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Peregrina bitten by snake near Lintzoain

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
A local news website in Navarra has reported that an American peregrina was bitten by a viper yesterday and taken to hospital by the local rescue services. A very rare and unusual event. An unfortunate start to a Camino.

 
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Chris Day

Hesed Walker
Past OR future Camino
Frances-14/15/16 Part-17/18/19/20
VdlP/Sanab/Finist 16
Port/Ingles 17
Norte 18 Le Puy&Prim 19
I have only ever seen a single snake whilst on Camino - around five years ago in that valley path on the way down to Molinaseca, after the descent from Cruz de Ferro. It was brown and surprisingly big (by UK standards)…..I stopped in my tracks and watched it slither across the path in front of me. I didn’t bother it and it didn’t bother me!! I was surprised though.
I’ve passed the place three or four times since - including in the past week or so - and again recalled the event as I passed.
 

Louise Comacchio

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2021)
A local news website in Navarra has reported that an American peregrina was bitten by a viper yesterday and taken to hospital by the local rescue services. A very rare and unusual event. An unfortunate start to a Camino.

OK, so I am trying to upload my video of a snake sighted a
A local news website in Navarra has reported that an American peregrina was bitten by a viper yesterday and taken to hospital by the local rescue services. A very rare and unusual event. An unfortunate start to a Camino.

OK, I am trying to upload a video of a snake sighted a week ago (a baby one, but a snake), with no success. When telling others about it I was asked if I had not been mistaken and could it not have been a worm? Mate, I'm from Australia, grew up in the bush, I know the difference between a baby snake and a large worm.
 

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
I came across this moment on Google maps ‘ street view: a snake crossing the path on the way out of the Logroño park. It’s right at the end of the hill, just before you leave the park and begin to track alongside the freeway towards Navarrete. Closest I’ve ever come. 462AAD39-0FE6-4889-94C9-6933531F6691.png
 
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adam lapp

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese Central
Portuguese Coastal
For anyone researching their first pilgrimage, I assure you this is a zero to not common situation. I’ve seen one small grass snake in all my times. Not minimizing the situation, but I would not plan for snakes.
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
I met a snake just up the hill, outside of Hornillos. I had stopped to look around at the beauty of the Meseta, and something caught my eye - and there it was, about five feet from me, vibrating like mad. I didn't move. Just sent a mental message, that I was just going to back up slowly to give it space. And quite soon enough it stopped vibrating and shot off into the field.
On my last pass along that section, I sent another mental message of greeting...
 
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May she recover quickly!

Have no fear, this is a very rare event - as is even seeing a snake on the camino. I would love to see a snake along the way, but never have in 6 Spanish caminos.

If you don't bother snakes they won't bother you. But accidentally treading on a tail or trying to touch or pick them up may have unfortunate consequences.
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
OK, so I am trying to upload my video of a snake sighted a

