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13.9.15

The Everglades, Florida


Hi There! Like I said in my previous story, I really enjoyed my week in Florida, because not only I got to visit Miami, but I also got to travel a little around. The Everglades National Park is a natural region of tropical wetlands and one of the entrance points is located pretty close to Miami (around 30 minutes if I recall correctly). The park is really huge and mostly consists of swamps and tropical forest. It is filled with alligators, snakes, turtles, birds and even black panthers (it is though really rare to see one). The Everglades have been on my bucket list for a long time. I can't believe how different it is from the rest of Florida and Miami, and yet so close. I know that it might not seem appealing to everyone (why would anyone spend a day in the swamps?), but I promise that it is worthy - plus I love the idea of seeing animals in their natural environment.

I dedicated a day to the park and I used a tour bus (once again, it was way easier and cheaper than renting a car). However, if you do rent a car for this trip, you can cover a larger area and explore the park a little longer. The fun thing to do is an airboat tour (the park is filled with independent companies and they all have similar prices) that will take you further in the park in order to see alligators. There are different length tours and if you are really willing to visit, you can even have a private guide. A private tour will also allow you to walk in the park and get you the possibility to spot more animals (turtles and if you're really lucky, a panther!). I really enjoyed the airboat, it was really fun. There weren't any mosquitoes (it was maybe a good season to go afterwards), but I would recommend you to get some creme against it just in case. I was so amazed to see alligators that close. I even saw a baby gator! It's not always easy to see where these creatures are on the pictures; so you guys will have to play "Where is Waldo" ("Où est Charlie" for my frenchies - I know the name is so different, I never understood why) to find them :). I have to admit that I am very scared of snakes (so why did I go in a park that has 150 different species of snakes? I know it doesn't make much sense, I am still trying to understand myself haha) so I was apprehensive of seeing one. I started feeling bad when the boat driver said that if a snake would fall in the boat somehow (if he would come too close to a tree as we sometimes had to go trough narrow canals) we couldn't panic. Yes, and jumping into the water is not an option because it's filled with predators.. So I was really scared that something like this would happen, because I would literally freak out (or pass out. Maybe he said it as a joke? (I don't want to scare you guys if you do decide to go). Well, if he did, it wasn't funny at all!

After the boat tour, most of the companies offer a little show with a big gator. After it, you also have the possibility to hold a baby gator for little as $3. That is how I got to hold little Larry (holding a gator is a one chance in a lifetime) and I was so surprised by how smooth the skin was. There was also a little shop and a restaurant where you can try gator meat (what is wrong with these people: one moment you can "pet" them, the second after you can eat them - I do not understand...).

Once again, I know that it might not seem appealing to everyone, but if you have the chance, you definitely should spend some time in The Everglades. It's beautiful in its own way, very different from what I have seen in the U.S and holding a baby gator is, I promise, a wonderful memory. 


I have one more story from Florida to come (Key West & Bahia Honda), so stay tuned!

- With love, Célia

3 comments:

  1. oh, le calin à la bestiole, je suis pas sure...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oui je sais ça peut faire peur, mais je me suis dit que c'était le moment ou jamais ;)

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