Bartle Frere (Queensland), Australia

The hike began in an empty parking lot. I was alone and saw no one as I hiked. The trail was hacked out of humid, decaying vegetation that rose into the canopy – mucky in spots and root bound, making me claustrophobic.  The top was shrouded in clouds as I stopped, looked around then quickly headed back down. I now knew what would await me. On the way up one section was quite damp and I had noticed small wiggling worms attached to the outside of my pants. I kept flicking them off though they held on tightly. I lifted my pant leg and saw the engorged leeches. Several had plumped up nicely on my blood. I was just a bit unnerved as I pulled them off leaving small oozing wounds. On the way down I knew I would face the leeches once again. Bartle Frere (5321ft), Wooroonooran National Park Footnote: I have never been so happy to be out and off of a trail in my life, walking out of the woods and entering the parking lot was a huge relief. Never saw another person the whole day.