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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Fear and Leeching in Las Ella

With enough tea leaves to open our own factory stuffed into our backpacks we boarded the train for Ella. A surprisingly empty train allowed for plenty of door dangling shenanigans as we wound our way slowly uphill through tea plantations and waterfall filled jungle landscapes.

A few moments later and we found ourselves in the local 'Curd and Honey' shop to taste the legendary sludge that we'd heard so much about in Dalhousie. It wasn't long until the Village People approached our table. Or at least on ex-member of the Village People. With a handlebar moustache like that he had to be. Dave, who's real name was Dee, runs a hippy commune style village called Jack's Place. The name comes from the lead character in his science fiction novel which has taken up residence at the editor's house! More on that in "Episode 10 : Jack Vs The Space Mutants!".

We awoke the next morning to the sound of 'Frere Jacque' drifting by our window as the local ice-cream man rolled on down the pavement. A few kilometres rambling later and we were being lead by the three Muskehounds up a hill trying to find a small cave hidden on the mountain side. The dogs spent the entire hike running into the undergrowth and snarling at random things - Jungle Chickens I imagine (more on these guys in the next exciting blog-isode!).

With the cave in the bag we thought we'd try and get to the top of Ella Rock. This was a little trickier than we'd first imagined and involved much Voodoo Kung Fu to navigate our way through the mine fields of local 'guides' that blocked the way to the top. A half an hour of intense tuck and rolling and Metal Gear Solidesque weaving in and out amongst the tea plants and we were within reach of the summit!

The skies were darkening and a grey mist was rising from the forest floor - the sensible thing to do would have been the shoulder our daypacks and brave the mine fields once more. So naturally we pressed on.

Five minutes of rambling through dense foliage and the heavens opened. Five minutes more and 'Cats and Dogs' were replaced by leeches and even more leeches as the treetops showered us in not-so-friendly little slinkies!

After more than a little Blair Witching through the misty tea plantations we made it back to our accommodation with about 7 of the beasties each! A little soap and water removes the critters with a bit of persuasion. By this time they had guzzled down enough blood to be used as movie squibs!

Squishing the little slinkies with the leg of a chair sent blood splattering all over the floor (our blood too!). It's amazing how tough they are - 15 or 16 hits with the chair leg and they still manage to crawl away! They leave nasty little bites too that bleed for an hour or two after they've been removed! Grrr ...

1 Comments:

  • Hi Graham, Down to six pints of blood, glad to see you got the little buggers!! Now all your training is being put to good use with all the climbing you've been doing. Looking forward to next blog. Take care.

    By Blogger fennellfamily, at 7:43 p.m.  

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