My partner and I were driving to Sydney from the Blue Mountains one Sunday when we were caught up in the most horrendous traffic jam. After inching along for half an hour or so we were diverted off the Great Western Highway….into another dreadful jam. Apparently there had been a major accident near the village of Blaxland. Both eastward and westward lanes of the highway were blocked. It had occurred at about 11.00am and since it was now 1.30 pm we realized it must have been pretty serious. Probably a truck had turned over, we thought. That seems to happen a lot in the Blue Mountains.
It was only when we received our local paper a few days later that we discovered it had not been a truck accident, but a multi-car pile up involving four vehicles. The disruption continued until the highway was finally reopened at 4.15pm. Worse still, eleven people people were injured. Six ended up in hospital, one poor woman with serious injuries. What on earth could have caused such mayhem?
A VERY AUSSIE ACCIDENT
Well, it all began when a huntsman spider dropped from the internal roof of a car onto a 65 year old male driver. His age and gender are irrelevant of course. In his panic he swerved, crossed into the westbound lanes and hit someone else. The second car then spun and crashed into a further two vehicles.
Now a huntsman spider is quite harmless. It will rarely bite, and even if it does the worst that might happen is a minor swelling. But well….they are very LARGE;
They come out during wet weather, and we’ve had a lot of that recently. My husband Rob has removed several from our Blackheath living room over the last couple of weeks. Mind you, he gently relocates them in the garden so maybe it’s the same one popping back in. Many an Australian driver has been spooked when a giant spider walks across their windscreen, especially if it’s on the inside.
However, one actually falling on your head is just a spider fright too far.
SPIDER TIP – Huntsman spiders like to creep under sun visors, so before you sit down, just reach up and pull it down. You could use a little stick rather than your hand if you are nervous. Of course it might run down the stick.
FOOTNOTE….I was bitten on the wrist by a huntsman once. It was hiding under the rim of a bucket I was rinsing at an outside tap. It was a bit sickly and unable to run away, so it acted in justifiable self-defense. Unlucky that it hit a vein!
I suspect the Blue Mountains has more spiders than most places, but on the whole they don’t cause me much angst. Click here to see the wonderful residences they construct in my own garden.