Australia is a country that I always wanted to visit and going to Tasmania Island, this was one of my great dreams. The island is located 250km south of Australia and is home to the famous endangered endemic animal known as Tasmanian Devil.
In March 2014, researching previously on what to do on the island, I discovered that the place has one of the best treks in the world, the wanted Overland Track. In a matter of 1 month, I decided to pack my bags and visit this paradise in Tasmania.
Overland Track is located in the central part of the island, which is the highest part of the region. It is one of the favourite places of those who like to see wildlife in the country. During the journey it is common to see animals like the small kangaroo, vombate and possum.
At the end of the trek, in the Lake St. Clair, you can also see platypus swimming. About the Tasmanian devil, it is quite rare to see, because it is almost extinct due to transmissible cancer among the population. Today much of the species lives in captivity and a good place to have contact with this animal is at the Bonorong Wildlife Reserve which is close to the capital Hobart.
Most tourists go trekking in a tour, where there is guide, food and place to sleep. I prefer to go alone, because I can walk and meditate in this blessed life that God has given to me and I can improve my survival skills in the wild. The difference of price matters a lot as well. On its own, the main expense is the park fee, which costs around AU$ 230. Now if you choose to go in a tour, the price is around AU$ 2,500.
Well, I have to confess, when I left the visitor center and started hiking alone on a cloudy morning, I was a bit scared. The environment was completely unfamiliar for me. I did not know the fauna or the flora. I knew only what I studied before in my preparation for this trek.
I have climbed mountains and did several trekkings on 6 continents around the world, but I had never carried such a heavy backpack with me. It was more than 20kg of equipment, tent, mattress, sleeping bag, first aid, stove, lots of clothes, food for 6 days and other things.
Other than that, when you are trekking in an inhospitable region, any miscalculation can lead to death. If I don’t bring enough food, I would not have the strength to continue the walk. If I did not have proper clothing, I could die of hypothermia. If I twisted my foot or hurt in any other way, it could also be my end. If any of those things happened I would depend on the luck of another person if I had met on the way. Several other circumstances could also be tragic. A storm, an equipment break or an animal harm me.
Australia has the most venomous animals in the world. I lived for a short period in the north of the country and over there nobody dares to enter the lakes, because the risk of being attacked by crocodiles.
It was in one of those contacts with an Australian animal that I saw again death. After going to the top of Craddle Mountain and Mount Ossa, which is the highest point on the island, I entered a dense forest area. This part was exactly a three-hour walk in the middle of the trail.
The path was very narrow, so it was only possible to walk one person after another. The shrubs that bordered the path were large, and there was nothing to see but a small strip of land where my feet stepped.
When I was meditating about life, it passes in front of me almost over my foot, a 2 meters tiger snake. This snake is very poisonous and its bite is lethal. I was at the mercy of this animal.
Who would help me? I would have less than an hour of life. My body was so close to it that if I tried to move, the snake would certainly be faster. I got pale, my mouth became dry, and I was in shock. My body was completely paralyzed and I saw my life once again in a flashback.
It is very difficult to remain calm and know what to do in a dangerous situation. It is common for the human being to get scared, but this was not an option for me. Watching a tiger snake passes almost on top of my foot, and yet letting it go away without I move, is a feeling I still can’t explain.
Thank God the snake didn’t hurt me. I took a deep breath, and when I was about to take the first pass, the snake comes again. This time she stared at me. All adrenaline I had five seconds ago, I felt again but this time it was stronger.
The snake passed in front of me again. After she crossed the path, I jumped with my 20kg backpack and I ran off a little just to make sure the snake wouldn’t come after me. Relieved, I spent the rest of the days of the trekking paying really attention to the path.