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January 27, 2005
Jody writes:

"There's a snake crawling out of our room," I announced as the green and red creature slowly slithered out of the tin shack we'd been asigned. We were spending the night in an outback sheep station as part of an organised tour travelling up the West coast of Australia. "It's head's thinner than it's body. I bet it's poisonous," I continued, repeating information I'd heard that day but still not really believing we'd see a dangerous snake, which is why I was only standing a couple of feet away from the thing.

A minute later, a small circle of people from our tour had gathered behind me, watching the snake. Then our guide came over and told us to run. We didn't. We just took a couple of steps back and kept watching, reaching for our cameras before he grabbed a rock and a stick and beat the beast to death. Which took some doing.

Our guide (a top bloke from Red Earth Safari who grew up in the outback and was only happy when we were stuck in the middle of nowhere) told us it was a Mulga snake. Pretty, yet highly venomous with "the largest recorded venom output of any snake," according to this website. There wasn't a house - let alone a hospital - around for miles and had it bitten one of us, we'd have been screwed. It was an excellent start to the evening.

During dinner we were joined by a huntsman spider, which is also (of course) highly lethal, but thankfully it's fangs aren't sharp enough to penetrate adult human skin. Why such small creatures pack enough venom to kill a horse when they only eat insects is beyond me.

After a few songs around the campfire we decided to sleep in the open air. With no light for miles around, the stars were brighter than I'd ever seen before.

posted at 3:56 PM | link

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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