Let me tell you about the scariest night of my life.
First let’s start with the fact that I have an overactive imagination. I’ve had it since I was a young kid and I never seem to have lost it. I’m not ashamed of it or anything like that, I’m actually very proud and I credit it for some of my creativity. Most of the time it’s something I rather enjoy. There are other times, like when you’re in the Amazon, that it ends up being a horrible, frightening thing.
So when Stephanie and I booked our Amazon Jungle Tour , we agreed it was an absolute must to spend a night in the jungle. Sleeping deep in the forest beneath the canopy of the trees and among the stars.
Everything was set up for the evening.
The Hammocks strung up with mosquito nets to match.
Our bags and shoes hung up above the ground to allow for no unwanted guests to take up residence.
And that is when I went crazy.
It’s a hard to describe the exact level of fear I was experiencing. Being alone in the dark and only relying on your senses. Hearing becomes heavily heightened in the already unbelievably loud environment. I could hear everything everywhere and all around me. Crickets, croaks, slithers, splashes in the water down by the creek, in which raw chicken had oh so conveniently been tossed earlier. Howls, growls, footsteps, rustles of the trees, leaves, buzzing of the various unknown beetles and mosquito like flies trying to get into my hammock.
And then the last fading sources of light, our fire slowly crackling out and the last wisp of a candle fading, hissing into darkness. Pitch Black, removing all sense of where these sounds could possibly be coming from and leaving you utterly blind and helpless to your environment.
It didn’t help that my hammock was tied at the edge of the forest by the river bed, which is a hot spot for nocturnal activity.
It wasn’t the small things that I was scared of. It wasn’t the small rodents I knew were scrounging around the leftover bags of uncooked vegetables poorly strung up over a log. It was the single thought that I could get attacked by a Jaguar, of all things. This is what I was most scared of, something so statistically unlikely I’d have a better chance at winning the lottery.
Regardless of reasoning, I let my imagination run wild with what-ifs that elevated my fear to a level where I was literally paralyzed in my hammock. Everyone fell asleep by about 9-9:15pm, I eventually closed my eyes at around 2:15-2:45am and woke up again at 4:10am and stayed awake for dawn.
Of course, you all know the end results. I survived, wasn’t attacked by anything, and I got to witness dawn, which is truly something spectacular. The deep, dark tones of night melting away, replaced with chirps and squeaks and squawks so loud you instantly knew they would frighten everything scary from the previous night away.
Now you might ask in hindsight, “Would I ever do it again?” The answer is simply no. Somethings are better left to the imagination.