Don't poke snakes!

15 September 2016

Don't poke snakes!

Day 11 15th September

Getting an early start i got the coffee on and decided to make up some breakfast having fasted for 24 hours.

It was still dark as i made my preparations for a quick get away and to hit the road before the sun rose.

I was definitely feeling considerably better than the previous day. I always try to set attainable goals each day and on this day and bearing in mind I'd not eaten much decided I'd head for larochett. It was a good distance and not over doing it. If u didn't make it that was ok too.

As the sun rose i hit the road and began my hike. A couple of kilometres along i came across what i thought was an enormous worm. As i got closer i realised it was in fact either a small grass snake of some type or a huge slow worm. I wasn't sure which but having chatted to the lady with the infectious laugh in Wiltz i was pretty sure it wasn't poisonous.

My little friend was laid out to the side of the road basking in the early morning sun. I thought it was dead but got one hell of a shock when i poked it and it sprang to life, none to happy at being disturbed, it began squirming towards me. I nearly lost my balance as i jumped up and stepped back.

Regaining my composure and laughing at myself for being such a woos and for the tenacity of my little friend for having a go at me i left my friend to hide among the grass and i continued on my way.

Not much else really happened for the rest of the day, i followed the road passing through villages stopping to look at whatever caught my interest, an old castlein the hills, an old army jeep parked in a layby.
I eventually came to a point of decision. Continue following the road or divert into some woods and follow a woodland walk. It wasn't that tough a decision. The woods it was.

The day was drawing to an end and my only concern was whether I'd be able to find water.

The woodland path was pleasant and secluded and from the looks of it very rarely used. I was still up in the hills heading for the next village when i spotted a stream in a small kink in the hillside. There was running water, only a trickle mind you but enough to satisfy my evening and morning requirements. There was plenty of dry wood laying around and a nice secluded spot among the trees presented itself. It would be home for that night.

Having set up camp and gathered wood for the evening fire i set off filter in hand to collect the main ingredient for my evening meal, fresh hillside water.

The weather was now beginning to change, it was getting cooler and having spent so much time in the outdoors I'd learned to read the clouds. It looked like it was going to rain during the night.

Thankfully it was holding off for the time being but to be sure I'd be able to get a fire going the following morning i set aside a small pile of wood under the awning of my tent and sat by the fire eating my evening meal and enjoying the warm sugary taste of my coffee.

As sat there pondering my next move i heard the snap of a twig and rustle of fallen autumn leaves. I looked over and there in front of me not twenty feet away was a young deer. It looked back then continued foraging for what ever morsals it was looking for. My phone was on charge in the tent. This was precisely the reason i wished I'd had a camcorder with me. Such close encounters don't happen too often.

I slowly reached behind me and grabbed the phone unplugging it as i did but by the time I'd managed to switch the phone on, enter the unlock pin and select the camera app the deer was too far away to get a good shot. This had happened a couple of times before when i was hiking the Scottish coastline.

A little disappointed i put my phone back on charge and sat back once again in deep contemplation. Then another rustle, this time to my right i quickly looked over to catchva glimpse of a furry creature with big black bushy tail. I had no idea what it was but this secluded little woodland was full of wildlife and activity.

Then it happened, pitter patter, droplets of rain were hitting the flysheet of my tent. It was time to take cover. I crawled in and closed the door.

Removing my clothes i spotted another critter climbing up my leg, a tick. I hate ticks. I once had to remove one from my right ball sack. I certainly wasn't going to let this bugger feast on my blood so i grabbed him before he could get anywhere near my prize possessions and promptly through him out from my little nest.

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