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Raquel Toniolo

Close encounters of the venomous kind

Posted from: LBA Research centre, 2hrs north of Manaus

Finally we'll spend some time in the jungle. There is nothing like to be feeling all the heat and humidity amongst the trees, getting dirty observing and being observed by other creatures. I LOVE IT! My friends some times make jokes calling me the jungle queen. I wish!

I have had tough experiences, and I love every single one of them. You learn about things, you learn to respect things, and learn what 'things' you should avoid. And if there is one thing (which in the Amazon actually mean several) that I respect and try to avoid at close quarters, it's venomous creatures.

Well the little shelter that Sol and I put together for the gear in the jungle - it was a good idea against rain but a great place for those 'things' to hide.

Raquel finds one of those 'things'

You can probably see my agony. I was quite scared. Heart racing, sweaty palms. The scorpion charged at me and I panicked. I walked backwards a couple of steps and realised it was so much smaller than I was! In those few seconds of panic, the scorpion had grown in my mind and seemed like a monster. Although it's small, it can cause more damage than it can carry.

Fear over reason, or reason over fear? I apologised to it, and banged it under my walking boots (seven times actually). I felt awful and very nervous, but thought that it would be too dangerous to leave it there.



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