Blood Sucking Leeches! (Nepal)

Nepal ~ Pokhara – 2014

It was just another day in Nepal, like any other. You know – toilet trouble and searing heat…these are the things that a tourist encounters most vividly whilst spending time in this country. You feel like you want to go places, and that you should do things…but you are scared that on route your backside will explode into your underpants, or that you will faint from heat exhaustion due to the sun, which seems friend only to mosquitoes and a band of overzealous rickshaw drivers…



Anyway…of course you eventually think you have it all under control…you don’t eat, and anytime you do you shove a bunch of pills down your throat…you try to avoid the sun, and anytime you can’t; you smear factor 50 generously over your skin. In short, you hope for the best but expect the worst.

Sunburn GIF

This was our thought process when we decided to follow the trail up to the Peace Pagoda, in Pokhara. You see the guide book said something about frequent robberies in the forests surrounding it; bandits jumping out and threatening unsuspecting visitors, offering to slit their throats should they not cooperate – you know when people use the expression “I just shit myself!” to illustrate the fact that they have just received a huge shock? Well we gave real consideration to the fact that, should some thugs jump out, the phrase may take on a far more literal connotation…

But we thought…hmmm…let’s go anyway…was this wise? Probably not.

Still we stepped out. My sister brought the umbrella with her – she had been using it as a parasol for the entire duration of the trip and so far it had worked like a charm! However as we entered the shade of the forest it became largely unnecessary, and was eventually passed to me to hold on to…I started swinging it in front of me to carve a way out for ourselves as we journeyed up the uneven route. There’s something about trekking, mountain walking and wandering in forests that always makes me think of The Lord of the Rings, I was Aragon (obviously) leading the way and slicing through any leaf that dared stand in my way…

ARagooooon GIF

At this point I’d realized for some time that there was no way this was the actual path, but wanted to maintain some kind of look of cool confidence, so carried on in the same way…despite the fact that the climb was getting steeper, the ground more squelchy, and the bugs a lot more enthusiastic…I urged my sister on, telling her there was probably not long to go – when in reality I had no fucking clue what the hell we were doing. In the slightest. At all. Like, not even a little bit.


I spun around, what was going on back there? Robbers? Thieves? I had been thinking through all possible scenarios in my head ever since we left the hotel, this would be my time to shine, this would be my moment of glory – I would fight them all off with a single umbrella…people would call me crazy, but brave…they would think of me as wild, but undeniably heroic. Maybe I would write a blog post about it – and it would go viral – and I would forever be “That Aragon umbrella guy that fought off a gang of bandits”…hmmm, bit wordy, but I can think of a better one later…but yeah, YEAH, THAT COULD BE ME!

I was disappointed then, to see that the attacker was simply a bug or two on my sister’s leg. She was standing on one foot, hopping around in a circle whilst screeching, and hitting things with her other flip flop:


Screams GIF

I stood and watched the hilarious scene, clutching the material of the umbrella over my mouth to try and stifle my giggles. Once I had calmed down, I gave some meaningless made-up advice…you know, the type you give when you really haven’t got much of a clue about the situation, or indeed what the appropriate action should be…it was probably something like…

“Ahh, it’s okay, just swish them away, they won’t like that!” OR “If you just keep moving they won’t be able to land on you, just keep going!” OR “watch your feet as they go…and just…don’t stand in any bug zones…” I had absolutely no idea what was coming out of my mouth, I was just talking and hoping my brain would work out the rest without the need for independent thought on my end…after a few minutes we continued on…


Again her shrieks and screams echoed around the trees – this time I stopped again, and out of boredom more than anything else; started to check my own legs for creepy crawlies – I mean how was it just her that was suffering? But there was nothing there…so I slipped off my flip flops and felt the earthy ground beneath my toes…I then turned one of my feet over to inspect it closer…

Vamp GIF






We started to run back the way that we came, squealing and squawking as we hurried, throwing our limbs around wildly, flicking and swatting as we went – stumbling and slipping on the marshy mud under us. Many times I fell on the floor, “WUWWWWWWW!” I would land straight on my back, attempting to break my fall with the palms of my hands – every time I would hop straight back up to be met with group of blood suckers, gnawing and nibbling on any bare bit of meat they could get a hold of.