OK, I am trying to upload a video of a snake sighted a week ago (a baby one, but a snake), with no success. When telling others about it I was asked if I had not been mistaken and could it not have been a worm? Mate, I'm from Australia, grew up in the bush, I know the difference between a baby snake and a large worm.
Yes we are Aussies and have just finished Le Puy to SJPDP. Had a snake on the track. Jumped 2 feet in the air. Luckily it was very cold and the snake moved slowly
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
If she was bitten on the hand as the story says, then she was trying to interact with the snake in some way.
Well, google wasn't translating the article for me - so unless the article says differently - she may or may not have been trying to interact with the snake. Could have been just dumb/bad luck. Fortunately, I did not see any snakes on the Camino. That said - last year the week before I started the Camino, I was in California on the Pacific Crest Trail with my kids. We came across several rattle snakes (NOT uncommon in CA, especially in So. CA which is where we were). We did our best to be vigilant and watch for them - but they are often not seen until you are too close and then they rattle to warn you to get back. The time we came upon a rattle snake that was most upsetting is when we had sat down near a water source to refill our water bottles. We must have been there 5 minutes before we realized that my son was sitting a foot away from a huge rattle snake who was watching him and us intensely. I was maybe 2 feet away, as I was slightly further away than my son. Both of us were within striking distance. And our hands were definitely where it would have been most likely to strike, as we were moving about and placing our water bottles down next to us - on the same side the snake was on. Thankfully the snake was relaxed enough it didn't start to rattle - until it saw us watching him. And he didn't strike at either of us, but could have. Anyhow - my point is - it was dumb luck that my son and I didn't get bit. But it could have easily gotten us in the hand, arm, shoulder - or even the face since we were literally sitting right next to it. Why didn't we see it? He was under the bush next to us and we were exhausted and just didn't notice at first. So - I offer no judgements to this poor lady. Hopefully she wasn't trying to interact - and hopefully this will make others know that snakes DO exist - and to at least be aware - but not fearful as the likelihood of this happening to others is minimal. Snakes usually warn before striking in any case.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I met a snake just up the hill, outside of Hornillos. I had stopped to look around at the beauty of the Meseta, and something caught my eye - and there it was, about five feet from me, vibrating like mad. I didn't move. Just sent a mental message, that I was just going to back up slowly to give it space. And quite soon enough it stopped vibrating and shot off into the field.
On my last pass along that section, I sent another mental message of greeting...
Actually I believe they don't need to depend upon telepathy but instead have sensors that detect body heat. Useful for hunting prey and also detecting threats.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I have seen one live snake on the Frances and a few dead ones (run over). Don't know what species they were, but they were on the track where it passed through agriculture fields. No doubt the snakes prey on the rodents that eat the crops.
I did come across one rather large dead one, probably a metre in length. Freshly killed and not at all mangled up. The trickster in me came out and I coiled it up in a striking pose in the middle of the path using a small stick to prop up the head. I still wonder what the reaction pilgrims who came across it was. :D.
Mind you, as a whole I don't recommend anybody handle or interact with snakes on the Camino, dead or alive.
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
Actually I believe they don't need to depend upon telepathy but instead have sensors that detect body heat. Useful for hunting prey and also detecting threats.
;) I don't really "do" telepathy - my mental messages are more for MY comfort ... tho' I do like to think that all living things can communicate in some fashion, and my preference is peacefully... but that's just me ;-)
Buen Camino to all...
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
. Sit in the wrong place at the wrong time and....
Can happen quite easily. There was a long running reptile study at a nature reserve near my home in Wales. Many small pieces of roofing sheet set out as shelters to make a regular count. On a guided walk with the ranger in charge I knelt down to look more closely at a discarded skin found lying under one of the sheets. It was only after I had one hand resting on the ground that I spotted the adult female adder lying completely motionless and beautifully camouflaged about a foot from my hand. I was a lot more cautious for the rest of the day!
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I saw a False Smooth Snake when I walked from Muxia to Fisterra in October 2019. They are small therefore not dangerous to humans though I believe they are venomous. I took a photograph but didn't get very close! My picture should show where I saw it. It's a quiet path.
 

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Jamieb

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
We saw 1 snake - I think it was in Obanos. We were walking to the store and it was slithering up against a fence. No idea what kind of snake, no desire to get close to it - LOL.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
We saw more snakes on the Le Puy route than we've ever seen hiking in Australia!
I visited Australia for a few weeks in June and July 2019. Before leaving Sydney at the start of my trip friends there told me not to worry about meeting snakes at that time of year. A week later I was in Queensland and sent them a photo of this little fellow I met on a path there. Very glad that I saw him but also glad that I spotted him at a safe distance!
IMG_20190617_110148.jpg
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I visited Australia for a few weeks in June and July 2019. Before leaving Sydney at the start of my trip friends there told me not to worry about meeting snakes at that time of year. A week later I was in Queensland and sent them a photo of this little fellow I met on a path there. Very glad that I saw him but also glad that I spotted him at a safe distance!
View attachment 125090
Death adder I believe?
Highly venomous.
 

Juno

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino French Way (2012 - 2014)
SJPDP - Sahagun (June 2015)
Sahagun - Muxia (June 2016)
A local news website in Navarra has reported that an American peregrina was bitten by a viper yesterday and taken to hospital by the local rescue services. A very rare and unusual event. An unfortunate start to a Camino.

