We spent Saturday in the Everglades, a big National Park in the southern end of Florida. It’s just about an hour and a half’s drive from us here so after breakfast we drove down there to explore a bit.

Our first stop was Speedy’s Airboat tours, for an hour’s tour of the grasslands and mangrove forests on tops of a bright yellow airboat. It was loud and fast and great fun! Unfortunately this is nesting season for many of the birds, so they were out of sight, and the manatees had all migrated elsewhere for the summer, so no wildlife apart from a few buzzards and ospreys to be sighted, but it was a great trip through the different ecosystems.

 

We went to a next-door cafe for lunch afterwards and finally got the great fresh seafood we’ve been hoping for since we arrived. All on top of a pile of hot sweet potato fries. Delicious!

 

Although the airboat tour was fun, there was one Everglades inhabitant we were not willing to leave without having spotted: the alligator. Where might we find them?? Our airboat driver obliged us with a map: “drive up this road and you can see them out the window from your air conditioned car”… that sounded promising so we followed the hand-drawn map eight miles further into the National Park, hoping to spot one or two…

So that’s one, two, three, four, FIVE in one photo. See that patch of grass right in the front? Our car is parked right next to it. The zoom on our camera is honestly not that great. Do I need to give a reason for not getting out of the car at this point?!

Another visitor was not so shy… As tense as I was (Rasmus was whispering, if it gets eaten, don’t scream, just take lots of pictures…) our friend got away without so much as a ruffled feather. Mr Alligator must have recently eaten.

We literally just drove up and down this gravel road alongside the creek and there were alligators everywhere. We got out at a couple of spots where they were far enough away to be safe. And a few spots where they were rather closer…

Mission accomplished, we started to drive home to escape the approaching storm (now that the two week drought is passed, we’re getting monsooned on every afternoon – conveniently right at the time I am going to pick up Rasmus from the office), and stopped on the way as the heavy raindrops were beginning, at what is apparently the smallest post office in the United States. You’d think after all the alligator excitement, a small post office would not be so exciting. But you’d be so wrong! :)

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