June 9th
Wake up to another very still and hot day. We take the dinghy around the coast to a black beach and offload the dinghy. John heads out to practice his spearfishing skills and I find a spot in the shade of a cave on the black beach to read my book. So peaceful, right? Not so.

After a short while, feel something on my foot, and look down and a cute little green lizard is crossing over my foot. He scurries into a crevice in the rock near me and I keep seeing him make an appearance every few minutes checking me out. I am guessing that I am invading his home.

Time goes by and I am now reading on my stomach after taking a nice long swim. Great book, by the way. Totally absorbed. Not too worried about John as the water is very calm today. I feel something on my leg and think, “Aahhh, how sweet, the lizard has come to visit me again…”. I turn around to look, and jump about a foot into the air and scream. The black snake that was on my leg jumps as well and almost flies across the black sand beach to a rock on the other side of the beach. It seems to leap across the black sand. It is skinny and long and has a small head – about three to four feet long. Man, can that thing move. It disappears before I can grab my camera.

Well, I think we scared the hell out of each other. My heart did not stop racing for about thirty minutes. I found John’s phone and Googled snakes in Italy. Most likely, it was a grass or whip snake. Totally harmless, thank goodness. There are some venomous snakes here, but they are all shorter and vipers.

Either way, I moved all my belongings as close as I could to the water’s edge and waited patiently for John to get back. I am scared of snakes, and don’t care if they are harmless. My worst nightmare came true turning round and seeing one slither over my legs! Not visiting that cave again.

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My friendly lizard
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