Ohh! I picked up a baby snake by the tail on the French Way, probably not sensible but needs must, as a hoard of school children were just behind me and it might have got squashed! I was surprised when this iddy piddy little snake opened its mouth to reveal teeth and a big hiss 🐍 I am glad it wasn’t the outcome of the unfortunate pilgrim.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Ohh! I picked up a baby snake by the tail on the French Way, probably not sensible but needs must, as a hoard of school children were just behind me and it might have got squashed!
I admire your consideration for the snake but I'd have tried to persuade it to move by some other means. Even if I could positively identify it as non-venomous. On a very chilly wet day on the Via de la Plata I came across a Viperine snake (non-venomous) coiled up and unmoving
in the middle of the path. I watched it for a couple of minutes before prodding it very gently with a trekking pole to encourage it to move into cover. I was worried that another walker might accidentally step on it. Or kill it deliberately which sadly happens all too often.
 

backpack45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
We once saw something we thought was a snake on the Primitivo. It was in the Cantabrian Mountains near the Emsalse (dam) de Salime and the town of Grandas de Salime, Spain. Showed to a friend who is a professor of mammologist at Berkeley, He showed the photo of the "snake" to two herpetologists in the Museum, and they both immediately and independently said it was a "sloworm." The name is Anguis fragilis, and it is a legless lizard, not a snake. It has a widespread distribution all over Europe and as far east as Iran. It even occurs in Scandinavia, and is one of the very few reptiles that is found in the UK. Our friend suggested, "you can look for it on your forthcoming trip. If you find one, pick it up, they are harmless to humans, and notice that it has eyelids and so it can close its eyes. That is an easy way to know that it is a lizard as snakes do not have eyelids. these critters are burrowers, but also forage in leaf litter as you found this one doing. Another interesting thing about this species is that it is viviparous, that is it does not lay eggs, but its babies are born already hatched and active."
 

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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I have seen dead snakes on camino trails, and one live one. As I am not a herpetologist, I would not presume on my luck and pick one up. It might be a sloworm, but it might be neither slow nor a worm.
Very wise! I've posted this story from Facebook before when snakes were being discussed. A cautionary tale that has stuck in my mind for years.

Screenshot_2022-05-14-18-38-56-686.jpg
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017
The only venomous snake native to the UK is the adder which is also called the European viper which is found in Spain. They prefer heath lands and during the mating season can be aggressive. Strange as it seems they can balance on their tale and reach up quite high. My grand father told me they used to be seen around farm manure heaps, where the heat from the heap used to help incubate their eggs. Not seen much now in the North of England, but seen fairly frequently in the New Forest.

1652552540166.png
 
Past OR future Camino
2018, 2022 (planning - Voie du Puy or Via Tolosana
I have only ever seen a single snake whilst on Camino - around five years ago in that valley path on the way down to Molinaseca, after the descent from Cruz de Ferro. It was brown and surprisingly big (by UK standards)…..I stopped in my tracks and watched it slither across the path in front of me. I didn’t bother it and it didn’t bother me!! I was surprised though.
I’ve passed the place three or four times since - including in the past week or so - and again recalled the event as I passed.
Saw a small (by Australian standards) snake with white-ish body and brown markings slither off the dirt track and into the weeds alongside a section of the Chemin d'Arles just before left turn into Villetelle yesterday morning (13 May). I think I startled it from its sun bath in early morning brisk air! I was startled, too, but not scared. I hope the OP is recovering?
 
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Past OR future Camino
2018, 2022 (planning - Voie du Puy or Via Tolosana
I visited Australia for a few weeks in June and July 2019. Before leaving Sydney at the start of my trip friends there told me not to worry about meeting snakes at that time of year. A week later I was in Queensland and sent them a photo of this little fellow I met on a path there. Very glad that I saw him but also glad that I spotted him at a safe distance!
View attachment 125090
Yikes 😳
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Very wise! I've posted this story from Facebook before when snakes were being discussed. A cautionary tale that has stuck in my mind for years.

View attachment 125272
Poor Josh. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer it seems. Bless his heart. Copperheads are probably the most recognizable and common species of poisonous snakes in the United States, especially in the south. I have only known two people in my life who have been bitten by poisonous snakes and they were bitten on the leg/foot by a copperhead (both survived fully recovered).
 
