So a friend of mine is here visiting, and I thought I'd take him up the mountain in Kamcha-i. Big mistake. Last time I climbed that mountain, it was the dry season, and it was easy going up the "path". This time, it was overgrown, and my Thai friends turned back quickly. I was passing a rock and a HUGE bee (or wasp) came flying out of a hole in the rock and stung me - just a quick hit. He didn't land. The he hovered in front of my face as if to taunt me. We went another three hundred meters or so, and decided to turn back as well. Too many snakes of the non-friendly kind for my taste (and my friend). passing the rock that SOB came flying out again and tried to nail me, but this time I was able to move away. It then hovered in front of my friend, daring him to go by. First time I have seen a single wasp living alone that was territorial, aggressive, and huge.
I got hit on the hand by a monstrous hornet hiking through the forest on a wildlife trek in Khao Yai NP, a violent and incredibly painful sting, like no other insect sting I've ever encountered and I've been stung dozens of times by yellow jacket wasps and bees. Stung me while in flight, like your experience. Amazing that I somehow had the presence of mind to immediately pull off my wedding ring before the swelling began, and boy howdy did it swell. Made me feel a bit woozy for the rest of the day and the swelling took the better part of the next 10 days to go down. Sounds like maybe you got hit by a hornet as well.
I had some minor swelling, nothing serious. I think I was lucky there.
Bruce, I love the desert, so I suspect the desert part of Australia (which is much of it) with high heat and rocky surfaces would appeal to me. My favorite place in the world is the Ogaden Desert of Ethiopia. But I would definitely NOT like Australian swamps - filled as they are with irritating creatures.
climbing that Mountain this time of year is just a flat out no go. You are sure to get bitten by a snake. They were all over place. Pythons, King Cobras - not good.
Australia certainly has it's share of nasty snakes. But it's easier to avoid snakes in the desert. In the jungle you can't see a foot in front of you in the rainy season.
Today I was out at a friends property on the Mekong and nearly stepped on one. But he was small, and definitely not aggressive.