment as it hopped away, as well it shoukd I suppose sincd it is indeed a wild animal.

As a side-note in regards to Roos it’s amusing to me now how often tourists in town ask myself and others where they can go to see “proper wild Kangaroos” in their habitat. Roos and Koalas are the two most popular animals on most foreigners bucket-lists, as you may well already assume. (As I type this paragraph the same Kangaroo that fled when it heard me a few minutes ago is back – not far from my tent, thumping the ground as it hops around again).

Anyway my answer is always, “Nowhere”.

Wild Kangaroo don’t like people a whole bunch, and move through the forest so much faster than a clumbsy human ever could that all you’re ever likely to see is the animals rear-end as it bounds away into the vegetation. In the nearly six months I’ve been living part-time out here I’ve had no more than a glimspe of Kangaroo hoping away, and even then – only around dusk.

And for Koalas, they’re near impossible to spot at the best of times, and on the off-chance you do ever manage to definitively identify a Koala “Bear” in one of the handful of Eucalypt species suited to their precious taste-buds they’re the laziest arseholes in the Australian bush; All they do is eat and sleep.

But yeah wild Kangaroo, if they’re willing to hang around or let you approach them, then they’ve already learnt to associate people with food and are – therefore no longer wild. God I love this phone.

@8:38pm

I just saw this little arsehole Bush-Rat out the front of my tent! Didn’t even try to run when he saw me: just sat there wiggling his whiskers and looking at me.

Looking at me like I’m in his tent: he looks genuinely surprised to see anyone in here, as if the tent just up and fell out the sky like magic for him to fucking chew on.

Stupid little rat. Cute little Rat.

@9:58pm

He’s gone now. I didn’t get a photo this time since we were too busy eyeballing one another, but if he comes back I’ll make that priority. That coukd be him now actually. Could be Possum though. No it’s Rat.

Edit @11:23pm: Finally snapped a photo of the furry little rat bastard – albeit a rather fuzzy one – though night photos by torchlight usually are a bit that way, and thanks to the outstandingly sexy new phone I had the combined light from both the head-torch and phone flash.

Anyway, he’s not a normal-looking rat: if you’ll check out the nose it’s much snubbier/chubbier than a typical rat’s nose.

Anyway hopefully the bread and buiscuts will stop him chewing tge tent while I sleep.

Rainforest Life: Outing #12 – Day 1
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Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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