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haylesm

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 - el Camino Frances on foot
2021 - plan to repeat el Camino Frances by bike
OK, so I am trying to upload my video of a snake sighted a

OK, I am trying to upload a video of a snake sighted a week ago (a baby one, but a snake), with no success. When telling others about it I was asked if I had not been mistaken and could it not have been a worm? Mate, I'm from Australia, grew up in the bush, I know the difference between a baby snake and a large worm.
Lol yes us Aussies aren’t likely to mistake worms for snakes 😂
 

dqduncan

Past Director, Canadian Company of Pilgrims
Past OR future Camino
2015-22: CF, Hospitalero, Norte, CF
Hope the peregrina is doing well and she will recover soon and can continue her camino
She’s fine. She said embarrassed, but fine. Ran into her and her US uni friends the other day on the way to Los Arcos. Fortunately the venom was minimal and affected only her forearm. She’s back on her Way.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
The only venomous snake native to the UK is the adder which is also called the European viper which is found in Spain. They prefer heath lands and during the mating season can be aggressive. Strange as it seems they can balance on their tale and reach up quite high. My grand father told me they used to be seen around farm manure heaps, where the heat from the heap used to help incubate their eggs. Not seen much now in the North of England, but seen fairly frequently in the New Forest.

View attachment 125278
I was out doing a highway inspection on the M20 (Kent, UK for our overseas viewers) and the crew were shifting the road cones out to give us more protection. The ganger tapped each one with his boot before lifting it.
I asked one of his crew why he did it and was told that once he'd lifted a cone and there was a two foot long adder under it - it gets quite warm under there in the sunshine - and ever since he'd give the cones a tap "just to be sure".
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
One the way to San Juan de Ortega in 2001

1652616472496.jpeg

(actually it was only 15cm long and I zoomed in quite a lot)

Biggest snake we ever saw was on the Portugues, it was about a metre long and very, very dead at the edge of the road. I thought it was a length of discarded hosepipe at first!
 
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Karl Oz

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
I visited Australia for a few weeks in June and July 2019. Before leaving Sydney at the start of my trip friends there told me not to worry about meeting snakes at that time of year. A week later I was in Queensland and sent them a photo of this little fellow I met on a path there. Very glad that I saw him but also glad that I spotted him at a safe distance!
View attachment 125090
I think that is a Death Adder. Not an expert on northern snakes though.
 

Antananarivo

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Yes we are Aussies and have just finished Le Puy to SJPDP. Had a snake on the track. Jumped 2 feet in the air. Luckily it was very cold and the snake moved slowly
I live in Sydney. I have been living in Australia for 15 years and never had a snake encounter... until a couple of weeks ago in a near park. The first was a Red belly black snake. A week later a brown snake. I almost run over her. I was terrified. Hopefully I won't repeat that during my Camino next September.
 

Lucy_lou

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2022
On the CF now (Day 11) have seen a few snakes, mostly dead.. this was alive though.. baby I would say. Crossed the path in front of me outside Belorado. As it's getting hotter they are coming out. I also had a large black boar run across just behind me today , in the middle of nowhere.. scared the crap out of me 😱 Just be careful 👍 Buen Camino
 

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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
On the CF now (Day 11) have seen a few snakes, mostly dead.. this was alive though.. baby I would say. Crossed the path in front of me outside Belorado. As it's getting hotter they are coming out. I also had a large black boar run across just behind me today , in the middle of nowhere.. scared the crap out of me 😱 Just be careful 👍 Buen Camino
Interesting, and seeing that wild boar is pretty cool, too.
Based on my amateur investigation I'm gonna guess that snake was a species called an asp viper.
 
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John H.

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
I was on the dirt trail in the forest coming down from the Pyrenees Mountains about 3 kms from Roncesvalles. I stopped for a break. I reached down to pick up a few 1 Euro coins I saw on the ground. Just as I put my hand down, several small snakes went slithering by my hand. I got out of there quickly . . . after I grabbed the coins. :) I walked at a good pace for the rest of that day and never looked back. :)
 

Viva Terlingua

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Partial Frances (2018)
Full Frances 2022 (May-Jun)
On the CF now (Day 11) have seen a few snakes, mostly dead.. this was alive though.. baby I would say. Crossed the path in front of me outside Belorado. As it's getting hotter they are coming out. I also had a large black boar run across just behind me today , in the middle of nowhere.. scared the crap out of me 😱 Just be careful 👍 Buen Camino
Stuff like the boar is scary, but also exciting.
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
Snakes, along with heights, are my biggest fears in life. I don’t know what I would do if I saw a snake. I can’t even look at pictures of them without going cold. I have gone very gingerly through this thread! I am planning to do the VDLP in Sept and hadn’t thought about snakes, but I am now !!!
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I was on the dirt trail in the forest coming down from the Pyrenees Mountains about 3 kms from Roncesvalles. I stopped for a break. I reached down to pick up a few 1 Euro coins I saw on the ground. Just as I put my hand down, several small snakes went slithering by my hand. I got out of there quickly . . . after I grabbed the coins. :) I walked at a good pace for the rest of that day and never looked back. :)
They are still young and not as fast as the big guys. But they learned the bait trick well. You're lucky you didn't end up as lunch.
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I was surprised to see this poor guy on the side of the road in the town of Las Medulas (Camino Invierno). It was a good 2 cm diameter. No idea what it is!
Pretty sure that was an adult Ladder snake. The parallel dark lines along the back which are visible near the tail suggest it. They get quite large but they are non-venomous and harmless.

