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Are there snakes on the Camino?

marylynn

Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18-(19) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
The only snake I ever saw on any of my Caminos was toward the end of the Arles or the beginning of the Aragones when a grey snake boldly crossed our path and slid down an embankment. When I first noticed it, I couldn’t figure out why a garden hose would be on the side of the path—who put it there? Where would the water come from? Is there a faucet? Who uses it??? All that whizzed through my mind in a split second then the snake slid across the trail...and I screamed.
 
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robertt

Active Member
Found quite a big one, freshly squashed, after La Romieu on the Le Puy route. Here is the visual evidence:

Where I live on the midcoast of NSW I have lots of yellow-belly black snakes and too many browns (one brown is too many!), There are also poisonous bandy-bandies and lovely diamond pythons, (the latter live in my ceiling and keep down the rats and possums - provided they win their accomodation fight with goannas).

Still, you don't expect things that slither, clamber or hop in Gascony. Get quite enough of that chez moi.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Where I live on the midcoast of NSW I have lots of yellow-belly black snakes and too many browns (one brown is too many!), There are also poisonous bandy-bandies and lovely diamond pythons, (the latter live in my ceiling and keep down the rats and possums - provided they win their accomodation fight with goannas).
:) Sounds amazing! Here in the UK our reptiles are fairly small, mostly harmless and pretty rarely seen. As a reptile fan I'd love to see them more often. Not sure I'd want to be tripping over brown snakes and taipans every time I stepped out my front door though :) As it happens I will be in Australia for a few weeks in June and July and I am hoping that despite it being winter there I might see a few. And in the case of the venomous snakes and crocs I am hoping that I see them first!
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Found quite a big one, freshly squashed, after La Romieu on the Le Puy route. Here is the visual evidence:

Where I live on the midcoast of NSW I have lots of yellow-belly black snakes and too many browns (one brown is too many!), There are also poisonous bandy-bandies and lovely diamond pythons, (the latter live in my ceiling and keep down the rats and possums - provided they win their accomodation fight with goannas).

Still, you don't expect things that slither, clamber or hop in Gascony. Get quite enough of that chez moi.
Awesome read on your journey.Beautiful pictures. HUGE snake!
Thank you for sharing
 

robertt

Active Member
Awesome read on your journey.Beautiful pictures. HUGE snake!
Thank you for sharing
Nana, one of my diamond pythons a few years back reached 12-13 feet. Not sure, since I didn't feel like getting him to stretch right out. (Crocodile Moso: "Call that a snake? THIS is a snake!")
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Nana, one of my diamond pythons a few years back reached 12-13 feet. Not sure, since I didn't feel like getting him to stretch right out. (Crocodile Moso: "Call that a snake? THIS is a snake!")
I am glad you enjoy your snake I am happy viewing pictures 😊
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Unfortunately there ARE snakes along the Caminos. They are infrequent, but they do steal from those in alburgues and try to con money from unsuspecting pilgrims with fake causes . . . oh, wait. . . you are talking about SNAKE snakes. Sorry.
There was that Scottish cougar crone, who sank her fangs into that nice German pilgrim...gave her a wide berth and made some serious km’s the next day!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I have attached a poor quality photo of a non-venomous Australian Carpet Python. This one is an old friend that has been gently evicted from the chook pen, multiple times. Her name is Olive.
Awwww, Olive.
Gorgeous, Walton!

Every so often there is a snake thread and (as a snake-liker) I always find them enjoyable.
But this has been one of the best.
Thanks for the wonderful pics everyone.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
Thankfully, as time passes, you have less and less to worry about regarding snakes on the Camino Primitivo, Via de La Plata and the Meseta, because the dragons, giants and ogres are eating them all, if the are no pilgrims available.

Buen (avoiding being gobbled up) Camino
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Thankfully, as time passes, you have less and less to worry about regarding snakes on the Camino Primitivo, Via de La Plata and the Meseta, because the dragons, giants and ogres are eating them all, if the are no pilgrims available.

Buen (avoiding being gobbled up) Camino
Thanks, I will watch out!😉
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Snakes? Pah. Just watch out for the wolves :eek:
Well,
Snakes? Pah. Just watch out for the wolves :eek:
Well just a little sidetrack from this interesting snake thread: There are wolwes in Northern Spain.

On my first Camino one very early morning on a sidetrack on the Meseta I saw a pack hunting something well after Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. I couldn't see what (maybe a pilgrim that had kept them awake by snoring during the night....😉). It was some kilometres away and the animals were gone when I arrived at the spot (yes, it could have been dogs. But very big dogs then and all of them big German Shepherds. The hunt was done in a very well coordinated way. Too coordinated for wild dogs, I think. And I don't think there are packs of big wild dogs in Northern Spain. Never heard of it at least).

