Sorry about the snake picture, but Yikes, I need a snake free, or at least venomous snake free vacation! As my moniker suggests, I live in Arizona, a desert environment where snakes are common. This year they have been especially prolific in my yard. The two non-poisonous Bull snakes we encountered don’t even bother me, but the six highly poisonous Mojave rattle snakes we have encountered either in our porch, garage, or garden have me a little spooked. I don’t even go out my front door or in the garage these days with out first pausing to check for snakes.
The Mojaves around here are not particularly aggressive and only likely to bite if stepped on or pestered. Hence, my abundance of caution when stepping out of the house. However, I got a real scare yesterday when I reached down to pull a stubborn weed and I saw one about 3 inches from my hand. He was coiled up and didn’t strike, but he sure gave me a big scare.
After a minute to calm down, I told myself that I needed a “Snake Free” or at least a “Venomous Snake Free” vacation. The US Army Field Manual list the following places in the world to be free of venomous snakes: Polar Regions, New Zealand, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Polynesia, and Hawaii. The Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde islands are listed as either free from snakes or poisonous snakes. I also came up with another “Snake Free” vacation spot, a cruise ship. While I suppose it is possible for a poisonous snake to stow away in a load of bananas or mangoes, I think I have probably a 100,000 times better chance of encountering a poisonous snake in my garage than in my cruise ship state room. When I searched the internet for “Snakes on a Cruise Ship” (Sounds like a really bad sequel to “Snakes on a Plane”), the only listings that came up had to do with Circus Performers, Towel Animals and cruising the Snake River Canyon.
The evidence seems to indicate that in choosing a cruise, I should not have to worry about stepping out on my veranda and finding a snake curled up like I do here at home. Many of the snake free places in the world are also popular cruise destinations. While I’ve already cruised to many of these destinations, I’d gladly return if it meant a day with out snakes. We cruise to Hawaii in 2005 and found it to be one of our favorites cruise destinations. Trans-Atlantic and European cruises often include stops in the Atlantic islands of the Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, and Cape Verde. Many cruise lines frequently visit Jamaica and Puerto Rico, while Royal Caribbean has their “Private Island” on a peninsula in Haiti. New Zealand, Polynesia, and Ireland are all on my “Bucket List” of places to visit. Antarctica would also probably be good place to visit to avoid snakes except that most of these cruises leave from South America or Australia, both of which have their share of poisonous snakes. Unfortunately none of the islands we are visiting on our up-comping Celebrity Equinox cruise are listed as free of venomous snakes, so I guess I’ll still have to “watch my step” and where I reach when we venture off the ship.
Have I now become “Indiana Jones”, with an extreme fear of snakes? Not really, but after so many close encounters with the little critters, I though it would be fun to explore the idea of going on a vacation where I didn’t have to worry about snakes. If any of our readers have had close encounters with snakes while on their cruise vacation, please share with us your stories. Better yet, if you can add to our list of Poisonous Snake Free Vacation destinations we’d love to hear from you. Here’s wishing everyone a snake free vacation, where ever you choose to visit.