Earlier this week one of my new friends, Posilonge, and I made plans to go around the “Big Bush” today. This morning I found myself following Pos (as I like to call him) and a few friends up the side of a mountain feeling like Frodo following Gollum into Mordor.* As usual, I was pouring sweat and sucking wind while they were breezing along asking me if I needed a break.
This hike was the deepest I’ve been into the jungle thus far and I learned a few lessons I would like to share so that everyone can learn from my experience:
First, if someone invites you to hike in the big bush, don’t try to impress this barefoot native with your fashion-savvy by wearing socks that don’t even cover your ankles. Instead wear high, thick hiking socks which, at least, would offer a challenge to the leeches trying to latch on to your ankles. (Final count: 8 leeches.)
Second, one out of three “bridges” made from wet, rotting, three inch diameter branches that can hold a five foot, 120ish pound native will break under the weight of a six foot two inch 185 pound white guy. (Sample size: 6 “bridges”)
Third, just because a tree looks like it was allowed to grow in the perfect spot to provide support in a treacherous location doesn’t mean that it isn’t covered with tiny, palm-piercing spikes.
*Elizabeth would claim this reference is nerdy, but I would argue that it would only be nerdy if I was referring to the book (which I am not) instead of the movie which established its place in pop-culture. Feel free to weigh in on this ongoing family debate. Note that I have read the books repeatedly and could refer to them, but I’m not.