I thought it would be cool to get the furthest away from home that I could possibly get. So, my best friend and I took a little trip to Australia. It was a good time. We would eventually rent a car and spend a few days driving around the island of Tasmania. A few memorable moments stick out. The night I want to write about is the night I was scared shitless and stuck on a a giant rock, in the dark. I call this story…
Something Wanting to Eat Me and Lurking on the Coastline of Tasmania in Australia
It was our second to last night on the island. After driving for the bulk of the day, we ended up on the east side of the island. Our hostel wasn’t bad. Hostels get a bad rep sometimes, but they are fine. How much time do you plan on spending in your room anyway? Most of these people are just trying to save a buck as they pass through. Anyway, we decided to walk over to the liquor store down the street, then follow a little path through some short bushes. When we came to the end of this path we ended on a rock cliff that overlooked the ocean. The sun was down. It was a little chilly. Stars filled the night sky. We crack open some beers and start talking. At some point I took a few steps back off the rocks and onto to the path we followed. Suddenly, we hear a noise coming from the bushes. I move a little closer. Whatever animal was making this noise it was the most disturbing sound I have ever heard. I might not have known what animal it was, but it was clearly a warning call and the message it was trying to convey was clear. “Fuck off!” lol I stepped back onto the rocks. My friend and I looked at each other with the same “what the fuck was that noise?” expression. Every time we tried to move from the rock back onto the path we heard that call. Remember in the first Jurassic Park movie when that dinosaur found its way into that guys jeep and all the sudden a bunch of skin from its neck expanded outward? Then it let out a noise and spat venom in the guy’s face? That noise the dinosaur made right before it mauled the guy in his jeep is what it sounded like! I had a small LED flashlight that I kept shining into the bushes, but I couldn’t find a source.
Please for the love of god stay extinct!
Usually, I’m the curious type, but that mentality for me only applies within the United States. When I travel abroad its a little different. My thinking is “this isn’t my turf. I don’t have home field advantage if something goes wrong.” I don’t go poking around. I understand cultural and social differences exist when you travel abroad. It’s important to accept and respect those. Keep an open mind. Like I said, it’s not your turf. I think what makes traveling abroad both fun and scary at times (but still fun) is that your 100% reliable on someone else for your experience. You don’t know the area. Someone needs to tell you or show you. You are putting your faith into total strangers. You will always need to read a map or ask someone something. It can be fun, but I understand how some people don’t like the idea.
This moment wasn’t fun though! Where is a local when you need one? My friend and I would spend the better part of an hour arguing over who should go onto the path first. At one point we actually started throwing beer bottles at each other. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. I had no idea what we were dealing with. I had a plan though. Directly below us was a sandy shoreline (must have been low tide) It was a steep drop, but it was possible to climb down onto the sand, from a path that was next to us. We could then follow the shoreline around and back to the main road. We noticed from looking down, the giant rock we were standing on cuts inward. There is more than likely a shallow cave below us. Who knows what the hell is in there! I’m was willing to take my chances though.
I went first. I started making my way down the slippery rock. It was about 25 feet down (7.6 meters) When I reached the sand my friend was halfway down. I took a few steps past the shallow cave opening. It was about 25 feet wide also (7.6 meters) and maybe went 20 feet (6 meters) inward. I took out my light and shined inward. That’s when I saw a couple sets of eyes reflecting back at me from within the shallow cave. I then yelled up “go back up! go back up!” I darted back up the rocks. We were right back where we started & not making progress.
As we sat there trying to regroup and come up with another plan, we noticed these flashes above the ocean on the horizon. I have no freakin clue what the hell that was! It was a clear night. It couldn’t have been lightning. They didn’t seem to follow a pattern. It couldn’t have been a light house. Sometimes we would see a flash every thirty seconds and sometimes every five minutes. As we sat on the cliff watching these lights flash and illuminate the sky in the distance, I started to think “oh great! Something behind us in the bushes is going to eat us and something in the sky is going to abduct us. How frigin wonderful!”
It was getting cold. Neither of us wanted to sit on this rock all night and into the morning. We were starting to get grumpy and ultimately decided to run at top speed through the path and back onto the main road. This time nothing screeched at us. We then walked back to our hostel and went to bed.
When I returned home from my trip, I described the noise to a coworker who has spent quite a bit of time in Australia. He laughed and said the noise I most likely heard was from Fairy Penguins. Yup, you read that right folks. All that freaking out and pandemonium was caused by harmless Fairy Penguins! I wish they were at least called something a little more sinister. I don’t think you would get a lot of street cred saying you were terrorized by something called Fairy Penguins. As for the flashes of bright light off in the distance, that still remains a mystery. -The End-