The North-Western Peat Lands

One of my favorite areas in the Great Swamp are the peat lands in its North-Western parts. This place is dominated by peat bogs of various sizes and depths. What makes them especially intriguing is the ever changing blanket of moss and grass atop the surface. When the live plant layer is thick and strong it can easily support a person’s weight. It may bounce and squish underneath you, but it will keep you above the soft waterlogged peat that lies underneath, However, day by day these plants grow in some spots while they decay in others. So a path you could safely walk across the peat lands a few days ago may lead you straight into a dangerous quagmire today. That is why you always should be watching every step you take in that region, even if you know it as well as Shetani does. The place also tends to change season by season mostly depending on the amount of rain that it sees. In some years it may overgrow completely to the point you would not see any bare peat on the surface at all and your only chance of finding it would be to dig for it. Other years there may barely be any live moss at all and the peat lands become completely impassable. But during most seasons it is possible to do both - either cross them safely if you tread carefully or sink to your untimely demise if you do not.

Also, large animals tend to stay away from the peat flats, so you do not have to worry too much about the predators you might encounter elsewhere in the jungle. Even the snakes do not like it there. Only humans seem to be dumb enough to enter despite the risk. Some of them stay a lot longer than they intended. If you do want to go see them yourself I highly recommend going with a certified guide to be safe.

Shetani demonstrates how the moss moves as she shifts her weight left and right. This is meant to illustrate just how unstable the surface is. Do not attempt this yourself unless you are a jungle girl who has spent several years in this swamp and knows them exceptionally well!