Last year in Galicia (near Villafranca) I heard them howling during the day close to the path of the Camino but I never saw any......there was nothing to be mistaken of there. Have lived and worked in areas with wolves and know that sound well.

PS: I don't consider them a threat at all. And I don't mind walking the Camino at night or in the dark. Even with wolves around. They are clever animals and shy of humans. For good reasons.
 
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MaryJ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( 2018)
I had a snake attach itself to a small half sleeping bag that was tied to the outside of my backpack. I felt something fall off my backpack, so I turned around and on the ground was the sleeping bag, I picked it up and the snake fell out and quickly slithered off into the bushes.😱
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Well,

Well just a little sidetrack from this interesting snake thread: There are wolwes in Northern Spain.

On my first Camino one very early morning on a sidetrack on the Meseta I saw a pack hunting something well after Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. I couldn't see what (maybe a pilgrim that had been keeping them awake by snoring during the night....😉). It was some kilometres away and the animals were gone when I arrived at the spot (yes, it could have been dogs. But very big dogs then and all of them big German Shepherds. The hunt was done in a very well coordinated way. Too coordinated for wild dogs, I think. And I don't think there are packs of big wild dogs in Northern Spain. Never heard of it at least).

Last year in Galicia (near Villafranca) I heard them howling during the day close to the path of the Camino but I never saw any......there was nothing to be mistaken of there. Have lived and worked in areas with wolves and know that sound well.

PS: I don't consider them a threat at all. And I don't mind walking the Camino at night or in the dark. Even with wolves around. They are clever animals and shy of humans. For good reasons.
Wow 😎
We saw the tracks of one on the Sanabrés and later, the peregrino we were walking with took a photo of one, but as it was fleeing so it only showed the back of it. Could have been a big dog, we thought?
When we asked the locals, they confirmed it was a wolf. They said something interesting but I don’t know enough about wolves to know if it is true: apparently, it wasn’t fleeing but just retreating in safety to observe. They said they will attack if people remain on his territory.
I thought it was the most exciting part of the journey 😎
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Well, if I have to be completely honest I stopped walking when I saw that pack hunting ahead of me. And considered if it would be wise to come near to a pack of hunting and feasting wolves. I was "slightly apprehensive"..... But I stubborn of nature as I am, I refused to let anything detract me from "my Camino", refused to let irrational fear overcome me and remembered what I have learned about wolves not being dangerous - and continued.
That sight and overcoming my instinctive fear is one of my high marks of that particular Camino.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
There are more than a few kindred spirits here - it would be fun to walk with you biophiles!
Thanks for a wonderful thread.
I did see a fox once, which was fun. But wolves would make my day. Snakes too.:cool:
And then there are the Lynx!

Well, maybe this time.
I guess I have to keep walking until I see them, right?;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
We could start a new thread here: Animal encounters on the Camino…..?
There might be some funny and interesting stories out there (including about the dreaded bed bugs…..if we allow insect encounters :cool:
I saw a big Lucanus Cervus - or stag beetle - last year a day or two before I reached Santiago. Never seen that before in the wild. A rare sight in most of Europe actually.
The Woods in Galicia are full of wonderful creatures.....:)
 
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Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
I had a snake attach itself to a small half sleeping bag that was tied to the outside of my backpack. I felt something fall off my backpack, so I turned around and on the ground was the sleeping bag, I picked it up and the snake fell out and quickly slithered off into the bushes.😱
Where do you think it came from?
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Snakes like to hide in warm and for them comfortable places. They are masters in that respect. And masters in getting through even the smallest opening. So it can have come from anywhere. It probably shared the bed with you the night before - or creeped in while the pack was on the ground during a break.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
I cannot resist telling you a story, sorry as it is off topic!
One day I was chatting with my eldest son’s new girl-friend (German) and she was telling me they couldn’t possibly grow salads in her garden like I did. Ok. I asked why (as one does). ‘Because we have snakes’.
Me: :eek: Really? In Munich?
Oh yes, so many, they’re everywhere. Everybody’s got them. It’s terrible.
Me: :oops:
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I finally asked ‘but are they dangerous?’
And there was this dead, long silence......
and the answer came : I meant to say ... snails.....
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
G
I cannot resist telling you a story, sorry as it is off topic!
One day I was chatting with my eldest son’s new girl-friend (German) and she was telling me they couldn’t possibly grow salads in her garden like I did. Ok. I asked why (as one does). ‘Because we have snakes’.
Me: :eek: Really? In Munich?
Oh yes, so many, they’re everywhere. Everybody’s got them. It’s terrible.
Me: :oops:
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I finally asked ‘but are they dangerous?’
And there was this dead, long silence......
and the answer came : I meant to say ... snails.....
Great story
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
I met this fellow in an albergue in Vega de Valcerce. I was the first person to check in and not having snakes in my home country of New Zealand, was quite fascinated to meet him. (Actually I'd rather meet him in my room than a mouse.) If anyone can identify what type of snake he is, I'd love to know.
 

