The Americas travel blog

The Everglades

We have a flight to Panama City from Fort Lauderdale airport this evening at 5.50. We decide to stop off at the Everglades National Park for the Shark Valley tram tour which starts at 9.30. Out tram takes us around the park on a sealed road that is also used by cyclists although it's a bit warm to cycle today. We see lots of birds and a few baby alligators although the park is home to 50,000 alligators. With all the rain they have had lately in the Everglades the alligators have spread out over a larger area so they are much harder to find. In the winter when all this area dries up all the wildlife collects at the waterholes and hence you see more. We stop at a tower that was previously used to spot fires and is no longer used for that purpose as its now known that a fire can be a natural way for the park to regenerate. We can walk up the tower which has good views of the park and the nearby waterhole where there are a few turtles. The Everglades national park was donated to the people by Exon oil once they found that there were no significant oil reserves worth producing.

After the tour we stop at a cafe managed by one of the local Indian tribes to try some alligator bites - deep fried of course! Quite a dense meat, a bit tough and a lot like chicken.

Now it's only 1 1/2 hours to the airport and we manage to make it without getting lost. Our GPS recognises airports, thank goodness! Phil is quite happy to hand the Nissan Versa back! The navigator is quite happy to not have to deal with the GPS anymore or try and follow google map snapshots from the previous night's wifi or get yelled at by the grumpy driver! We did 1200 miles in the Nissan, probably 1199 too many!!

Well so long America. There were lots of good things, so much varied architecture,

really friendly people and spectacular national parks and there were some not so good, too many highways with too much traffic, not really any scenic driving like we are used to in Australia and very, very unhealthy food!

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