i earned this vol II

Snakes. They creeped me out too. And I saw more of them than I have ever seen in my life in just three days. And as one can imagine this is the post about what I didn’t like during the walk through the Alps. Word of caution. Some highly aggressive ranting is going to follow and lots of fucks.

So the first thing I didn’t like. Snakes or reptiles. I have seen only ONE snake in wilderness in Estonia and I saw three last year while walking the first part of the Red Trail. First one I saw was near Mesocco. Just lying onthe road and doing nothing. Dead as it was to my relief. But that got me kinda worried, ’cause when there’s dead one’s there must be some live one’s also. And it was maybe the day after when I was descending suddenly saw a black snake disappearing under a rock. That froze me to halt for like 30 seconds and got the adrenaline pumping. But that was just the beginning. Later on the same descen I saw another black one JUMP from one stone under another one – no doubt disturbed by me. But it really seemed to jump. Freaking nightmare. And it kept getting worse, but not because I saw a lot more snakes, but because what me omagination did to me. At some point near the first sighting of a snake I stared to encounter a lot of lizards. Well I wasn’t afraid of LIZARDS of course, but those little fuckers like to hang around in dry leaves and when somebody disturbes them then they usually escape with a fraction of a second. And those fuckers are fast. Again nothin wrong with lizards escaping, but if you connect the three – possibility of snakes, escaping lizards and dry leaves…. you see where I’m heading? A fucking nightmare. I was like so pumped, because of all the rustling in the leaves that in the evening I felt like years older. You really don’t have the time to see if it really is a lizard taking off or a snake targeting your calves. Made me almost jump for the first 20 time or so.

I didn’t sleep outside that night for your information.

The third live snake could have turned out badly if I hadn’t been folk dancing for 6 years. I ws going fast down an easy path, covered with leaves and being mostly brown. I think I placed my leg about half a meter from a BROWN snake (I think it was a viper of some sort). When my brain registered that my eyes saw a possibly venomous snake I used the same step I had just made and literally juped over it. It must have been a really funny sight. Imagine walking fast with your eyes blindfolded and suddenly the blindfold is removed and you have a hurdle 1m in height in front of you and no time to stop. I would have cleared that hurdle with plenty of room to spare. I felt that was too damn close and slowed down a bit.

From there a I was spared from seeing snakes for a while, but the damn lizards still got on my nerves.

Snake number four was some days later. The same one on the picture above actually. As you can see it’s a greyish one in green grass so I spotted it quite early and just took looong step over it. I believe that it’s an ash viper. And the lizards kept rustling in the leaves.

Number five in this out of focus picture a spotted also in time. It was about 1,5m from the path and didn’t move a muscle when I passed it. Again lizards.

Number six was the last one, but also a close one. Maybe I got used to the snakes or there was some communication problem in my brain, but I placed my foot not more than 50cm from the snake, saw it and just walked on. No shitting the pants or losing control over my bladder or performing acrobatics. Maybe it was because the snake remained calm too, but I suspect my brain malfuntioning. So that was the last of the snakes, but the “#@&¤ lizards still kept rustling in the leaves.

I also saw some salamanders too, but those are peaceful and not dangerous little fellas.

Second. Littering. Not a day went past when I didn’t see at least one paper tissue by the path. It just doesn’t fit my mind that a) you have to bring a freaking paper tissue to mountains. There’s a saying about using a tissue at all – lords put it the pocket, peasants throw it to the ground. Yeah, snot. So learn to sneeze; b) is it really so hard to take your trash with you to the next trash bin. Like the bottle of wine those people are carrying in their backpack weighs a little more than a used paper tissue. I was so hoping to see someone throwing one down. I would have used my best Estonian swearing words and then explain the problem in English or German. But cursing mainly.

Third. Odd closing times for shops. I managed to set my shopping times more than twice so that the shop was closed that very same afternoon. At one place it was like a sign on the door: “We’ll be back on two weeks. See you then” Well I won’t see you in two damn weeks ’cause I’ll be like 400km away from this place, but I need my chocolate NOW. And it wasn’t like a small store. A quite big SPAR takes a collective vacation. How real is that. Ok I got used to the lunch-breaks last year and set my pace accordingly this time, but closing on a pick-a-day afternoon just like that. And it’s not like you can guess what day it is – like SPAR’s on tuesdays, Vogl on Thursday and COOP on Wednesday. No. You have to stand behind the door and face the damn blindfolds. But maybe I’m just pampered with the always opened supermarkets at home. I definitely wouldn’t like to stand in a counter from 8-22 every day of the week. Having that afternoon off to do whatever would be very cool.

Fourth. Weather – shitty weather to be more precise – shitty weather on one particular day to be very precise. The first two weeks I had a lot of rain, and fog and wind and all them together. The temperatures in that weather normally stayed between 10-15 C. And that’s OK, ’cause when I move I generate enough body heat to stay worm. When I rained I would just don my poncho and push on. But when the wind picks up and starts to push every single piece of water through that poncho (which is actually waterproof, but somehow water still gets to your clothes) then it starts to be not fun anymore. And it was really not funny at all on one day. Twice.

But that will the subject of my next post where I describe THE worst day of the trip.

i earned this – vol I


6 responses

  1. Congrats man for finishing th red trail!

    Curious to read about the snakes… did you see them in Switzerland part? Because when I did the Green trail few years ago I saw none. And I was really HAPPY for not seeing any:)

    Great photos! What’s your camera gear?

    Looking forward to the further posts!

    July 25, 2011 at 7:04 am

  2. Actually didn’t finish yet. Still have to walk from Champex-Lac to Monaco.

    Snakes were in Switzerland, but in the Ticino canton so you could say that they were almost in Italy near Biasca. Also I almost steppen on two black snakes when I started from Trieste last year. That happened on the first day and freaked me out.

    I’m shooting with Panasonic TZ4. The bigger pictures are edited together with PTGUI

    July 25, 2011 at 7:48 am

  3. Pingback: i earned this – vol III « lugupeetud reisijad! selles peatuses on lühike perroon – väljumine ainult esimesest vagunist

  4. Pingback: I earned this vol IV « lugupeetud reisijad! selles peatuses on lühike perroon – väljumine ainult esimesest vagunist

  5. Pingback: I earned this vol V « lugupeetud reisijad! selles peatuses on lühike perroon – väljumine ainult esimesest vagunist

  6. Pingback: I earned this vol VI « lugupeetud reisijad! selles peatuses on lühike perroon – väljumine ainult esimesest vagunist

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