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Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
I'm no expert on snakes of that region but it looks like a viper to me. (venomous) I sure would like to hear other opinions or positive ID.
 
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Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
I met this fellow in an albergue in Vega de Valcerce. I was the first person to check in and not having snakes in my home country of New Zealand, was quite fascinated to meet him. (Actually I'd rather meet him in my room than a mouse.) If anyone can identify what type of snake he is, I'd love to know.
Wow! You are one of several who said a snake was inside !!! NOT comforting!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I met this fellow in an albergue in Vega de Valcerce. I was the first person to check in and not having snakes in my home country of New Zealand, was quite fascinated to meet him. (Actually I'd rather meet him in my room than a mouse.) If anyone can identify what type of snake he is, I'd love to know.
I'm not sure, but it looks like an Asp Viper, Vipera Aspis. If it is, it's venomous. But not dangerous to humans if you leave it alone. Most snakes are shy of humans and will try to get away if spotted. So just leave them alone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
@Torben Olesen, LUCKY YOU! Iberian wolves are gorgeous. They have been controversial for some time.
Thank you, yes I know it is a very rare sight to see hunting wolves. For a nature loving man like me it is a treasured memory.
But I'm also grateful to the wolves "for testing my resolve and learning me to overcome my fear". Because in hindsight I see it as a kind of test. I was completely alone out there, there was nowhere to hide and no escape, no trees or anything else if they turned on me. Which of course they didn't (yes, silly me!). So it was purely a matter of instinctive and irrational primal fear that I had to deal with in the moment. I litteraly had to force myself to continue in the direction of the wolves.
I now see it as a kind of "life lesson": Don't let fear overcome you, you can overcome fear.
So: A truly wonderful experience, both the sight and the lesson. 😊
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
If anyone can identify what type of snake he is, I'd love to know.
Hard to tell from the blurred photo. It might be a viper but the pattern on the back and head shape make it more likely to be a Viperine Snake (Natrix maura). A non-venomous snake which mimics the vipers as a defensive adaptation. I met one of those myself on the Via del la Plata. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natrix_maura
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Wow! You are one of several who said a snake was inside !!! NOT comforting!
Don’t be surprised to find snakes indoor in i.e. the aubergues. I don’t say they are there (never heard of it apart from this thread, I must stress that!) – but it would only be natural, if they are.
The reason: They often hunt mice; mice eat bread, chips, snacks and whatever they can easily find. And it is easy for mice to find that in auberguees, where many pilgrims bring food to the dorm and eat a snack in the bed causing crumbles.
So: Pilgrims brings food with them, mice go after the food and leftovers and snake "slither" after the scent of the mice and after woods hide in the building (because it’s a good place to hunt).
Again: I don’t say it’s like that on the Camino. Never ever heard of it. But I’ve been places in the Middle East and Asia where this was the main cause for snakes hiding in buildings. There it was an absolutely "no no" to bring food to the sleeping areas.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Hard to tell from the blurred photo. It might be a viper but the pattern on the back and head shape make it more likely to be a Viperine Snake (Natrix maura). A non-venomous snake which mimics the vipers as a defensive adaptation. I met one of those myself on the Via del la Plata. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natrix_maura
Yes, the rounded non-triangular shape of the head also confused me. I agree it looks like a harmless natrix from the shape of the head. And there is actually a lesson here: Unless you are a herpetologist or trained snake handler always assume a snake is venomous and just leave it alone. It won’t bite you and instead try to escape. Snakes rarely attack humans unless they are scarred or cornered.
 

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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
The common poisonous snake in Spain is the European Viper which is called an Adder in England. Poisonous and painful but rarely fatal. There are one or two others but I am not sure of there distribution in Spain. If you are walking on the path you should be able to see any snakes. Snakes try and avoid open spaces because of the birds that catch them! However early mornings they can be found on rocks in full sun charging up their solar batteries.This time of year is the start of the mating season for Adders and they perform a dance around each other. fascinating to watch!
There are no poisonous snakes indigenous to Europe - you can safely eat all of them unless they have already eaten something toxic - a newt for example.
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
There are no poisonous snakes indigenous to Europe - you can safely eat all of them unless they have already eaten something toxic - a newt for example.
I believe that is true. In the U.S. venomous snakes, spiders, etc are commonly referred to as poisonous though the correct term is venomous. There are many venomous species of snakes, spiders, and caterpillars in Europe.
 

