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Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Nine: Dry the Rain

It had been a restless night’s sleep, with the fierce storm keeping me awake, and, when I finally slept, thoughts of horror movies racing through my mind.

I continued to doze in the morning well after the sun had come up; half awake, half asleep. It was around 7am when I turned in bed from my side onto my stomach, pushing the pillow to one side.

That was when I saw it. I began to lay my head down onto my arms, but stopped, frozen, shocked. It was massive. The biggest fucking spider I’ve ever seen in my entire twenty-seven years, sitting on the bed’s head-board. And I’m from Australia, so I’ve seen some big-arse spiders in my time. But this fuckin’ monster was HUGE. I’m talking the size of my entire hand. Its body was the size of an egg, and it’s legs bent up and out like the type of spiders you see in horror movies where they’re the size of houses. And it was just inches from my head. I thought it was going to eat me.

I’m sorry for the profanity in there. I’m trying hard not to swear too much in these pages. But if anything ever deserved some foul language, it was this fucking giant eight-legged devil-spider.

I jumped back up the bed, kneeling in shock, clutching the pillow tightly to my chest. “Hey Abs, you want to come over here and check out the size of the spider that just woke me up.”
He sat up in his bed, a few metres across the room from where I was hunched up all tense, but he couldn’t quite see the thing (fucked if I know how, you could’ve seen the bloody thing from space), “Where is it?” he asked wearily.
“Seriously, come over here and have a look.”

He got out of bed, and took a few steps towards me.

“Holy fuck!” He exclaimed, “I’ve gotta get the camera for this one! It’s huge. Look’s like it’s got babies too.” The size of its abdomen was hard to believe.
“Mate, I’m gonna have babies soon!”

He took a few photos whilst I put on some more clothes and headed for the door.

“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to clean out my jocks!”

That day was another four hours or so of walking, descending further down from the mountains. But somehow, we kept seeming to be going up stairs. I couldn’t make sense of it in my head. But I guess you spend more time going up because it takes so damn long compared to when you skip down stairs.

I was keen to understand how hard Salik our porter had been working, and so I offered to carry the pack for a while. It was my big backpack, and contained all of mine and Abs’ gear. I’m guessing it weighed around seventeen kilos.

Salik had been carrying it up and down the mountains for eight days. I lasted about twenty minutes. And that wasn’t even on a particularly taxing stretch of trail. Abs gave it a go after me, and, being a physically fit and determined young lad (he’s only twenty-three, and has been working out since he was seventeen), he carried it for the remaining two hours of the day.

The overnight sorm and it’s torrential rain meant that the trail was plagued with leeches. Armies of the buggers waited on the muddy steps for us. At first I didn’t realise this though. Early on, I stopped by the side of the path for a pee-break. Once I’d finished my business I looked down and picked no less than six dirty little leeches off my …………… shoes.

Throughout the day I removed almost twenty of the bastard from my shoes and socks.

We eventually arrived at the village of Dhampus, for our last night on the trail. I pulled my shoes and socks off, and was relieved to find no blood. No leech bites. Abs was not so lucky. He lifted his pant leg up, “Damn, it looks like someone has tried to chop my foot off!” His ankle was covered in blood. His previously white sports sock was now soaked through with red. I was mightily relieved it wasn’t me.

I put some flip flops on and walked across the yard to where the outdoor shower was located. It was a little white concrete shed, and damn, it was the most disgusting shower I had seen. Inside, the white walls had turned green at the base with mould. The floor was a dirty wet concrete that made the skin on the bottom of my feet crawl. There was a small, smashed window letting in almost no light. A single bare light bulb hung down low. Spiders and an assortment of other bugs scrambled around the walls. There was no hot water.

I’ve got to get a photo of this, I thought, and so looked down to put my flip flops back on and go get my camera, only to see a trail of blood running from my ankle down the side of my foot.

You’ve got to be fucking joking! I don’t know where the hell that leech came from, or how he managed to get me, but I spent the next hour and a half with my foot up waiting for the blood to clot. It’s the only way to stop the bleeding.

One more day. Just one more day to go.

Song of the day: Beta Band – Dry the Rain. Like I said before, the songs in my head seemed strangely appropriate for the time.

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One Response to “Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Day Nine: Dry the Rain”

  1. Mark Hogan Says:

    Mate, flip flops? what the hell is that about. Last time I checked you were Astrayan, which means they’re ‘thongs’. I think we’re Americanised enough without taking away the lovely Aussie term thong, purely because Amorica uses the same term to describe a g-string!!!!nrnrGlad you’re well, we’ve been following your trekking exploits and Ruby and Oscar are enjoying the flickr pics. I’ll send you a deent email soon.nrnrCheers mate,

  2. Posted from Australia Australia

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