Something we hear all the time from magazines, newspapers, TV shows (even the crocodile hunter did not survive the ozzy wildlife) and of course the Australians themselves.
Having been in Australia now for the 6th time, I started to get a bit bored, as all my experiences of "the country with the most poisonous animals" were limited to a half dead lazy black snake on a road, when driving around in Queensland, and a (full) dead Stingray on the northern beaches this April.
But once you become complacent - mother nature strikes back.
In our case - Jules and I have just survived a "BLUE BOTTLE" ATTACK this morning.
First, a couple of facts about the "BLUE BOTTLE".
Lying on the beach, they look like any other jellyfish - "blue coloured jelly"
..... but when floating in the sea the meters long tentacles with hooks and poison are a "another" strange protection mechanism created by mother (ozzy) nature. When you look at this thing you wonder why on earth does it need a protection mechanism - nobody would touch this ugly thing anyway.
This morning though, Jules and I went for another ocean swim and while we saw a couple of dead ones on the beach, we were not too concerned, as there were no particular warning signs.
LEARNING No. 1: Trust your instincts and not only the lifeguards.
We made a good start into the surf and just past the rocks at South Steyne, when Jules got the first little sting on her hand. As this was not too painful, we continued and headed towards Shelly Beach.
LEARNING No. 2: If you get warned twice, and you still ignore it, you really run into troubles.
.... because then came the came the really scary bit.
Heard a cry - looked up - saw Jules face covered with one of these blue animals including some tentacles over her body. Looked like in a horror movie! Tried to rescue her with my basic first aid knowledge - almost strangled her - and was told to "bugger off".
LEARNING No3: Basic "Seepferdchen" knowledge is not enough, to rescue someone troubled in the ocean!
Anyway, managed to scare the blue bottle away and rescued Jules, not without some pretty painful reddish mark on her body and face.
Marks are still visible!
Summary of all the LEARNINGs today: AUSTRALIA is a dangerous place after all.