pitching our tents at point leo

i honestly didn’t know what to expect. i mean, sure, i went camping with my friends before. once. at this gorgeous beach in the southern town of cebu. i can’t remember much, except that a huge chunk of our time was spent wrestling with the freaking tent. laughing over each other’s mistakes. doing and undoing. just trying to figure out how this and that goes and where and why the fuck are we doing this again? (oh, yeah, we’re broke.)

at some point, it was all fun and games until we realized we’re screwed and just wanted to get it done and over with so we can enjoy the beach that we went all the way for in the first place.

we camped there overnight. i remember asking if i could sleep next to the tent door for that breath of fresh salty air. i’m kind of claustrophobic. they were happy to accommodate. they probably figured that if an axe murderer suddenly appeared to attack us in the middle of the night, he’d be busy with me first, buying them enough time to escape.

my friends love me.

anyway, with my family over during the christmas holiday, my younger sister (who’s the adventurous one) wanted us to go camping somewhere in australia’s outbacks. think deadly snakes and spiders and random kangaroos. nah-uh. i wasn’t having any of that. and besides, we had kids and old parents so roughing it out wasn’t exactly a very solid plan.

we contemplated on going the glamping route. you know, where they set up everything for you complete with beds with colorful bedsheets and maybe a cute lampshade to go with it. make it pinterest-y as hell. only problem was, it was also freaking expensive. especially since there was like, 10 of us in total.

point leo foreshore reservepoint leo foreshore reserve

so we went the traditional way. booked two camping spots at point leo foreshore reserve and pitched the tents ourselves. or rather, my younger sister did. i kind of helped but let’s just say my assistance was negligible so i’m not taking any credit for that, unless it’s to say who ate the most doritos the whole time.

sleeping wasn’t really as comfortable and the night got chilly but with a view like this that’s a short walking distance from the camp site, you can’t complain. it’s a beautiful place to go for a stroll.

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my favorite would have to be the lagoon, though. i liked the stillness of it. that feeling of zen. the image of trees and grass reflected on the water for the birds to have an overview of the collective beauty of nature down below.

seriously, it’s so haiku material:

a bird lands swiftly

ripples form on still waters

a good morning kiss.

or some shit. with an example as lame as that, who am i to judge how nature moves you to do certain things to show your appreciation to the universe? writing, praying, meditating, whatever rocks your boat.

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so, yeah, that’s point leo foreshore for you. very idyllic, if you ask me. but this being australia, of course it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve. like the blue-ringed octopus, for instance. very colorful creatures, as the name suggests. quite deadly too.

Depending on how much venom has been transferred into the wound, the onset of symptoms can be quite rapid. Within five to ten minutes, the victim begins to experience parasthesias and numbness, progressive muscular weakness and difficulty breathing and swallowing. Nausea and vomiting, visual disturbances and difficulty speaking may also occur. In severe cases, this is followed by flaccid paralysis and respiratory failure, leading to unconsciousness and death due to cerebral anoxia.

Interestingly, the victim’s heart continues to beat until extreme asphyxia sets in. Some victims report being conscious, but unable to speak or move. They may even appear clinically dead with pupils fixed and dilated. Not all bites result in the transfer of venom. The severity of symptoms is dose-dependent. Smaller adults and especially children are most at risk. (source)

and if the thought of looking dead but being alive inside isn’t horrific enough, here’s more from the same source:

In Australia where blue-rings occur in shallow coastal waters and can be relatively common in areas frequented by beach-goers, there have been dozens of reported bites and several deaths. Typically, the victim is unaware of the danger and either picks up the innocuous looking octopus or inadvertently contacts it. The bite is slight and produces at most only a small laceration with no more than a tiny drop of blood and little or no discoloration. Bites are usually reported as being painless. Often the victim doesn’t even know that he had been bitten.

there you go. took the liberty of highlighting the scariest bits for you for optimum suspense. welcome to australia!

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for somebody who said he wasn’t much into camping either, guess who was holding a long stick and playing leader to the kids to go on an adventure to find interesting sea creatures on the shore and looking like he’s having a really good time?

*raven at 7 months old

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