My holiday was nearly ruined thanks to a den of snakes. Well, to be fair, my husband would argue I was the source of threat to ruin the much anticipated family getaway.

We caught a plane, a train, and then a boat for good measure to reach our Air B and B holiday house, nestled on the bank of The Hawkesbury River in New South Wales. We stayed a few doors up from my friend of 33 years on the actual bank of this fascinating part of the world where life revolves around the river. Every item of food, clothing and furniture needs to be boated in on a small barge or watercraft. Time has been turned back in this isolated stretch that is home to just 40 cottages and weathered homes.

I was craving time off the grid. Slow days. Seclusion. Serenity. Time to turn off the mobile and focus on river time which I hoped would include hot cups of tea and reading many books with the company of our two families and the ebb and flow of the brown tide. Except that first morning after finally reaching paradise, as I took my very first cup of tea on the wooden balcony thinking it was all too blissful and all too good to be true, I nearly stepped on a large python snake slithering around the outside chair legs. I dropped the tea and ran back inside where I slammed the sliding glass door shut. Then I of course called for my husband and kids to come. 

I am terrified of snakes. Petrified. They may be the cold blooded ones, but they leave my blood feeling like ice. A slow and creepy show unfolded before our eyes. Four more snakes slithered out of the gutters and onto our balcony. Yes, five large snakes were looking at us as they twisted around each other in slow motion. The holiday home had transformed into a house of horror. 

As I focussed on trying to breathe, five snakes slithered near each other in some sort of spring love dance routine. Disgusting. A snake orgy of sorts.  As thoughts of burning down the house went through my mind, I rang the lady who owned the home to inform her of the grim situation. You know what she said to me to snap me out of my hysteria and calm me down? She offered me a Dan Murphy’s voucher in return for putting up with the snakes and our word we would not write a bad review.

A little sugar from Uncle Dan bought me back to my senses and the rest of the holiday was a breeze. Genius. I did however come home with a tick in my head.  The animal kingdom: 2,  Sami: 0

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