Snakes on the trails

I am currently in Hoi An, Vietnam. I love this place! Shame there are no trails here although the temperatures are in the late 30s, so not really suited to long walks! There is the Ho Chi Minh trail, but you really need two wheels and an engine for that one.

Beautiful Hoi An
Beautiful Hoi An

As I mentioned in an earlier post I am thinking of doing a warm up trail in Australia before I start the Te Araroa in New Zealand. My initial plan was to fly down to Perth and do a stretch of the Bibbulmun Track.

All well and good, but I have read numerous accounts of snake encounters on the Bibb. One person mentioned counting over 50 tiger snakes (one of the World’s most venomous). If I was walking with someone else then this wouldn’t be an issue.

One bite from this bad boy and you are in the brown stuff
One bite from this bad boy and you are in the brown stuff

The likelihood of being bitten is very remote. The likelihood of dying from a snakebite is even more remote, but the trail is also very remote. I would of course carry a PLB (personal locator beacon) but help might be many hours or even a day away. The prospect of having to sit still (you shouldn’t move after a snakebite as the toxins will spread over your body faster) on my own while waiting for life saving help is pretty frightening to say the least.

This is the problem with the internet. You read accounts of stuff that you might want to do, but more often or not it’s the negative reports that grab your attention, which then sways the decision making.

I do want to do the Bibb one day, but I think I need to be better mentally prepared. More importantly, I need do it with someone else.

Heysen Trail South Australia
Friends of the Heysen Trail – South Australia

So I have started to look east. I have been researching the Heysen Trail in South Australia. I have been reading the legendary Chrstine ‘The German Tourist’ blog posts about the Heysen and she did initially put me off.

However, I researched further and it still looks like a good option. I think she just had very bad luck with the weather and injuries.

I started to research the logistics of getting to Adelaide and then to the trail. This is where I have become a little stuck as flights to Adelaide from Southeast Asia are very expensive. The timing hasn’t helped either due to Australian school holidays.

That has led me on to look even further east. There is a 250km loop trail halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne called the Great South West Way or GSWW. It’s reachable from Melbourne and flying into the Victorian capital is much better for me, as will be flying onward to Auckland. I travel on a pretty strict budget so keeping down flight costs in expensive countries like Australia is important!

Nothing is finalised yet, but it’s looking like I will be heading along the Great Ocean Road to Portland where I can finally test out my gear.