When we were away on holidays at my Nan’s in Laurieton, Australia my father had his sights set on trekking down North Brother Mountain. We tore and pushed our way through the recalcitrant rain forest scrub on our way down the steep, uneven terrain. For sixty clenched minutes we were pushing through what seemed a living wall of ferns, flies, gullies and undergrowth which kept bouncing back in our faces. Fine scratches covered the back of our hands. Then came the rustling and tickling feel of bloodsucking leeches. Our tolerance of these critters was not exactly high. So we tried to find the road on the hill which coiled tightly down through the forest. I heard Dad COOEE off to his right. It was an unsettling sound. Only by good fortune the bush spat us onto it. We flagged down a passing motorist and high-tailed it back to the comforts of civilization.
I thought of our progress that day. There is something oddly embarrassing about it.