Friday, September 14, 2007

Oh Maties, the Rainforest!

Stephen, Macky and I went to the Daintree Rainforest. (Cindy has informed me that this forest is 135 million years old. I believe that.) We opt to go for a bush walk. ( you guys already have the picture of us at the top of the walk) It is going to be a simple walk, 3.5 k up and 3.5 k down. No problem. I just wear my crocs. ( Not the live ones) The sign at the beginning of the walk says to allow 7 hours. Hmmm. Seven hours for less than 5 miles. Right. We start. It is up hill. Definitley up hill. Right off we are all huffing and puffing so that we can barley talk. Our chit chat goes something like this:" Steep" "yah" "Wicked" "Yup" "Beautiful" "uh" "True bush walk" "Yaa" Bush indeed. The density of the population has to be 2x that of Bejing (only taller).This place is thick with vegetation. We are constantly ducking under,climbing over,pushing aside or squeezing between or around trees, roots,vines, palms and ferns. The path we are following is small,hard to follow and covered with vegetation. If Stephen or Macky get 5 meters ahead of me I cannot see them. The ground is covered. Roots are everywhere, crisscrossing, recrossing and crossing again. They go on for 20-30 meters and are sometimes two foot tall. Vines hang like someone toilet papered a house. Vines of all sizes, some as big as your leg. Most of the vines have stickers,thorns or jabby things all over them. Some vines have large barbed hooks on them and hang down like Vietnamese booby traps. They grab you and cut as you go by. I begin to believe that sci-fi stuff about vines. There are these trees/vines that are called strangler figs that do just that. These figs slowly,very slowly over hundreds of years engulf a tree and kill it, all the while using it as a framework for its own growth. When their deed is done there is an eerie lacework of vine like branches in the shape of the former tree. Its spooky in a way. These fig trees in turn are used by other plants, but that is happening everywhere. Branches,forks of trees, tops of palms or the "basket" of a fern are all covered with other plants robbing Peter to pay Paul. There are these Fan palms that look like ridged potato chips but are 2 meters in diameter that house another kind of palm that looks like a house plant gone wild. It is an exotic,eerie,and wild walk. We climb for an hour non stop and reach a sign that tells us we have gone 1.5 km. Less than one mile an hour. Hmmm. Near this sign we meet an Aussie on his way down. He says "It gets steep up there". I say " you mean it hasn't been steep yet?" "Nahr,its pretty steep for the next 300 meters". Stephen says "Chit", I think it. Soon enough we know what the bloke means. We are in full time fourwheel drive. All I can see is Stephens butt and Macky can only see mine. We are climbing nearly straight up. We, as you can expect, get to the top and the look out is spectacular. It is an absolutely amazing ecosystem to see. But Stephen says it best " This is good chit, thick nature chit. Amazing chit". Strangler Figs:


cindy & cheryl said...

Wow! I LOVE the photo of the spiralling Strangler Figs! Almost like an exoskeleton, but not... (you know?). I know you didn't have time to train for the adventure race, but you're in pretty decent shape to do all that climbing and keep up with the gypsies! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Tracy, have you considered becoming a writer for travel magazines! Just think world travel for FREE! (sorry Cindy...or, maybe you could go too).
SERIOUSLY...why do you waste your talents on teaching??? Have you never heard "do the things you love"?
If you wrote a book, I would definitely buy it (hopefully there would be more than one). Have you read any of Janet Evonivich's (sp?) books? She keeps you enthralled and laughing...your writing style reminds me of her style(and I've bought MANY of her books!).
I think you were put here on this Earth to entertain...

Anonymous said...

Sorry no haiku today. Amazing chit you are seeing. We love the stories.

Saw Mamaw last two weeks. Doing good--got over her pneumonia. Will see her again tomorrow. Is part of Sunday routine now. She was reading your letter when we went last Sunday. She may not have thought gypsies was such a good idea. I think we are calling them traveling companions now. (oops)

Smirnoff for breakfast! Why didn't I think of that!


bonycrow said...

Come on all you haiku wimps! (not you laurie you've proven you're no haiku wimp). Give it a try. You have plenty of material to pull from.

Anonymous said...

okay Cindy!!! My gawd thats a direct challenge that I can't NOW you're gonna regret it!!

Toilet paper vines!
Daintree bazillion years old
chit chit chit chit chit

WHOO HOOO!!! Hows that??
...some Japanese poet who invented these things is probably turning over in his grave ;);)

weez (who else?)

bonycrow said...

love it weeze!! your haiku's have a very precious wit and energy to them i must say. indeed, you are no wimp!

you take the challenge!
haiku master, weeze will be
haiku wimp no more.

cindylist said...

See the gypsy butts
climbing straight up the mountain.
Please! No beans for lunch...

bonycrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bonycrow said...

ahhhh!! I love it. so befitting tracy's personality! yea cindy list.