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Summer 2018, like 2017 this years holidays were influenced again by a viper species, this time it was Vipera graeca, the Greek Meadow Viper, we searched for them in 2013, but did not find them in spring. So Greece it was, 18 days at 4 locations and not all locations were booked for herping, we started with 5 days in a little house 20 meters from the beach on the Pilion peninsula.
The activities here were swimming, snorkeling, drinking wine or beer, eating good food and enjoying the sun. We did not herp, but found a couple of animals on a day we drove up the mountains close by.
The second town we stayed in was Karpenisi, a nice little town in the mountains at around 800 m absl, again the food and wine was great in the area so that took almost half of the time we were there, the rest of the time we stayed in our apartment a bit higher on the mountain, or I was searching for vipers even more higher up.
We stayed 5 days in this area and every morning and late afternoon I searched for a couple of hours, only on the 3rd morning I was lucky and found a female Greek Meadow Viper. So the many hours of finding nothing were good at least for staying a bit fit.
Our next stop was in the Pindos Mountains, 4 days and the food was even better here. In the area were some higher mountains where I searched for the Greek Meadow Viper again in the morning and during the day we visited some places in the area. At one swimming place I noticed some open spots in the forest with stones, so on the way back we searched a bit there and found 5 snakes within 10 minutes, thats what I call a good family day out.
On the higher mountains I was a bit more lucky now compared to the first spot, I total I found 4 Greek Meadow Vipers, 1 male, 3 females, all were basking in the morning.
The last place we stayed was at the Prespa Lakes, this was a place we also visited during a herping trip in 2013, so our favorite restaurant was found easily.
In the lake were many Dice Snakes and the kids were catching them when I was drinking my beer. Some afternoon we went to a little pond with many Macedonian Crested Newts, Elin and I saw many of them still being in the water and when we walked around the pond we spotted 4 rather big Grass Snakes making a noisy escape into the point, they did look similar to the ones we found here in 2013.
At an other spot I remembered from 2013 I searched one late afternoon and found a very nice female Nose-horned Viper.
After 3 days at this spot it was time to go home again.