12 April 2016

No. 1 Line jungle

As I left the No. 1 Line car park, I stopped and looked back towards Matanginui Stream. Misty rain drizzled the bush, making it look old and mysterious and slightly dangerous, as if it might hide things that could kill you if this had been jungle somewhere in Asia or Africa or South America. It looked like the kind of jungle where explorers spend fourteen hours travelling a couple of hundred metres then die of some terrible fungal disease that eats them from the skin down to the bone, or of an amoeba that kills them from the inside out, and their skeletons are discovered, if at all, decades later with the remains of their boots still clinging to the bones of their feet.

I wondered how many of those explorers thought, as they lay dying, that their travels had nevertheless been worthwhile; that, given the chance again, they'd still have chosen their explorations even knowing how they'd die. Maybe most of them feared death in a teeming jungle less than an anonymous death in a suburban room in an unremarkable city.

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All content © 2016 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

Yes, dying with your boots on is definitely a good ambition.

Avus said...

Gloomy thoughts for a gloomy scene, Pete!

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

You've done it again - shown us that mythical, timeless landscape. Wow. Another word comes to mind, as well: epic. Wow.

Lisa Emerson said...

Ah yes! "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep...."

pohanginapete said...

RR, yes, but I have no intention of dying ;-)

Avus, I'm not sure I'd say 'gloomy', but then I do think by far the most appealing character in the Narnia books is Puddleglum the Marsh Wiggle.

Barbara, thank you :-) Epic's a good word for many of New Zealand's wilder places, and even the relatively accessible places like the southern Ruahine can be epic in the right conditions.

Lisa, Frost's woods were tame. I wonder what he'd have written if he'd spent time in real jungles ;-)

Zhoen said...

Reminds me of ancient Chinese paintings (washes?)

I expect you're right about explorers' attitudes to DEATH. I hear HE's a very good traveling companion.

pohanginapete said...

Ha! Bill Door is a great character. I love his love of cats and the way he speaks in CAPITALS. Thanks for reminding me, Zhoen. Pleased the photo evokes that ancient feeling, too.