I don't know what sort of snakes these are (Vallee du Cele, 2014) but they were too busy to notice me.

They look like Aesculapian snakes. Another non-venomous species that is fairly common in France. There are two isolated populations in the UK: one in north Wales and the other right in the middle of London on the banks of a canal!
 
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Purple Backpack

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2012 ViaFrancigena 2016 ViaPodiensis 2022
Yes we are Aussies and have just finished Le Puy to SJPDP. Had a snake on the track. Jumped 2 feet in the air. Luckily it was very cold and the snake moved slowly
We just finished, too, and there was lots of rustling in the dry leaves on the sides of the path. I told myself it was lizards but also stomped the poles hard into the ground in any tall grass or around dried leaves.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I recently posted this on another thread;

Peg and I were recently hiking in Alabama. She was in the lead setting the pace. Immediately off the trail was a bush that had collected dead winter leaves under it. As we passed, Peg asked "Did you hear the snake moving in the leaves?" "Yeah, did you hear the rattles?" "No."
 
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Camino Frances (2019) Camino Portuguese (2022)
Thankfully I haven’t seen a snake but today I saw what I think was a Fox run across the trail just before Pontevedra. I also saw a about 4 frogs in a pond, fish swimming in the river and two very large birds having a domestic dispute.

It will be hot my last few days on the trail I hope I do not see any snakes.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
So glad to hear the snakebite victim is fine. Just after that report came in, I talked with my friend Antxon, who grew up in Berruguete, very near where the bite happened. He said there are plenty of snakes in the mountains, but it's rare to be bitten... "more like 'unfortunate,' really," he said... "In your country (USA) the snakes will kill you, but here in Spain it's more like a dog biting you. Some people are just unlucky, but they get over it and move on, because these are animals doing what animals do, and we are stomping around their habitat. Especially in Spring, when they are looking for romance or the young are hatching out, the reptiles get a little squirrelly."
I have seen a couple of snakes in the 15 years I have lived here. Having been raised in deadly snake country (my dad was hit by a diamondback rattler) I leave them the hell alone!
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 CF
A local news website in Navarra has reported that an American peregrina was bitten by a viper yesterday and taken to hospital by the local rescue services. A very rare and unusual event. An unfortunate start to a Camino.

Surely they have vipers in the US too? 🙄
 

Daddyfrog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte (2018)
Walking the Norte in 2019 we saw two snakes, each about 30cm long, although I have a strong suspicion that one of them was a legless lizard! As Aussies, we have a strong startle reaction to snakes, but when we saw they were tiny, we watched happily as these beautiful creatures went on their way.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Walking the Norte in 2019 we saw two snakes, each about 30cm long, although I have a strong suspicion that one of them was a legless lizard!
Quite likely. There are slow worms in Spain - the same legless lizard which lives in my garden here in Wales. Gentle harmless creatures. Usually a metallic-looking copper or bronze colour with no obvious neck. The clincher is that slow worms have eyelids and can blink. Snakes cannot. But if you are not 100% sure of your identification it's probably a bad idea to get close enough to tell! :)

Slow-worm-sized.jpg
 

Daddyfrog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte (2018)
Quite likely. There are slow worms in Spain - the same legless lizard which lives in my garden here in Wales. Gentle harmless creatures. Usually a metallic-looking copper or bronze colour with no obvious neck. The clincher is that slow worms have eyelids and can blink. Snakes cannot. But if you are not 100% sure of your identification it's probably a bad idea to get close enough to tell! :)

View attachment 126257
Yes, we have them in Oz too, in a range of different shapes and colours - the earholes are a dead giveaway. This one was a bit too quick to properly identify.
 

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