It had been about 30 minutes slowly fighting our way through the undergrowth and I experienced the first feeling that something was crawling up my leg. I brushed my ankle, but nothing happened, the leech was still there. I looked down and there was a long thin pliable insect wriggling its way up my leg, but really resilient to being brushed off. Again I tried and this time I was successful. It wasn’t long and again I felt this sensation, looking down, I saw about 6 of these creatures making their way up my leg.
Rubbery slippery and persistent, slowly they began to anchor themselves into my flesh, leeches, and lots of them. One by one you have to scrape them off with a knife blade or fingernail, even then they just anchor themselves to your hand and carry on the process of trying to extract as much blood from you as quick as possible. The problem is once one has managed to puncture your skin and it starts bleeding the rest of the leaches around you seem to be set into frenzy with the scent of fresh blood and the forest floor around where you are standing comes alive with these creatures. The more you are bitten the worse it becomes and the further you walk the more seem to attach themselves to you. Every new leech now heads directly to the puncture hole, the problem is you can’t keep up after a while you seem to give up the fight, and try endure the thought of what is happening to you by now only stopping every 10 minutes to fight them off.
When you stop and look down, you can have up to 12 all attached to a single puncture hole and they have swollen to the size of you’re little finger, full of blood. Scraping them off just exaggerates the problem as the anti blood clotting saliva that they leave behind just keeps your leg bleeding, and so the cycle continues.