John was well and truly on the menu, and it was an all you can eat buffet – the greedy bastards!


We eventually got back to the hotel…every bit of my skin still wiggled and squirmed – I was convinced by some insane streak of paranoia, that they had burrowed inside of me and were now eating me from inside out…I grabbed at the anti-bacterial hand wash and squirted it straight on to my open wounds…


We made a pact not to check on Google if disease and infection could be spread by leeches…after all what was the point? What could we do now? We’d heard that there are basically no hospitals that could deal with anything serious, and that instead you are flown to Bangkok, Thailand should you be truly on death’s door…not sure if that is true…however, well, I’m eternally curious – and checked in secret if leeches could render me dead sooner or later.

They can’t.

That didn’t stop me having many sleepless nights after this…expecting in some kind of X-Files scene, the leeches would wriggle out of me – filled to the brim of my blood and ready to gobble off my head whole.

Alien Leech GIF

That didn’t happen…

But still guys, learn from my mistake will you? Don’t wear flip-flops and shorts when alien life forms (like leeches) are about – it’s never going to be a fun time…

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84 Replies to “Blood Sucking Leeches! (Nepal)”

  1. Is it wrong to laugh? Cos, sorry, I’m laughing.
    I’m also very glad you’re not my brother. You should also probably be glad I’m not your sister, otherwise leeches would be the least of your nightmares.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As I was reading this I was thinking X-Files. Obviously so are you. I love Nepal. I never met a Leach there though. I did, however, have all kinds of bodily explosions. There some bathrooms there that I’m sure have been banned to the public since that time. Unpleasant.


    1. hahahaha we’re on the same page, clearly! I went at the wrong time, I know that now, but you can’t choose when you have your holidays so it was go or don’t. Simple as that! Fun times to be had in between toilet visits!


  3. Your expletives and rampant ravings make this more hilarious than the story. You poor buggers, I felt for you, I’ve had one on me once, slimy, gushy, revolting, blood sucking things they are. Be brave Aragon, I’m sure you will live to fight another day. Absolutely hilarious john..and yes I’m laughing at your misery.


    1. It was an expletive filled morning that’s for sure, in fact I had to tone it down for the story so it wasn’t too overbearing! Safe to say we were freaking out!

      Glad you enjoyed it, I’m sure in time my sister will too, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That sounded hilariously awful. I’m pretty sure I’ll avoid all forest-y places and all sorts of unusual life forms if I ever attempt such an adventure!

    Hey, I sent you a Facebook message a little while ago. I’d be more than thrilled if you answered my super important life-altering question.
    Peace 🙂


      1. I sent you another message, but it goes straight to the “Others” inbox in your Facebook, since I’m not a friend of yours there.
        If you could kindly search for the message from a girl whose initials are M. B. (that would be me 🙂 )


  5. I remember watching a Nat Geo about tigers in Bhutan, and one of the scientists was out walking a jungle path in shorts and the leeches that clung to trees loved him too. They’re attracted to heat, apparently. They slowed down the cameras to watch as the leeches reached out to attach themselves to him. Creepy.


    1. On a jungle trail I stepped over a log and noticed a leech standing/sitting upright, desperately pushing itself upwards in an attempt to attach itself…weird, very weird…almost alien kind if lifeform. Long way from England that’s for sure anyway!


      1. Those were the ones I saw on the special. Totally alien. Totally cool as I was only watching them on television and not dealing with them. Whenever I see leeches or hear a story about them, I always think of the movie Stand by Me.


  6. I was like that in Borneo – covering myself in tropical strength deet, tucking my pants into my socks, freaking out if a branch brushed against me. But I now live on a farm and get leeches all the time.
    They’re certainly weird creatures but you get used to them and I pull them off with zero freakout now. In fact, I carry them over to the chook pen because the chooks love them 🙂
    Its good to get them off before they really bite in though because leech bites are itchy for a good week or two 😦 So annoying! I now understand why the locals in Borneo wore shorts and thongs in the jungle – you see the leech going up your leg before it bites 😉


  7. All’s fun until they’re on you, huh? Serves you right you lousy brother! (Just kidding)……this is the stuff my nightmares are made of! I don’t think I would ever get over it! Hope things improve from here on out!