Walton

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
I just wanted to say that if you do find a snake inside, make sure you or someone else keeps an eye on it from a safe distance.

If you take your eye off a snake, it will hide somewhere and then you'll have devil of a a job of trying to find it.

The snake, on realising you are there will most likely want to hide, and you, knowing the snake is there, will want it outside for sure.

In my volunteer wildlife rescue days, I was trained to remove and relocate non-venomous snakes from homes.

Relocation often meant releasing the snake into a protected area, within 50 metres of the catch site. Some snakes are territorial, like the non-venomous carpet snake that lives in our shed or in the pipe behind the shed. Been there for over three years now.

Venomous snake removal requires additional training and I left those well alone and called a trained person to help.

I learned that many of the reported 3000 annual snake bite victims in Australia are bitten because they were either trying to relocate or kill the snake themselves.

Don't take matters into your own hands. Snakes are fast, blindingly so, much faster than you, and faster than your eye can see. Best to leave them alone and get trained and qualified help.

In Australia, licenced snake catchers can relocate snakes from inside homes. Sure, you'll pay a few dollars, but that's a lot cheaper than possibly being bitten and paying doctors, ambulances, etc which will most certainly happen if you get bitten.

Sadly, about two people a year die here from snakebite. More die from bee and wasp stings.

The road toll is well over a 1000 people annually, to put risks into perspective.

Cars and inattentive / careless drivers and roads are by far, the biggest risks walking the Camino apart from walking or falling injuries.

Buen Camino!
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
There are no poisonous snakes indigenous to Europe - you can safely eat all of them unless they have already eaten something toxic - a newt for example.
Where you an English major before you took up your culinary job:-?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Where you an English major before you took up your culinary job:-?
:) No, always a Civil Engineer but with an eclectic collection of trivial knowledge picked up over the years.

The tip about snakes was from an RAF Squadron Leader friend who taught jungle survival - apparently snake tastes like chicken and goes well with tarragon . . . 🐍🐍
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
I am not sure if snakes eat humans.
Any mother will try to protect her young. So no touching those lovely baby cows.
So being aware that I am the intruder I try to be respectfull to my fellow creatures, that would include humans , too. In the states I was told wear ankle high boots and long pants when in the woods. Never had a problem there, never had one in Spain.
I think more dangerous may be ticks.
Not sure if there are scorpions, there are in the South of France. They are as dangerous as bee stings there.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
:) No, always a Civil Engineer but with an eclectic collection of trivial knowledge picked up over the years.
The tip about snakes was from an RAF Squadron Leader friend who taught jungle survival - apparently snake tastes like chicken and goes well with tarragon . . . 🐍🐍
As a teenager on the Jungle Warfare Course in Brunei, I was bitten, stung and sucked upon by various plants, insects and things I have no name for. I ate various insects, rodents and reptiles and can assure that it tasted of nothing if you put enough hot sauce on it. I never saw a jungle again until I took my kids on a safari in Sri lanka in the mountain rain forests 30 years later. Whereupon .. I was bitten, stung and sucked upon by ...
I was planning on doing the Kumano Kodo in 2021 where I will hopefully not meet the venomous caterpillars, venomous snakes or angry wild boar.
PS Please find attached a picture of what I think is a non venomous rat snake that was disturbed by a bunch of Greek athletes in the grounds of the new summer palace in Beijing 2008. It was not in a good mood and the Greeks would have made Pheidippides envious of their sprinting skills.
Snake.JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I just wanted to say that if you do find a snake inside, make sure you or someone else keeps an eye on it from a safe distance.

If you take your eye off a snake, it will hide somewhere and then you'll have devil of a a job of trying to find it.

The snake, on realising you are there will most likely want to hide, and you, knowing the snake is there, will want it outside for sure.

In my volunteer wildlife rescue days, I was trained to remove and relocate non-venomous snakes from homes.

Relocation often meant releasing the snake into a protected area, within 50 metres of the catch site. Some snakes are territorial, like the non-venomous carpet snake that lives in our shed or in the pipe behind the shed. Been there for over three years now.

Venomous snake removal requires additional training and I left those well alone and called a trained person to help.

I learned that many of the reported 3000 annual snake bite victims in Australia are bitten because they were either trying to relocate or kill the snake themselves.

Don't take matters into your own hands. Snakes are fast, blindingly so, much faster than you, and faster than your eye can see. Best to leave them alone and get trained and qualified help.

In Australia, licenced snake catchers can relocate snakes from inside homes. Sure, you'll pay a few dollars, but that's a lot cheaper than possibly being bitten and paying doctors, ambulances, etc which will most certainly happen if you get bitten.

Sadly, about two people a year die here from snakebite. More die from bee and wasp stings.

