It’s a jungle out there!

It literally is!

And I have never been more aware of my scaredy-pants self as I am in the rainforest. I mean, seriously, I am currently on the continent with the 25 of the 29 most deadly animals, and they make me, perhaps for the first time in my life, want to stay on the designated path.

Typically, I’m not much of a follow-the-blazed-trail kinda girl. And I’m pretty proud of that.
On our previous adventures, when faced with whales, bears, and unidentified dorsal fins I have a tendency to instinctively run, swim, or paddle TOWARD the big, dangerous animal so I can get close enough to SEE it!! Even while my family is saying, “Momma! STOP!”

A bug? Not so much. I will cry hysterically and scream like, well, like a girl and make a boy take care of it for me.
Now, make the bugs deadly or extra huge…I might stand in one spot and I might, maybe wet my big girl pants.

So, we went to the rainforest yesterday (Mossman Gorge) and saw some epicness. Epic trees, epic water, epic native people.

And, yes, epic bugs…

We hiked 2.5 km through the jungle to find a stunningly beautiful river made up of waterfalls and rushing water that provided any number of swimming holes free for the enjoying. Thanks to the 100 degree heat, a place to cool off and not worry about crocs or stingers was welcomed beyond words.

We found two spots that called our name, the first of which looked like something out of my imagination with a waterfall gently flowing into tranquil water, palm trees, little fish nibbling at our toes…

Toward the end of our hike, we ventured off to the trail to swim in a swimming hole upriver from the rest of the folks. Our spot is best shown by our pictures and video. My words cannot do it justice.

*photo and video credit is shared with Justin and his new GoPro camera


And Aussies! They are so friendly and helpful! People in the market or in service positions have taken upwards of twenty minutes to stand and talk to us and tell us about the land, or stories about the animals, or about their personal property that’s croc and tourist free (really, which is worse?) that we can go visit. They look us in the eye and want to make our experience the best it can be and they give us their time.
And that fascinates me. The hurry, hurry, rush to the next thing feeling is absent. Every sentence ends with, “No worries!” in a delightful cadence.

We met an aboriginal man. He took time to tell us some neat facts about this place and its animals. He showed us an Australian coin that has a kangaroo and an emu holding an Australian coat of arms and asked us if we knew what those two animals have in common.

Of course we didn’t and he told us that those two animals cannot walk backwards. It’s symbolic because as a country they have decided to only move forward and not look back.

Americans have a lot to learn about choosing not to look back.

And about friendliness, and respecting each other, and slowing down to see the people with which we inhabit the earth.
In the land of pushing and shoving to get ahead and forgetting that there are roses–let alone that they need to be smelled–the place where the phone and the clock rule, I wonder which place really is the dangerous jungle…


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