Every time you log on to Backpackers Union (on a computer) you see a picture of me at the top of the page*. It’s not random. That picture was from the first trip I ever took overseas and taken within the first few days of arriving. It was also that trip that inspired the other trips and eventually the Backpackers Union.
A few seconds before the picture was taken I almost died and didn’t find out why until months later.
I was on Noosa Head, an infamous surf spot in Australia and hiking along some trails with a few buddies. We were told very clearly to stay on the paths by a local surfer. To get that picture, I not only jumped off the path, I scaled over a fence and climbed down a rock wall to get to the ledge where the picture was taken. When I landed I was greeted by a charging snake I couldn’t see until it was staring at my ankle. But it never bit.
Completely oblivious to what type of snake it was, I told my friends to take a look before jumping back to the chain link fence and shimmying about ten feet away and jumping back down to take the picture.
Months later I found out I was staring at the #2 most venomous snake in the world which infest that area. The Northern Brown Snake. The reason he didn’t strike and I lived to talk about it; I was naive enough to stand still to see, “what stupid animal was charging towards me instead of away?”. Little did I know, they are attackers and charge their threats. Standing still is what saved my life as they respond to movement and it assessed me as not a threat.
In the end the picture came out great but I almost died for it.
I’m really glad he didn’t bite, the trip clearly became amazing.