The road toll is well over a 1000 people annually, to put risks into perspective.

Cars and inattentive / careless drivers and roads are by far, the biggest risks walking the Camino apart from walking or falling injuries.

Buen Camino!
Very good advice. I hadn't thought of that.

And I agree one shouldn't kill them.
Snakes are an important part of nature both in the food chain as "pest controllers" (they eat the rodents that would otherwise eat the farmers' crops). They are prey themselves for other predators. And they spread seeds from plants whem they move around and thus contribute to the biodiversity.

Just leave them alone if you don't like them. I like them - but always watch them from a safe distance.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Not sure how reliable David here is, but I like the odds of being bitten by a snake
the odds of being bitten by a snake in Spain are about 15 million to one.
🤗
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I was planning on doing the Kumano Kodo in 2021 where I will hopefully not meet the venomous caterpillars, venomous snakes or angry wild boar.
I hope to walk part of the Kumano Kodo next week. On my visit in March last year I met a mamushi and some wild boar. This year I will be walking in warmer weather and the odds of my meeting more snakes, mukade and giant hornets are that much greater. Though you did miss one possible hazard off that list that has been passing through my mind from time to time. From a blog that I read: a warning poster from the beginning of one of the Kumano Kodo routes I plan to walk. I made sure to add my bell to my packing yesterday 😉

koyasan-bears.jpg
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Ignorant me what pray is a mamushi. It sound like a cat?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Ignorant me what pray is a mamushi. It sound like a cat?
Japanese pit viper. Very similar to the North American copperhead but responsible for around 2,000 bites and an average of 10 deaths per year in Japan. The usual result of a bite is a 7 day stay in hospital intensive care. That's why I didn't go in for a close-up.
mamushi.jpg
 
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Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
I hope to walk part of the Kumano Kodo next week. On my visit in March last year I met a mamushi and some wild boar. This year I will be walking in warmer weather and the odds of my meeting more snakes, mukade and giant hornets are that much greater. Though you did miss one possible hazard off that list that has been passing through my mind from time to time. From a blog that I read: a warning poster from the beginning of one of the Kumano Kodo routes I plan to walk. I made sure to add my bell to my packing yesterday 😉

View attachment 56919
In Whistler BC, at the local Squamish museum, one of the first peoples guides explained that the local bears if provoked attacked the head with a swipe that dislocated the skull from the spine. The warning on the poster above seems to indicate this is the common attack method of bears. If I was totally paranoid, I would not attempt the trail. If I was mildly paranoid I would need to wear knee high tactical boots and a full face riot control helmet. However I may leave the open toed sandals off my packing list.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
@Marcus-UK You reminded me of the old joke about a forest ranger giving advice to a novice hiker about fending off bear attacks. To throw human excrement at the bear. "But what if I can't find any?" "Listen friend - if you meet a bear on the trail that won't be a problem..."
So this greenhorn goes up to Canada for a forest adventure, walks into an outfitter store and practically buys out the shop.

The storekeeper, with an eye to making an easy profit, asks: "Will you be wanting any bear bells?"

"Bear bells? What are they and are you saying there are bears in these woods?"

"Bear bells are these here little brass ball bells. You sew them round the cuffs of your pants and they jingle as you walk along. The bears hear this and give you a wide berth. And yes, we do have bears in these woods."

"What kind of bear?"

"Oh, the usual, Black, Brown and Grizzly."

"How can you tell the difference?"

"Well you keep a look out for bear scat - your Black bear eats a lot of nuts and berries so look for seeds in the scat. Your Brown bear, he eats a lot more meat and fish so you look for bones and fur in the scat."

"And the Grizzly? What about the Grizzly?"

