Day 21: Snakes on a (coastal) Plain

Friday November 4, 41.0km/25.5mi

Gardner Campsite (625.7/47m) to Dog Pool Campsite (666.7/56m) (WA)

The morning started off comfortably cool and mostly cloudy, and I continued down the mostly flat, sandy path.

After a couple of hours, I came to an old road and crossed its bridge over the Gardner River.

When I left the road and returned to the usual trail, I started to find these short flooded sections. I could usually find a narrow herd-path around the side, but it was slow going.

And then, the snakes started appearing. I saw my first snake yesterday, and today I saw 14! Most of them were lying next to the trail.

Usually the snakes would notice me and move off the trail when I was getting close (2-3m away). This guy just sat there, so while I was able to get a really good photo, it took me awhile to get around him.

After 2 hours of intense focus of scanning the ground for snakes, I was able to take a mental break at the next campsite shelter.

It was 11am, so I decided to have an early lunch and read my book too. This shelter had a ukulele too!

It was next to Maringup Lake, which was a beautiful view.

In the short 100m walk back from the lake, I passed by 2 more snakes. Sheesh. I didn’t get photos of these, they moved quickly off the trail. I left the shelter and for the next 2 hours, I played the game “stick or snake?”. It was like a high stakes game of “Where’s Waldo.

Freakin snakes.

Every 10 minutes I saw a snake, I think most of were Tiger Snakes. Most snakes in Australia are poisonous.

There were a few more swampy areas, fortunately most of these had bridges.

Finally the route joined an old road, and I was able to relax the rest of the afternoon.

I did see a couple more snakes, but on such a wide road, they were far off to the side, and visually easy to spot. I entered this National Park, and had a snack break at its little info kiosk.

The rest of the afternoon was thankfully uneventful, and I cruised along old roads until I got to camp at 5:30pm.

There were many people at the Dog Pool Campsite, 3 were setup in the shelter, and 3 others in tents nearby. We had a campfire (this is the last shelter where they are allowed), and it was a fun group to get to know. Most of them saw “only” 4 or 5 snakes today. Hopefully it’s less snake-y tomorrow!


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