  8. Hahahahahahaha! I’m dying from laughing!
    Ahhhh, if it’s that hot in Nepal, I think I’m gonna die in India next year on my backpacking trip! Thanks for the hilarious upload, and good to hear that you are alive and having an adventurous time, as usual. 🙂


    1. Ohhhhh you are in for a treat! I guess it’s similar in lots of ways…let it be a warning, but at least you have some foresight…you definitely won’t be freaking out like me!

      Well maybe…haha!


      1. Actually, my friend that I’m going with wants to stop by Nepal after India, I guess I’ll get to experience Nepal after all 🙂 Hahahaha, if I ever go into combat with the leeches, I will definitely tell you all about it and we can exchange notes.


  9. My whole body shivers at the sight of leeches, that’s plain science! They’re very weird. My automatic unreflective reaction would be to kill them instantly with a giant thwack of the most colossal boulder I could carry! I saw one leech before that walked on the dry surface like a human finger, like when u alternately step your thumb and index finger like a caterpillar. That was pure nightmare that has been haunting me (probably til forever)


  10. As vivid as your experience was, I’m sure you will remember it for a very long time. It was a treat reading this. Anyway, I would like to invite you to India (since you are in a bordering nation) and show you what “Blood Sucking” really feels like 😀 Cheers!!


      1. 😀

        Hey, count yourself lucky. Here in Australia we have leeches & SPIDERS!!! Poisonous, venomous, blood sucking little evil bastards.

        And in India, we have cobras, and oh, Indians, so you know, it’s a tough life being me 😉


  11. The way you write makes me laugh…
    I can see you guys running around kicking and screaming “oh fuck oh fuck!”
    Cause I would do the exact same thing! I already start running when a whasp is near, acting all hysterical (telling my kids that they wont sting as long as you keep calm)
    So leeches should stay far far far away from me! Otherwise I’ll have to call for Aragon’s help 😉


  12. I had a good laugh at this one! I’m originally from an island where tourism is big, and I have to say, sometimes we ask ourselves, why do tourists do such silly things? This is one of the cases. Yeah, you’re right, next time, dress for the occasion 🙂


      1. I live in Oz and leeches are a way of life if you bushwalk. Ways of getting them off include pouring salt or tea tree oil on them or burning them, this is not really medically advised because when leeches feel threatened they will regurgitate their stomache contents and you can get an infection so if you do this try and treat the wound with some betadine or detol. Recommended repellents include rubbing on cream insect repellent, rubbing on a tea tree oil lotion and salt. If you leave them there they generally gorge themselves for 2-3 hours then drop off.
        Hope this helps with your adventures 🙂


    1. Christina it WAS horrifying! It serves me right for pretending to be the big man…because, yeah – clearly not. Although that picture is basically what they looked like…maybe…under a microscope…


      1. believe me, the pyramids are just a start, you’ll have a thousand other thing to do 😀
        btw, that’s a very nice blog of yours, keep the good work man!


  13. Arrrghh leeches.. They suck, don’t they? Literally! I went for a hike once – during the wet season – bad decision and I faced the same enemies. I was advised to carry lots of salt and spread on my feet, & legs & hands. It worked. I may have smeared some on my face as well .. LoL . Also another advise – Don’t stand still. I was practically jogging the whole time 😀
    It’s these “adventures” that make the trip more interesting!


  14. Oh my goodness. So did you reach Peace Pagoda? We were there Nov/Dec 2013. We took the boat ride across and climbed up to the peace pagoda. There were steps…. not sure which way you took….. We had our hotel staff (who offered to be our guide) with us….. We did read about the thugs/robbers……..

    Probably Nov/Dec is a better time… it was a great time…


  15. You are fantastic to read, all of your posts I’ve read have clear message and a bit of fun in them!

    Apart from the hilarious leeches tale, I loved the bits about the toilet trouble – relatable!


  16. hahaha! My apologies Laura! I went at the wrong time…let’s say that, yeah? haha! 😀 You see Vietnam, I went in December and it was wonderful – but Nepal, I dared to venture to in the heights of summer…yeah, exactly – moron! But yeah, a laugh all the same – once I was back on more familiar ground! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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