"Quicksands are common in the Danveil. Swamps too, do watch out for any suspicious fosses you might see around. Nothing is safe once you tread in this jungle."
And yet it was not a jungle as our camp instructor misconcieved. A forest I might say, set in native Bechuanaland, beautiful and large, yet unforetold by any map available to offer best location service within the country, down south west of Africa. Unless one has been there, it is highly doubtful that such place truly exists. In a manner, the Danveil Marsh does look imaginary, for its aspen trees and live lilies color an exceptional decal that the eye is bound to transfer to the most reliable reserve within the mind.
The more I meddled within the marsh, the more I earned hallucinations that if I ventured further to the backgrounds of lively hills and rising mounts, I would meet some special celestial beings who could carry me to a bed made out of griffin feathers and coated with embroidered silk. There I would be attended most honorably with a mild beverage served inside a golden cup studded all around with emeralds and bright diamonds.
Nonetheless, the place was the best I could wish for, but our instructor, an anaesthetic portion in his own right, was a pain in the loin. A scouting tour like this one was supposed to be adventurous and breath-taking. Instead, whenever we took a brief rest for a snack, we found our heads nodding, our eyes shutting slowly without our consent.
We summed up to seven, including our leader. Our mission, as I liked to say, was to explore the bryophyte species, hornworts in particular. I was no lover of botany, but I always had a soft spot for exotic flora. As the bright golden sunrays bit the middle skies, I reckoned my day would be wasted if I followed the instructor. The boredom I could endure would by far surpass sitting in a cold theatre for a business accounting lecture, and that would be poor sport indeed.
As we set off once again to our destination, following our instructor in a single file, I stepped off the grid while the rest unwarily walked on, recieving a piece of advice about 'contagious flies'. As soon as I was a safe distance away, the marsh cleared before me. Without our leader's formal clasp around my head, I was free to run wild, find berries, and even climb the trees! Throwing away anxieties of losing my company, which I would easily find at sunset by using my GPS device to jaunt my way back to our campsite, I went deep into the green. My limbs shivered with excitement as my keen eye darted to and fro in marvel. Never before had I seen so much brambles. Their interwoven pattern appeared as if an iron-gloved giant had braided their branches in effort to make a beautiful head out of earth. Not metres up front, partially veiled by a thin outline of spaced deciduous trees, I could strike out a clear view of a brook falling down from an abrupt rocky forehead of a cliff, down to a waterfall base that rippled softly like a distant radio humming to the evening peace.
I was on the bank faster than a blink. I stood on a small shore of brown, half moist sand that extended far beyond the eye alongside the brook which pierced away through the forest like a curling string. The pool that undulated from the base of the small waterfall was about ten metres wide and circular, presumably deep, and undoubtedly refreshing... if I could get in.
I shamelessly unwound my backpack and undressed. I stood still on the edge of the waters like a gymnast on a platform, preparing for a trapeze act. With one gingerly heave I cast myself into the clear waters, head first. Unfortunately I did not get the swim of my life. As soon as my head penetrated the water-skin, it bumped on something hard. A whitish emulsion flooded my sight and the next thing I remembered was waking up in a white bed with a drip needle stuck menacingly on my arm.