The Seagull Conspiracy
I don’t know if it’s the heat or the dehydration but these seagulls are certainly smelling fishy to me. No matter where you are there’s always two of the buggers out in front of you edging about, eyeing you up. You can never get near before they shoot off, only to be replaced a few minutes later with two identical ones further up the beach. We’ve started to think there are only two on the entire of 90 mile beach and they’re being redeployed along the length for surveillance purposes. We are clearly displaying very suspicious behavior being the only people on the beach not caning it along on a four-by-four, so I’m imagining the seagull authorities are keeping a close eyeon us should we start muscling in on their shell fish. Either that or they suspect we’re packing chips and ice-cream in our backpacks, and they are waiting to catch us off guard before they launch their attack on us…
‘Includes free use of a Cat’
Introducing our new mate Romeo. So named apparently as he roamed over one day and decided to stay, rather like the littlest hobo ( and a little like us ) :) Rest day today – yeeha! The best kind if day… Amazing mini apartment here at BayLinks Motel. And feels all the more homely with a free friendly cat to play with. A furry friend never goes a miss after a hard day.
Noises In The Night…
Keep your wits about you in the jungle.. You never know what’s peering at you through the foliage! We camped in the jungle 3 nights ( and one more nearby ) and once the sun goes down all sorts of mysterious things start to squeak, stomp, flap, trot, and heavy breath over your tent! I swore blind that someone crept past our tent at 2am the first night mumbling… A hunter maybe.. “Or was it a large bird? Or wait a minute there’s a horse print there.. Are there wild horse here?? Or was it a wild pig you reckon ?” Whatever it was it shit me right up! :D
The half asleep paranoid thoughts of all sorts of hoofed animals and hunters with guns roaming about at night swirling around my head made it tricky to sleep even after a full days exploring :) But the weirdest thing was these shrieking noises. I think they might have been possums. Only heard these one evening ( you’ll find it why in the Possum post )…
Update: When we finally got to town a few days later I kept hearing on the news how this school teacher from Kawakawa (not far away) had been shot in the head by a deer hunter a few days ago while brushing her teeth only 4 meters inside in the forest… Really sad news, and also pretty worrying as a tourist sleeping in the forest at night.
Bump Goes The Possum
I didn’t know what a possum was when we started this section. But you might be excited to hear we got pretty up-close and personal with a fair few these past few days! Unfortunately they were all dead :( Face down in the dirt. Quite distressing to see what you initially think is a domestic house cat spark out on the path ( very nearly becoming a gutsy mush all over your boots… ) These cute animals although protected in Australia are considered pests here and so are hunted and shot for fun. We saw 9 and a half possums in total ( the half was pretty gross! ). One of them left out in an advanced state of decomposition, ( grim! ) but all laying mid path. We assumed it was the work of hunters leaving their trophy kills for everyone to see ( which i thought was a bit sick ) but as it turned out the jungle had been laced with Potassium Cyanide to poison the poor fellas. Not great to find that warning sign only on exit of the forest after days of not being able to properly wash our hands. Fingers crossed we’ve not ingested any!
They probably eat a lot of crops(?), but I don’t know. Seems like Mr.Possum has a bit of a raw deal here :( Poor fellas.
Some kind of bird here – walked like a Penguin but with a long gangly neck… A Ganet is it? Let us know if you know. There were bunches of them in the trees as we paddled and strode past. Pretty tame and busy with a whole load of shrieking raucous baby ones. How come babies are always louder than adults no matter the species?
The zoom on my camera only goes up to 35mm, so is generally pretty useless at wildlife photography. Luckily Steven Seagall was putting on a good show today and flew straight past our picnic bench :)
No possums in here :) Since coming across all those possum corpses before I’ve learned a bit more about why they are considered such a pest here. I didn’t realise but other than stripping trees of leaves they apparently raid the nests of all the rare and endangered native birds. A lot of the areas we walk through are Kiwi bird conservation zones so there are no dogs allowed for the same reasons. Every area features these trap boxes. I expected to see a piece of cheese in there like in Tom and Jerry cartoons! But the possums are partial to an egg for breakfast. And who can blame them I guess. I was tempted to have it myself ;)