I had a lovely peaceful night at Helena Campsite. No snoring, bag rustling or other human noises. As per usual I ended up getting started far later than planned.
The day’s walk was a leisurely 18 km from Helena to Beraking campsite via Waalegh camp. The landscape and nature was typical temperate WA forest.
I somehow lost the track and was on an outback road running parallel. I am using Maps.me and GPS which is proving to be very useful.
I decided to bush-bash my way the 100 metres or so back to the main track. It was then I saw my first bit of proper wildlife – a young wallaby who legged it on sight of me.
A few seconds later I saw my second bit of wildlife, or rather I nearly stood on it! I was watching the ground in front of me when suddenly a big snake’s head appeared inches away from the sole of my shoe! I would say it’s head was wider than my boot.
I gave a little yelp and somehow managed to hop over it, displaying the sort of agility that I thought was lost to my youth.
I was pretty shaken and stirred. Once I had gathered my senses, I went back to photo the creature, but I couldn’t find it in the thick undergrowth.
At the splendid Beraking camp I was met by one other hiker. He was a retired teacher from Perth. I described the incident with the snake and he calmed me by suggesting that it was actually a harmless blue tongue goanna.
I must confess that I was becoming a little blase about Australian wildlife and its potential dangers. This incident is a little wake up call to watch where I put my feet.