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Stories from Bernie's new trip - heading "down under" to explore Tasmania

Trapped by Tasmanian Leeches
January 22, 2011

Okay, so leaches do some funny things to your head. In a moment, you’re going to hear an update I recorded while holed up in my hammock. It was the third day of rain and I’d pitched what I now call Camp Leach. Yep, thousands of the inching buggers were vying for my life blood so I cooked a quick lentil meal then crawled into my hammock.

In a moment, you’re going to hear what it’s like to sleep in this hammock
Tasmanian leech doing what it’s famous for. In this case, my multi-tool took the sucking-on.

You generally don’t take photos in lousy weather just like you don’t make audio recordings when the plan has gone off the rails. Still, it makes for interesting footage. So in that spirit, I fired up my camera and audio recorder, and, with leeches covering what amounted to my nylon jail, spoke my mind.

The scene inside the hammock: Bad photo for a bad night

What looks like a stick will keep you fooled right until the moment it clamps down on you.

If you listen carefully, you can hear the rain drops hitting the hammock fly sheet. They make a popping sound and come and go. You won’t have to strain to hear the freak out in my voice. Sure, it’s easy to sound composed and cheery when you’re interviewing someone about their gummy-lipped hound – the one with the special knack for retrieving duck eggs. But interviewing yourself after a few days’ isolation, in dodgy weather, is, well, sometimes not so elegant. Still, I figured I’d capture some audio for you. Note how the mind wanders….

Wait, that line’s not part of the camo poncho just above my head… That’s a hungry leech.

So, ready to crawl into a leech crusted hammock with me?

Then hit the player below, mate…

(Note: the map below is only a rough approximation of where this recording was made.)

Posted Saturday January 22, 2011 by Bernie
Where this story happened:

Reader Comments:

Oh dear Bernie!!! Run for the hills, Man!! I must say as much as I do enjoy these escapades of yours, you needn’t go to the ends of the earth to find such pleasures!

So as I listen to your leach infested story, which I know you will savor through the years, I wish to tell you of the moment I had while listening to your horrors, which makes yours so much more the hebbie-jebbies….
So we’ve had this unexpected 6” of fluffy snowfall, which by the way I have taken advantage of by a nice long paddle and walk-about, and as you speak of leaches and creepy crawlers extreme…. the most magnificient sunset of pink and purple washes over the piles of snow here in Oriental. Now THAT should give you good reason to yearn for eastern NC!! We yearn for your smiling face. Keep up with the great discoveries but leaches… I DON’T NEED!!

— lynda lou · Saturday January 22, 2011 · #

I was going to be jealous that it was warm there Bernie – but that leach thing makes the cold seem quite desirable. It was 12 degrees here over the weekend… makes the the leaches real slow.

May we assume you didn’t camp at that spot two nights?

Brilliant audio Bernie…

— Keith · Monday January 24, 2011 · #

wow, you are a brave man!your story made me have the hebbie-jebbies!!!
I hope the leachs wont suck you up to soon!
Your going to have a great souvenir of your trip with the leachs!!!
i hope seeing you soon and i hope those leachs will let you alone!

Laura

Hey, good luck with the creepy leechies .
but are there really thousands of them ?
and have you been bitten (or should I say sucked) ?

Anyway I hope we’ll see you soon, give us a call whenever you can.

Alvin

— Alvin Laura · Monday January 24, 2011 · #

Hi Bernie
I agree with Keith. I much prefer our cold weather to your leeches.
However, you might want to save a few of them. They have been use in the medical field for over 2,500 years. Since the 1980’s I understand they have been used in some plastic and microsurgeries.. While rambling you might at some point have a need for them.
I enjoyed the audio.
Take care.

— Carolyn Howell · Monday January 24, 2011 · #

Oh Bernie- Bless your heart! Hope you’ve moved on from these sucking critters. Saw Woody listed for sale. I hope he finds a good home :) Take care, its cold up here in NC!

— wendy hottle · Thursday January 27, 2011 · #

Hi Bernie,

Now that’s the dark side of your travels I was hoping to hear about! Those nasty critters even made Humphrey Bogart freak out, so at least you’re in good company. Too bad you didn’t have a salt shaker.

I’m glad to see you’re back in the saddle, even though it’s a bike this time. Happy trails Down Under!

— Publisher lady friend · Tuesday February 8, 2011 · #

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