Home » Hiking » The dangerous life of a Waugal

The dangerous life of a Waugal


I know, I owe you a post . . .like . . three days ago! However, it turns out that this blogging caper is pretty hard and VERY time consuming. For those who don’t know, the post I owe you is about my four day hiking trip. Only one person has tried to find out if I’m still alive though so I guess I managed to tell almost everybody who knew I was going that I got back safely. Or you’re all used to me being hopeless with communication but reasonably competent at other things so you assumed I was OK.

While I write up my adventures and sort through and edit hundreds of photos, I’ve decided to give you an interim post (mainly to let anyone I forgot to tell know that I’m alive and well):

The Waugal (also known as the Wagyl, Waugl, Waagal) is a snakelike creature from the dreamtime of the local Noongar (aboriginal) people. He was created by the Rainbow Serpent (who created the land and people) and created and protects rivers, lakes, springs and wildlife. The Darling Scarp (the big line of hills east of Perth) represents his body (thanks Wikipedia!).

The Waugal is the symbol used for trailmarkers on the Bibbulmun track:


I discovered on my walk that life as a Waugal trail marker is quite precarious. You can be eaten by trees:


burnt by fire:


(or corroded some other way??)

or drowned:


I also saw one that had been decapitated, a properly burnt one on a burnt tree (which looked the same as the one above), and one that had been almost entirely swallowed by the tree, but I hadn’t started taking my “Waugal series” of photos at that point. Interestingly, the new markers are not hammered fully into trees so there is at least an inch of growing before the tree starts to eat the marker!

I promise I’ll try to get the real post out in a couple of days. Notice I said “I promise I’ll try” not “I’ll promise I will”!


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