In my previous blog on my trek to the watery playground, I mentioned that I was reunited with some friends from my youth. One of them reminded me of the time we got lost on a camping trip. I wanted to share this story with you, my blogging friends as a reminder that you can easily get lost on a trek if you are not careful.
As young teenagers on a camping trip, my friend and I went for a hike. We found ourselves in a heavily wooded area, and lost our bearings. We tried several trails but they took us further away. We were hopelessly lost. We got very concerned but did not panic.
This was the habitat of snakes, and not a good place to be at night. We had no flashlight, compass, or weapons. We had just a bowie knife, and as you may imagine, no desire to confront a hungry snake with a knife.
We cut two long branches and made them into makeshift spears as precaution.
We also decided to follow one trail that seemed to be more beaten than others, and left markers on trees (little notches) to mark our trail. Had we done this initially when we left the camp, we could have easily found our way back by following the markers.
After walking on the trail for about an hour, we heard the sound of an aircraft engine. We ran through the woods in the direction of the sound until we came to a high fence. It was almost dark at this time, and we could see lights in the distance. We were at the furthest end of a runway and since there was only one airport in the vicinity, we finally found our bearings.
However, there was just one problem. The road that led to our camp was on the other side of the runway, and there was no way to reach it in the darkness. The aircraft was also moving on the runway getting ready to lift off.
We made a split decision. As soon as the aircraft took off, we crawled under the fence, and ran like the wind across the tarmac to the other side, and finally made our way back to our camp.
Below is a pic of an anaconda caught by biologists in Guyana
Are anacondas dangerous to humans?
Biologist and photographer Daniel De Granville filmed this 23-foot-long anaconda underwater and claims that anacondas are shy around humans, and have more to fear from us than we do them.
Mr. De Granville may be correct, but here is my actual experience while on a trip to Lethem, Guyana, close to the Brazillian border.
I was riding in an army truck with several soldiers when we saw an anaconda coiled up in the middle of the road, unmoving. We got out to get a better glimpse but quickly ran back inside. The large snake was tightly wrapped around an adult human and had crushed him to death. This was not one of my better experiences.
I suspect the person may have been lost, and fell prey somehow to a hungry anaconda in the dark. People get lost quite frequently, and although scientists claim that our sense of direction is innate, they don’t know the reason why some people have a better sense of direction than others. I haven’t gotten lost in a while, and this is what I recommend to fellow hikers and trekkers:
Look back frequently! The trail looks different from a different direction, and on your way back, you are presented with a different view. Always stop, look back and make a mental note of visual landmarks.
Now, my blogging friends, have you ever gotten lost on a hike, or in an unfamiliar area? What did you do?