Friday, February 7, 2014

There and Back Again

Our Cabin and Rental Car
After 10 years of saying we really should go, we finally went down to the Everglades for an exploratory visit and fell in love.  It was wonderful, more spectacular than we'd ever imagined.
We had rented a cabin on the water with its own dock in Everglade City; it had to be on the water because Mac loves to fish (strictly catch and release).
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale Monday afternoon after a relatively painless flight from Savannah, picked up our rental car, a quick stop to buy groceries and we were on our way.  We drove along I-75, also known as Alligator Alley, and soon were driving along the water and everywhere there were flocks of birds----I don't mean little song birds, I mean flocks of Ibis, Heron, Cormorants and Ahingas.  I had never seen anything like it.
Our Dock
As soon as we got to the cabin Mac set his fishing up  and started a working relationship with all the pelicans that sat on the docks and were floating in the water.and then we walked across the street to one of the entrances to the Everglade National Park.  This was a water entrance meaning the park on the Gulf of Mexico side is only accessed by boat.  We talked to the Park Ranger and were given maps and information about what was available at all the Park stops along route 41 (a short drive from us).  We couldn't wait to get started.
Mac's Fishing Buddies
At check-in the  lady at reception had also given us maps and made a few recommendations and so the next morning we took her advice and went in search of an airboat ride.  I've always wanted to do this, Mac says it's from watching Flipper as a kid and seeing people flying around in these boats.  Anyway we found the recommended site (Wooten's) paid our fare, checked out the huge, and I do mean huge alligators lazing around and were soon on a 10 passenger airboat zooming through the Big Cypress National Preserve, absolutely wonderful.  We alternated between speeding and going slow so we could have a good look at things.  Lots of alligators, many ibis, just incredible.
Airboat








These Were All Taken on the Airboat Ride


From there we drove to the Shark Valley Recreation area because we wanted to rent bikes.  It was about a half hour drive down route 41, lots of stopping places along the way with trails and wooden walkways to explore---but that was for the next day.
Made it to the recreation area, had to wait for a parking spot (very limited parking), but not too long and we chatted with the Ranger while we waited.  Once inside the park I rented bikes while Mac made a pit stop.  Now I haven't been on a bike in about 15 years, but Mrs. Micawber. whom I read every day,  is an avid bike rider and one doesn't really forget how to do it, so I wasn't worried.  Fell off as soon as I got on, got back on, figured out the steering was really sloppy, had to be careful about oversteering, and off we went down the bike path.

Now we have alligators here in Georgia, nearly always have one living in the lagoon out back, but Florida has ALLIGATORS , they were huge, lounging all over the place and we're not talking tame animals here, in fact I had to sign a release of liability before we could take the bikes out.  The real highlight was having a LARGE alligator cross the path and then lay down next to her young alligators.
Soon it was too hot for more riding so we headed back to the beginning.
Baby Alligators
Lunch was had at a roadside cafe on the Miccosucki reservation (Tippy's) where huge hamburgers we consumed and even bigger alligators were observed.  The Indian villages, and there were a number of them within the park all had houses, both old and new that roofs thatched with palmetto fiber
Miccosucki Style Building
.  So cool, reminded me of English thatched cottages.
Back at the cabin Mac fished and I just watched.  What an incredible day.
Tomorrow will be boardwalks and a boat ride through the mangrove swamps.












Alligator Joins Us For Lunch




4 comments:

  1. What a fabulous day. Those alligators, though are making me rather nervous. Xx

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  2. This looks fantastic! Suspect Juliette would love to do something along these lines - maybe next year. We're off to Spain this year, Madrid, Seville and Granada.

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  3. This looks fantastic! Suspect Juliette would love to do something along these lines - maybe next year. We're off to Spain this year, Madrid, Seville and Granada.

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  4. Love Seville and Granada, but like Toledo and Cordeba better. It looks like we'll be going to England this year.

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