Barbs, Thorns & Leeches

Sunday, January 01, 1989
Daintree, Queensland, Australia
1 Jan
0700h woken by mossies as usual . It is the first day of 1989 so a rather lazy day ... for wounds to heal and mind to contemplate.
1988 was a good year:
- in Nepal doing Annapurna BC and white water rafting.
- played rugby for ACSOBA
- went to Canberra and Bateman's Bay
- Wilson's Prom with Rose
- soloed NW Victoria (Wyperfield/Pink Lakes/Hattah-Kulkyne/Canberra/Ulla Dulla/Mornys)
- good form in squash (losing only one match in intra-Deakin)
- soccer for Asian Students' Association (had rescinded Presidency previous year)
- member Geelong Coordinating Community
- Community Aid Abroad project (African Village
- Distinction for Pscholiguistics (my hated topic)
- went Grampians, Phillip Island
- accepted for Expedition Devil's Thumb
- got PADI Open water dive certification at Great Barrier Reef
First to get up, walked along rocks of pool. Magnificent sight of tree-covered slopes rise steeply on every side of the gorge we were in. This is Daintree wilderness, an area of no recorded history of anyone previously venturing into.

Lunch with support group, then afternoon nap . Chris and Phil went upstream to falls and saw Koori rock paintings and said falls and pool were great.
Dinner of mac cheese, rice, tomator & zuchini, apple pie (c/o Jeanette) and played Hacky Sack with Sandy, swam etc. Had trouble sleeping, thinking about ANU.

2 Jan
Woken by March flies for a change. Killed 2. Alex pulled the wings off one. Muesli breakfast. A hot morning with no clouds for a change. Packed and struck tent. Collected water samples upstream of BC.
0800h wanted go see rock paintings but Sandy (the only other person interested) was not around. Swam and helped Alex try catch dragonflies. Lazed around and read bird book.
1200h lunch then departed BC at 1410 for Smith Creek. Phil joined as new member of team. Very hot climb uphill. 620m to 840m, very tiring partly because we rested too much day before. Weather changed as got to top, bashing through on 069 from 823m. Started to rain then pour, then walking became miserable. Put on waterproof poncho over half-wet body, tripped over barbed vines while walking .
1600h at Smith Creek, pissing with rain. Waited an hour for it to relent. Put up fly with Alex while washing & drying at creek, saw a wound a leech had inflicted. This is leech country. Cooking being done in Trangia under Alan's fly. That smart Alec is sleeping in his hammock again (something wise given how wet the ground is). Played a bit of hacky sack in the rainforest. This place is absolutely miserable. Hardly any light gets in and when it rains, the water keeps coming down from the canopy long after the skies stop dropping water. There are barbed vines, thorny plants everywhere, not to mention leeches and what have you? (looks nice in photos)
Looks like any early and wet night even if it did not rain. At least sleeping gear is dry and mosquitoes have mercy. Early to bed at 2000h as nothing to do. Under my body, had 2 depressons (one which I filled with all the clothes the other with my bum) plus roots protruding. Only one sleeping position possible, no turning or even turning on the spot. Rained occasionally during night.
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