"Oh them's easy - you look for little brass bells in their scat . . . "
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
As a teenager on the Jungle Warfare Course in Brunei, I was bitten, stung and sucked upon by various plants, insects and things I have no name for. I ate various insects, rodents and reptiles and can assure that it tasted of nothing if you put enough hot sauce on it. I never saw a jungle again until I took my kids on a safari in Sri lanka in the mountain rain forests 30 years later. Whereupon .. I was bitten, stung and sucked upon by ...
I was planning on doing the Kumano Kodo in 2021 where I will hopefully not meet the venomous caterpillars, venomous snakes or angry wild boar.
PS Please find attached a picture of what I think is a non venomous rat snake that was disturbed by a bunch of Greek athletes in the grounds of the new summer palace in Beijing 2008. It was not in a good mood and the Greeks would have made Pheidippides envious of their sprinting skills.
View attachment 56918
Warn me if you ever come near Canterbury (UK) - I'll get my bug spray out!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
This is definitely the funniest thread that I have ever read on this forum. I am not a lover of poisonous/venomous critters and was pleased when I lived in Australia that we kept our home free of the several dangerous varieties of snakes in the region by regular use of a snake control service. I got used to the hunter spiders, although their enormous size was a little daunting. I once had the shortest bath of my life when I notice one, about fist-sized, on the bathroom wall just above the tub, as I sat down. I have had more familiarity with bears, most recently, two close encounters last summer with a very large dark brown coloured bear, possibly an adolescent grizzly (hint: 20 metres is too close). Fortunately, it was not interested in sharing my lunch, which I was eating at the time. I do not recommend bear bells. Their tinkle is not loud enough to alert bears. If I suspect the presence of one in the neighbourhood, I usually recite poetry at volume. Favourites are The Ballad of East and West, The Cremation of Sam McGee, The Highwayman, and a few other classics. If you can spray them right in the face, bears are most likely to withdraw in confusion. But you may be in bad shape too, depending on the breeze. I agree with Torben that there is something special about encountering really wild animals. I should think that this is less frequent on the camino in Spain than in Banff National Park near my home. As a vegetarian, I am not likely to ever discover if any of these creatures is poisonous.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Not sure how reliable David here is, but I like the odds of being bitten by a snake
the odds of being bitten by a snake in Spain are about 15 million to one.
🤗
I like those odds
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Very good advice. I hadn't thought of that.

And I agree one shouldn't kill them.
Snakes are an important part of nature both in the food chain as "pest controllers" (they eat the rodents that would otherwise eat the farmers' crops). They are prey themselves for other predators. And they spread seeds from plants whem they move around and thus contribute to the biodiversity.

Just leave them alone if you don't like them. I like them - but always watch them from a safe distance.
Torben, That is wisdom.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Torben, That is wisdom.
Well, I rather see it as "facts and information" I try to spread when I sense people are unnecessarily afraid or uninformed about snakes.
I could add this to my previous comment: Snakes also carry pollen with them when they move around and thus spread it from plant to plant. Very useful for all of Nature, including us humans. The venom from different species is useful as ingredients in medicine for i.e. paralysis, hemophilia, cerebral palsy etc. etc. Again very useful to us humans.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Not sure how reliable David here is, but I like the odds of being bitten by a snake
the odds of being bitten by a snake in Spain are about 15 million to one.
🤗
A friend of mine was bitten by a viper 35 years ago when he was climbing alone in La Pedriza. He had to walk down for 2 hours to Manzanares el Real. ( Camino Madrid ) ,because he didn' t have mobile phone , where he was evacuated by helycopter to a hospital in Madrid were he received the antidote. At this time he had his hand and part of his arm very swollen but he didn' t lose anything , the only effect was a permanent very crooked finger.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
It must have been very painful, but good to hear he didn't suffer too serious lasting effects. It's not a good thing to move too much if bitten, but in this case it's hard to see what else he could have done....
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Well, I rather see it as "facts and information" I try to spread when I sense people are unnecessarily afraid or uninformed about snakes.
I could add this to my previous comment: Snakes also carry pollen with them when they move around and thus spread it from plant to plant. Very useful for all of Nature, including us humans. The venom from different species is useful as ingredients in medicine for i.e. paralysis, hemophilia, cerebral palsy etc. etc. Again very useful to us humans.
I realize snakes have a significant place in our environment
I just don't like being near them or touching them. I would never kill a snake unless my life was in danger. I don't want to get that close I started this post to get information about an environment I don't know. Where I live there are several venomous snakes but I how to watch, and what to watch. I have a long history of dangerous and funny snake encounters None of them were happy ( haha)
I was surprised to learn of snakes in the Albergues, but it makes sense The only time I hear of snakes coming indoors here is during flooding or when someone built a new house and cleared lots of trees and natural habitat. However, they are prevalent on the trails especially now as the weather is getting hot Most of the trails I walk have lots of water sources, heavy brush and lots of small animals, especially birds Therefore, it is a snake paradise Mostly, they leave you alone except for baby copperheads that will strike at anything
You have been very informative, kind and helpful
Thanks for all you do! I appreciate it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I realize snakes have a significant place in our environment
I just don't like being near them or touching them. I would never kill a snake unless my life was in danger. I don't want to get that close I started this post to get information about an environment I don't know. Where I live there are several venomous snakes but I how to watch, and what to watch. I have a long history of dangerous and funny snake encounters None of them were happy ( haha)
I was surprised to learn of snakes in the Albergues, but it makes sense The only time I hear of snakes coming indoors here is during flooding or when someone built a new house and cleared lots of trees and natural habitat. However, they are prevalent on the trails especially now as the weather is getting hot Most of the trails I walk have lots of water sources, heavy brush and lots of small animals, especially birds Therefore, it is a snake paradise Mostly, they leave you alone except for baby copperheads that will strike at anything
You have been very informative, kind and helpful
Thanks for all you do! I appreciate it.
Venomous baby snakes often have a more potent venom than adult snakes of the same specimen since the venom is more concentrated in the small ones. I don't know the reason for this, Or if it is the case for copperheads. But..."better safe than sorry" so keep clear of them....😊
 
