Rainforest Life: Outing #10 – Day 1

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(Saturday 20-September-2014)

@10:36am

I am running late: just now standing in-wait for the bus, ’cause some silly old fart wouldn’t shut-up. It’s alright for me to deliver excitable diatribes at people, but man I just hate being the recipient.

@2:43pm

Ahh that’s the shit right there that is. Just let me adjust my make-shift pillow a bit.. there. Feeling damn good to lie down after all that.

I’m here, my tent has no holes chewed through it and the five litres of water I left stashed around the corner is still there. I put chlorine purification tablets in the bottles and bladder before leaving – the only occasion I’ve done so in recent history – because although I drink the creek water un-treated now, I knew these would be sitting still in the bottles a few days before I returned.

Thanks to the old mans pathetic, lonely rambling I lost nearly an hour. That saw me arrive late at Echo Point, I didn’t get there till about 11:00am.

He’s not the first lonely babbler, and I’m sure he won’t be the last: something about backpackers I’ve noticed is they are frequented by a lot of people who’re travelling alone and – naturally enough – these people seem to have varying degrees of pent-up chattiness they gotta get out and that’s fine, I do it, everyone does. But there seems to always be one person staying there who never shuts up. I mean seriously, prolonged monologues that have you not only feeling imprisoned in the “conversation” but regretting the fact you stopped to say ‘hi’ in the first place.

I also find alot of these “kinds” of people just so paranoid it’s fucking crazy.

I had another brain-dead Queenslander try to tell me that military chopper I mentioned flying around my camp was probably out here looking for “Russian terrorists” camping. Of course, the only time he says anything is shortly after his thrice-daily visit to the chemist for his methadone fix, and all he does is spout bullshit anyway. I know it’s bullshit, of course, because – apart from my being a walking lie-detector, his “story” changes every time he tells it to anyone.

Personally, I’ve never seen much point in lying: It’s much easier to just not give a shit than to spend a lifetime talking shit to impress people who already know you’re talking shit, and have a care-factor of zero either way.

I’ve had a middle-aged Iranian woman try to convince me that everything electronic is bugged, and that satellites are used to spy on everyone all day and night. This is the same woman who spent an hour informing me that ghosts not only appear before her, but follow her everywhere she goes: starting arguments with her.

Then there was the woman who set-off the fire-alarms causing a full evacuation of the entire building and the fire service to rush out at almost midnight, because everytime she cooked she’d leave it to burn while she’d be in the next room talking to herself. All night, every night, I’d hear the creepy bitch sitting in the room above mine – Giggling to herself.

It’s just wall-to-wall crazies some weeks and whether they’re a bit senile or completely insane I have no idea but “Ebola Virus”, “Terrorism” and “The Government’s bugged my phone” are subjects that pop-up almost continuously.

They need to stop watching so much television and chill the fuck out. Gives me a headache listening to their stupid conspiracy crap.

The positive flip-side to casual backpacker life of course are the nice people you meet. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned them yet, possibly because the lunatics are constantly distracting me.
I shared a room a month or so ago with a Swedish guy who’s been living here for a decade – but still has the accent – and runs a pet-care service with an ex girlfriend.

Basically, they offer walks, daycare and other stimulating activities for owners who’re too.old or too lazy to give their dogs the proper amount of attention they require each day.

My ex’s dog – Poppy – could certainly do with a service like that, since she’s stuck at home alone most of her life now I’m no longer there.

Anyway, he was here for a few weeks to take some of the walks, and each day he’d tell me about them, and recommend this place or that place. We also talked about my camping and shared the same values and beliefs about animal rights, politics and religion and got on like a “house on fire”, the time he was there.

Then there was the chick from the Entrance. She was flat-out just way too fat for bushwalking but she loved hearing all the stories I had for her, of my time out here.

And then there’s the mishmash of foreign tourists who – upon hearing that I’ve been living part-time in the forest like a feral all winter – tell me that what I’m doing is just amazing, and the kind of thing they’d love to do, if only they had the nerve.

There’ve actually been a lot of people tell me what I’m doing id fantastic and these people – the good ones – all share a common thread in their thinking: that human beings within society are so far removed from anything remotely resembling natural that – as a species – we’re just one homogeneous glob of obesity, sickness, filth and greed. A perversion of nature.

Okay maybe they didn’t use those exact words, but I just did and since they agree with me – my words will do.

Coffee-break time.

@5:14pm

While I waited for the bus, I spoke to a local for a while, and got to mentioning how I dream of a scared, hungry, lost Dingo pup wandering into my camp – looking for someone to take care of it. We both agreed, that if domestic dogs can live out here like feral wolves, then a Dingo – raised with a human from puppyhood – should be perfectly capable of doing the opposite just fine.

The bus came, the local stayed to eat his pie, we wished one another a good day and I got on the bus.
Once at Echo point I headed straight for the Giant Staircase, since that old fool wasted an hour of my life, of course.

Only a few flights into the nine-hundred-step decent I ran into two Americans: A father about my age, and his teenage daughter. He commented on how fit I looked and asked if I wanted to go ahead of them since I’m faster (being only two feet wide for the most part, the majority of the staircase is a “single-file-only” affair, with people constantly having to stand sideways for others to get past etc,,.), I told him it I didn’t mind, and all three of us ended-up walking down as a group anyhow.
A few flights down, my backpack was mentioned, and upon informing them I had a fortnights-worth of food in there the topic switched to camping. They both told me how amazing I was, and he said he would love to do something like this but didn’t think he’d have the confidence.

“Baah, it’s not so hard”, I replied to that, “The University of Google can teach you anything”. I went on to explain that I didn’t know much of anything about camping until six months ago – when I started reading bushwalking and camping forums online. I asked questions, and outdoors-types of all levels of experience told me everything I needed to know over the three month period I “studied” in preparation for coming here.
Nice pair anyhow, both as chatty as each other. At the base of the staircase, they continued on while I sat and drunk topical juice while my legs had a quick rest in preparation for the eight kilometer walk out into the valley.

@7:52pm

I’ve had no She-rat, marsupial welcome wagon at all today, upon arriving.

It’s a bit arse-sucky, but they only live for a year – two if they’re lucky and food is particularly abundant, and since winter is/was breeding season for Antechinus I have to assume that it’s around-about birthing time for them so they my well be in their logs, nursing bubbas.

The piggy possum is still around however: just a few minutes ago he came to the tent and scoffed-down a dinner I’d put out for him of bread, strawberries, biscuits and crackers.

Of course I put some Teddybear biscuits out for the Antechinus too, but so far there’s been no sign of any of them.

Rainforest Life: Outing #10 – Day 1
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Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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