Trekking in Jurassic park is no fun at night
IT'S dense rainforest, 11 o'clock at night and pitch black.
Wind the clock back 10 days, and this was where I found myself - in the depths of cassowary territory.
Let me put this story into context. I had elected to book accommodation at a rainforest retreat while visiting Mission Beach for a dear friend's wedding.
Cabins were perched atop a virtually untouched tropical paradise, requiring a trek for access.
In hindsight, rainforest retreats are not alcohol friendly.
However rejuvenating a 25-minute walk through a rainforest may be during the day, it is far outweighed by frustration and terror at night.
For anyone who has been in the rainforest at night, it is a magical experience - when you have a tour guide and torch.
Otherwise it becomes downright frightening.
The walk, intended to be quick and brisk, ended up taking me two hours.
I considered for a moment resting my head on a mossy knoll and awaiting the break of dawn.
There were huntsmans the size of my head, eerie noises coming from afar and the odd bite of a tropical mosquito.
Perhaps one animal you don't want to encounter in the dark rainforest while carrying your heels in one hand is a cassowary.
For those unaware, a cassowary is a six-foot bird; the last living descendant of the Cambrian period (Jurassic times).
And to see a wild one less than two metres away, the risk of being disembowelled is a very real threat.
I'm headed back to far north Queensland in a few weeks for another friend's wedding.
I'll be choosing the backpacker's over luxury this time around.