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Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I've just walked a long section of the Kumano Kodo. Just as well I am not paranoid about wildlife :cool:
IMG_20190517_080807.jpgIMG_20190517_141717.jpgIMG_20190521_170636.jpgIMG_20190518_122250.jpg
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
Everyone is really having fun at your expense here and I have to admit I laughed when I first read it. But I feel you. I saw one tiny little one that looked like a worm. Thankfully, the couple in front of me was pushing it off the trail back into the bushes or I probably would have run back to the states (talk about walking on water). I started to freak out thinking where is mommy and daddy. I am deathly afraid of them so tried to make as much noise as I could to while walking to small bushy trails.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
We found this viper on the downhill to Ponte Ulla. Only snake we saw in 7 weeks.
We also saw this gorgeous jewelled lacerta that day as well.
We saw lots of signs of wildlife such as deer prints and slides, pig wallows and wolf prints. See the photo. I wear a EU 46 boot. Barrie very briefly saw a couple of roe deer but we otherwise never saw wild mammals.
IMG_20190325_142129158.jpgIMG_20190325_194853_189.jpg
 

Attachments

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
Regarding snake bites, I pissed off one of Barrie's pet snakes when it started going behind my head and I was trying to stop it getting caught in my hair and put my hand back. Dumb move. Got my thumb and they hang on. One of the most painful bites I have experienced and that was a python.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Everyone is really having fun at your expense here and I have to admit I laughed when I first read it. But I feel you. I saw one tiny little one that looked like a worm. Thankfully, the couple in front of me was pushing it off the trail back into the bushes or I probably would have run back to the states (talk about walking on water). I started to freak out thinking where is mommy and daddy. I am deathly afraid of them so tried to make as much noise as I could to while walking to small bushy trails.
There are days I regret putting up the question but it has been interesting and fun.
You never know unless you ask
Thanks for your comments I will never like snakes
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
We found this viper on the downhill to Ponte Ulla. Only snake we saw in 7 weeks.
We also saw this gorgeous jewelled lacerta that day as well.
We saw lots of signs of wildlife such as deer prints and slides, pig wallows and wolf prints. See the photo. I wear a EU 46 boot. Barrie very briefly saw a couple of roe deer but we otherwise never saw wild mammals.
View attachment 57871View attachment 57872
Interesting pictures
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
Nana6, I have to say seeing my snake was actually a highlight for me, but then I'll probably never see another snake in my life. On the other hand, if I had come across a mouse or rat, dead or alive, my reaction would have been utterly (and irrationally, I know, I know) terrified. I guess it's what we've learned to fear.
 

Depinho

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
COSTA,CENTRAL,FRANCES,INGLES,GEIRA,
Are they seen often? In any particular area?
Any dangerous?
Portugal é um território mediterrâneo, tem fauna característica. Dificilmente e encontra, elas fogem ao ouvir barulho, gostam de sol, e as mais vulgares não são venenosas. Não tem que preocupar. Nenhuma é mortal,mas em caso de acidente ligue 118. Não conheço nenhum caso.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Portugal é um território mediterrâneo, tem fauna característica. Dificilmente e encontra, elas fogem ao ouvir barulho, gostam de sol, e as mais vulgares não são venenosas. Não tem que preocupar. Nenhuma é mortal,mas em caso de acidente ligue 118. Não conheço nenhum caso.
118 ? Did you mean 112 ?
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Portugal é um território mediterrâneo, tem fauna característica. Dificilmente e encontra, elas fogem ao ouvir barulho, gostam de sol, e as mais vulgares não são venenosas. Não tem que preocupar. Nenhuma é mortal,mas em caso de acidente ligue 118. Não conheço nenhum caso.
Thank you! Obrigado!
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Portugal é um território mediterrâneo, tem fauna característica. Dificilmente e encontra, elas fogem ao ouvir barulho, gostam de sol, e as mais vulgares não são venenosas. Não tem que preocupar. Nenhuma é mortal,mas em caso de acidente ligue 118. Não conheço nenhum caso.
Thank you! Obrigado!
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Nana6, I have to say seeing my snake was actually a highlight for me, but then I'll probably never see another snake in my life. On the other hand, if I had come across a mouse or rat, dead or alive, my reaction would have been utterly (and irrationally, I know, I know) terrified. I guess it's what we've learned to fear.
True! Understand about mice and rats. I am working on it. I have educated myself on the snakes where I live and am very aware when outdoors. If I see them first, I am scared but ok. It is the ones I don't see or that are easy to step on that concern me. There is the fear
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012)
CP (2015)
St Olavs Way(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF (2019)
Mozarabe & VdlP (2020)
Everyone is really having fun at your expense here and I have to admit I laughed when I first read it. But I feel you. I saw one tiny little one that looked like a worm. Thankfully, the couple in front of me was pushing it off the trail back into the bushes or I probably would have run back to the states (talk about walking on water). I started to freak out thinking where is mommy and daddy. I am deathly afraid of them so tried to make as much noise as I could to while walking to small bushy trails.
Living in Tasmania & being 'out-doorsy', snake encounters are inevitable. I used to try & offset these encounters by, as you say, making as much noise as possible. I actually used to sing..loudly & badly...it made me feel better anyway.
You'll note, I'm talking past tense here...why? Because to my horror, I was eventually told by Tassie Parks & Wildlife that snakes are deaf...they have no ears. 😯 All those years of singing, pointlessly torturing all the other wildlife in the vicinity except the very creature it was aimed at!
Snakes respond to vibrations through the ground, not sounds. So now, I thump my feet instead & bash my hiking pole on the ground for good measure. Once again, it makes me feel better at least... 😏
👣 🌏
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012)
CP (2015)
St Olavs Way(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF (2019)
Mozarabe & VdlP (2020)

