Rainforest Life: Outing #12 – Day 3

(Sunday 19-October-2014)

THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3

@10:27am

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It had to happen sooner or later. A serenade of prose for what is – hands down – the most intelligent device I’ve ever held. The smartest smartphone I’ve ever picked-up. If you don’t wish to read about such boring shit, the jungle-life stuff begins just below this chunk of text: just flick-on-down to ‘AQUISITION OF WATER’ and go for it.

I realize how dull and boring a new phone is for everyone but the person with the new phone, so I’ll try to stick to pointing out just the benefits of this handset over the shitty Nokia Lumia 520 I had – albeit briefly – before it. Just feel free to stop me if I start rambling-on about specs or stats. Oh that’s right, you can’t stop me. Feel free to roll your eyes and close the browser then – yawn as you do it. I don’t care: I’ll read all this again myself at some point I’m sure.

Firstly, the videos taken on my previous phone – a Nokia Lumia – are locked to the phone or at least, not uploadable to anywhere but Facebook and Microsoft-based services and clouds. The Note 3 not only lets me shoot in full 1080p HD (up from Nokias 720p) but my videos are actually mine – to upload wherever I see fit – including here @ psychaesthetic.com.

At 3200mAh, the battery on this phone dwarfs the Lumias 1420mAh and yet seems to take about the same amount of power-pack juice to keep charged. Charging the Nokia Lumia, everytime you plugged the phone in anywhere to charge it would turn itself on the moment it began receiving a current. There was no option to disable this, so when I’m out here – on the last few days of an outing – and running low on battery charge it’s nice to know I can switch the Note 3 off (like any normal phone) and squeeze the last remaining juice from my lithium-ion power packs.

Editing posts on the site each day finally works like any desktop computer, and now I can finally upload photos and videos through WordPress I can get it done without all the bullshit. On the Nokia I had to use a seperate app to upload every image – which would duplicate into four copies in the WordPress Media Gallery mind you – and for every image I uploaded I’d have to switch back to the browser, wait for a full page reload, then hope the photo was actually in the gallery waiting to be inserted into the post. It was such a massive pain in the arse I often didn’t upload more than one or two photos from the day and sometimes none at all ’cause I just couldn’t be fucked dealing with the pissoff of adding pics-of-the-day to each post. So that’s all solved thanks to Android, and I can finally slot photos anywhere I wish throughout the post.

The phone is twice as fast, has six times the memory and four times the storage of the shitty Nokia, as well as a screen that’s almost a full two inches larger and allows reading of “desktop versions” of websites with no issue whatsoever.

I wondered briefly, what I would use in place of Microsoft Word Mobile to write with but that wondering ended ten minutes after I booted the phone the first time and found I was given a full years upgrade to Evernote Premium. Evernote and Android – together – give me far greater control in organising my journal notes than Office mobile too so I’m more than happy to switch apps.

The reception. The bitch in the jbhifi store I bought the phone at kept yarping at me about plans and told me “none of the handsets you’re looking at are Telstra ‘Blue Tick’ rural coverage phones. I told her I doubted that mattered, since there’s a Telstra mobile tower in the valley, but she just kept on about it; insisting that I wouldn’t get coverage at all unless I bought the ‘Blue Tick’ Galaxy S5: Samsungs newest – but nowhere near best – phone. I argued with her, then told the bitch she was flat-out wrong, and finally just grunted before ignoring her for the rest of my time there. Turns out, the reception out here in the middle of nowhere in the valley – on this non Blue Tick Rural Approved Note 3 – is just as good if not better as it was on the Nokia – which was a Telstra Rural coverage approved ‘Blue Tick’ phone.

Stupid fuckin sales bitch.

There’s even an “Emergency Rescue” feature that could easily replace a beacon. You just set a message, enter as many contacts as you want and anytime the god of bad shit visits just hold the two volume buttons for three seconds; the phone will then send a text to everyone in your emergency contact list containing your preset message and coordinates.  Naturally, you want to have responsive people on that list who actually know who to call and are intelligent enough to accurately relay your GPS co-ords to whichever authorities they call, but it’s not a bad substitute – in as pinch.

Anyhow, I could go on and on about the devices godliness all day but I’ll cut it short here because there are other things to mention. Suffice to say this handset is superior to any I’ve even played with – ever: like a jaguar on steroids amid a sea of cute bunny rabbit phones. Yeah.

AQUISITION OF WATER

@4:54pm

Today was another day spent preparing, gearing-up then walking the dozen or so kilometer round trip: walking to get water.

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I used to find the ten or twelve litres I’d carry back lasted me about four days, but now I’m regularly cooking for two other animals as well as myself, I find I’m out of water every two days now. Not that I mind: it’s a nice enough walk and I get to wet my head down and guzzle as much as I can fit in my stomach when I arrive at the creek, which I pretty much have to do since l’d easily lose one litre of liquid just from the copious sweating resulting from the walk there and back. Maybe even two litres. All I know is, my hair and shirt are drenched with sweat every time I go for water which is why the cold creek is so totally arse-kicking when I get there.

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Usually I don’t see a living soul while I’m out here and very rarely hear one. Even walking to the creek and back, the area is so remote only other campers venture this far out, and even they are few and far between. Saturday is the day you’re most likely to see other people walking down the fire trail – into the valley – but Sundays you often get townsfolk walking back up the mountain after spending the weekend down here.

