I had some not so great experiences with wildlife as well while I was there, which is rather normal. A huntsman found its way into one of the places we stayed at, and it positioned itself over my husband's side of the bed, furry, relaxed, and not at all attractive to look at. Michael wasn't available to catch it at the time, so I had to dispose of it.
Breathe, Yvette. It's just a spider.
So I climbed on the bed with a bowl and plate in hand, standing directly behind the spider (never stand under, because it can be all kinds of unpleasant if it falls down your shirt). Heaving a big breath, I slammed the bowl on top of the huntsman and scraped it back and forth along the ceiling a few times, to make sure I had peeled the thing off. With great reluctance, I ripped the bowl off the ceiling and slammed the plate over it as a lid. So far, so good.
I found Michael shortly after, and he asked if he could look at it. I told him I wasn't really in a show-and-tell mood and took the bowl and plate over to the door, which I opened with some difficulty.
Fling it out, I told myself. Just do it.
Wrenching the plate off, I swung the bowl violently, hoping to dislodge the spider. Then I waited. Okay. It seemed all clear.
I looked in the bowl, and the spider looked back at me.
I hurled the bowl outside and slammed the door. "We are never using that bowl again," I said loudly.
Experience number one. No problems. I somewhat bravely dealt with a huntsman. Experience two: my husband and I were walking on the farm adjoining our cabin at Yuulong, and I was wearing ankle socks. Mistake number one. We had a great walk, heard kangaroos, but didn't see them. Then we went back to the cabin. As we were heating up dinner, I felt a light itching in my sock.
Don't be paranoid, Yvette. Just enjoy your time here, I told myself.
Halfway through eating the meal, I felt the itching again. Darn it. I was going to check this time.
"I think I've been bitten by something," I muttered to Michael, putting my finger into my sock. It came away bloody.
At the same time, we both noticed this weird black worm thing moving in a mesmerizing dance across the floor. I pulled off my shoe to discover my sock was soaked with blood. Ripping off my sock, I stared in horror as another weird worm thing fell out.
"LEECHES! KILL THEM, KILL THEM!" I screeched.
A bit of an overreaction, but Michael did kindly kill them.
Next time, I will wear longer socks, as it appears they go for the ankles first. It took a disturbing amount of time to stop the bleeding after too. But no harm done. You don't even get itchy bumps for a week afterwards like you do with mosquitoes. It's just messy and creepy.
So now we're back in less adventurous New Zealand, and I've been working on a new writing project. Among other things, I finished Dombey and Son. Dombey wound up loving his daughter at long last, and she got married to the nice sailor boy, and the horrible white-toothed Carker died under a train. I think the nine hundred pages were worth it, although the exposition at the beginning could have been a bit faster. I also finished listening to my audiobook, The Invisible Man. The invisible man actually ended up being crushed to death by a mob, and then he became visible again as he died. The general reaction to this by the crowd in the book and by myself was: "Ewww."
Now I'll have to find something else to read!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these pictures of Australia. Perhaps they'll inspire you to get over your fear of leeches and huntsmen and go there. It truly is an amazing place.