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
What about those large, very long & nasty looking centipedes in Japan...the bright orange & black ones...they could/should do a poster for them. Also, I never got used to seeing crabs in the forest...always gave me a start...crabs belong on the beach! 😀
Mukade? Saw my first one last week on the Kumano Kodo. Dead though. A crab as well - 30+km inland and a few hundred metres above sea level. Did give me a surprise though I knew in theory that they were around :) There are actually crab warning signs on some roads!
IMG_20180214_164741.jpg
Almost trod on a rat snake too but it wasn't hanging around to have its photo taken...

IMG_20190522_093018.jpg IMG_20190517_083212.jpg

PS. Today's wildlife highlight from southern Kyushu - a pair of lizards so busy making more lizards that they couldn't or wouldn't stop to get off the footpath - even with a mobile phone pointed at them from inches away :)
IMG_20190529_114627.jpg
 
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Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Living in Tasmania & being 'out-doorsy', snake encounters are inevitable. I used to try & offset these encounters by, as you say, making as much noise as possible. I actually used to sing..loudly & badly...it made me feel better anyway.
You'll note, I'm talking past tense here...why? Because to my horror, I was eventually told by Tassie Parks & Wildlife that snakes are deaf...they have no ears. 😯 All those years of singing, pointlessly torturing all the other wildlife in the vicinity except the very creature it was aimed at!
Snakes respond to vibrations through the ground, not sounds. So now, I thump my feet instead & bash my hiking pole on the ground for good measure. Once again, it makes me feel better at least... 😏
👣 🌏
Will try it!
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Mukade? Saw my first one last week on the Kumano Kodo. Dead though. A crab as well - 30+km inland and a few hundred metres above sea level. Did give me a surprise though I knew in theory that they were around :) There are actually crab warning signs on some roads!
View attachment 58207
Almost trod on a rat snake too but it wasn't hanging around to have its photo taken...

View attachment 58199 View attachment 58200

PS. Today's wildlife highlight from southern Kyushu - a pair of lizards so busy making more lizards that they couldn't or wouldn't stop to get off the footpath - even with a mobile phone pointed at them from inches away :)
View attachment 58201
I cant say Buen Camino ; how about Happy Kumano Kodo!
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
Living in Tasmania & being 'out-doorsy', snake encounters are inevitable. I used to try & offset these encounters by, as you say, making as much noise as possible. I actually used to sing..loudly & badly...it made me feel better anyway.
You'll note, I'm talking past tense here...why? Because to my horror, I was eventually told by Tassie Parks & Wildlife that snakes are deaf...they have no ears. 😯 All those years of singing, pointlessly torturing all the other wildlife in the vicinity except the very creature it was aimed at!
Snakes respond to vibrations through the ground, not sounds. So now, I thump my feet instead & bash my hiking pole on the ground for good measure. Once again, it makes me feel better at least... 😏
👣 🌏
Hey, I never thought of that. 🤪 But I do the feet/pole stomp and shuffle as well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
Yeah
Thankfully, as time passes, you have less and less to worry about regarding snakes on the Camino Primitivo, Via de La Plata and the Meseta, because the dragons, giants and ogres are eating them all, if the are no pilgrims available.

Buen (avoiding being gobbled up) Camino
Yeah! Right, I also saw snakes over there.
 

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