After a great trip to New Zealand my parents came to Australia to visit us as an afterthought. Haha…just kidding Mom and Dad! Anyways, they had several days to spend with us on the Gold Coast. We planned a day trip to the “hinterland” to walk the Twin Falls Track.
It was a chilly but sunny day and we were on the lookout for some Australian critters. “Do we have to watch out for snakes?” my mom wondered aloud. “There are no snakes in Australia except zoos,” I joked. We encountered very few trampers on the trail and found several great caves and waterfalls. I led the group and kept running ahead and looking back like an anxious puppy while I waited for everyone to catch up. Each time I turned around I would needle Nug to hurry up or bother her in some way that only a husband has the power to do. On one of these exchanges I watched her face change expression and her mouth gape open as she attempted to speak. I didn’t hear a word but instinctively wheeled to face an unseen foe. Covering the entire path and directly below the sole of my oafish foot was the giant body of an 8ft carpet python (which at that moment looked to be an anaconda). I immediately broke into an impromptu break dance that I hope no one saw and is never repeated again. At the same time a strange guttural scream betrayed my fear. Fate smiled on me at that moment because although my erratic stomping feet tried, I missed the snake and retreated to safety. The serpent had apparently just dined as there was a massive lump in his gut.
Nug laughed once I was out of danger and my Dad proceeded to further wound my dignity by stepping on the snake’s tail as it slithered away “so we could get better pictures.” The rest of the walk was amazing with cascading waterfalls and caves, yet behind every tangle of roots I saw more pythons lurking.