Today is indeed Sunday, and so it comes as no great surprise I found people on the trail – on my way to get water. A pair of blokes – who were just sitting on the trail close to the creek when I got there and a woman sitting against a tree – reading a book – I didn’t walk past her until the way back though

The two doods shot the shit with me while I was refilling my water bottles, telling me they’d done the Ruined Castle tracks over the far side to walk up Mount Solitary and were now down here today checking out the trails on the other side. We talked about how excellent the water is throughout the valley, and we all agreed there’s just no need for faggoty water treatment here.

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They stood up to leave and told me “have a good one!”, I replied telling them “no worries, have fun!”, before they continued walking back up to town while I finished rinsing my head, drinking and otherwise making the most of the ice-cold awesome straight from the stream.

Finished filling all my bottles and dunking myself in liquid cool, I grab my pack off the ground, strap it on and start walking back towards camp.

Only a few minutes into the return trip I see someone in the distance; sitting at the base of a big tree on the side of the track – reading a book. This seemed a little odd to me, and as I got closer saw it was a woman: coffee-coloured skin, clean clothes – must be a foreign tourist, I surmised.

I was right – of course, and as I walked past and greeted the woman a Latino accent responded, confirming the fact. Unlike the two Aussie doods though – who talked a bit, there was no conversation with the woman. I said g’day, she said hi and I kept walking.

Perfectly understandable on my part not to stop and chat. We all know that once she got back to her hotel, backpackers or whatever, I would simply be remembered as “some creepy fucker who leered at me”, which would be understandable on her part, since I probably would leer at her in a fairly creepy manner.

And hey, people walking on their own out here are always a little more nervous of other people: simply because they know – and you know they know – and everybody else knows that there’s nobody here but you and them. Nobody’s gunna come and help. No civilians or general public; no police showing up in ten minutes; ambulances can’t get down here and by the time a chopper rocks-up you’ll already be chopped-up and tossed down a hill.

The animals will happily take it from there and within a week, nothing will remain but your empty, gnawed skull.

I’m rambling a bit, sorry; cursed with a vivid imagination I am. The point remains, that people are slightly less relaxed while walking around out here alone, so it’s understandable the Latino wasn’t chatty.

Anyway I returned with ten litres of fresh creek water – probably two days worth.

REPTILIAN MATTERS

@7:41pm

I have not seen the little dinosaur since yesterday, when he ate that plastic bag and chicken necks.

Before I went to get water today, I tipped the remaining chicken on the ground about twelve meters away – to stop my tent being swallowed by a cloud of flies. The last time I brought chicken necks he ate the entire kilo then came back the next morning looking for more to eat.

Not today.

I got back with my bag packed with water only to discover the chicken still sitting there: flies swarming en mass, but no Lace Monitor.

This is all the Reptilian news I have today, since he hasn’t shown-up at all. I hope he doesn’t end-up with a bowel obstruction or worse. For all I know, the bag could’ve got stuck in his throat and – too smooth for him to cough it back out – caused him to suffocate yesterday after he left. Monitors can hold their breathe for an hour and a half, and he left my camp yesterday within that window of time. That’s strange in itself since he usually hangs around basking near the tent when he’s finished eating, but – having swallowed the plastic bag yesterday at lunch-time, he left very soon afterwards.

The really shit thing is; I have no way of knowing if or where he vomits the bag up – and he may not – so whether he spews and feels better or it sits in his digestive tract causing impaction and – eventually – death, I got no idea since his whereabouts once he leaves here are a mystery to me.

Let’s just hope he’s alright and that he comes back looking healthy *fingers crossed*

MAMMALIAN MATTERS

@8:37pm

Thus far tonight, not a creature hath – stirreth.

I know however, that our Brush-tailed Possum regular keeps quite irregular hours and visits at different times at night. Sometimes he’ll come round at 7:30pm – right after the sun has set, while most nights he drops-by from 9:00pm to 1:00am. He visits on his own schedule.

After two nights if bread and buiscuts,  he’ll be pleased to find a piece of bread out there with a little mountain of bush spagetti piled on top of it. It’s the first time I’ve actually cooked dinner this outing – though we’re only up to day three, so whatever – and the bush pasta seems to be a favourite of both Possum and Lizard alike, as well as Marsupial Mice, Currawong and Crows. Everyone loves my pasta it seems and there’s little mystery why: with lots of pasta sauce and parmesan cheese as well as the pasta itself, it’s packed with carbohydrates, fat and sugar.

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Anyhoo he’ll be along sometime between now and one-am, and as long as I’m not aslerp I’ll hear him munching and smacking his lips as he sits down nicely to eat.

I used to wait each night for him to come. Just to get a few decent photos I’d sit like a statue for *hours*; looking out the half-opened door of my tent, legs cramped, pins-and-needles in my feet and with mt back stiff from sitting in one position for so long.

Eventually I got a photo of him here and there but now, most nights, I’m happy enough just to hear him outside making loud smacking sounds as he happily accepts the free meal.

Some nights I’ll sit-up and watch him eat but usually I just don’t feel the need anymore: as long as he’s well-fed and not hungry each day I’m here I’m happy.

@9:44pm

I’ve just unzipped my tent door to make coffee and saw that cheeky little rat scamper away into the bushes. Funny-looking thing: he’s much smaller than a normal rat, and has a nose shaped more like a guinea-pig or hamster. If I happen to get s better photo tonight I’ll update the post, though I dunno; everytime I turn tge head-torch on and open the tent door, dozens of bugs start bouncingboff my face trying to get to the light and mosquitoes fly right in and don’t stop biting me ’till I kill ’em.

Rainforest Life: Outing #12 – Day 3
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Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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