Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Stroll in the Everglades

Yesterday, we decided to reprise our adventures in the Everglades in an airboat operated by Everglades Safari and we also determined to visit Everglades National Park at the Shark Valley entrance. We had never been to the Shark Valley part of the park--so this was to be a real new experience.

For the day, so we could all travel together we decided to rent a minivan. The smaller cars we each have rented just won't do 6 people. As it turned out--the minivan decision was a great idea. We were all together and not trying to caravan the roughly 120 miles to the Everglades.

It was a rainy day, as it turned out and we have never been assaulted by as many mosquitoes anywhere as we were today.

But it was an awesome day. The wildlife was in evidence everywhere and there was a lot of bird sightings as well as the expected alligators.

The day required some rain protection measures and we emptied two bottles of bug spray--and still got bites on top of bites.

Everglades National Park - Shark Valley was an unexpectedly fantastic time. This part of the park is highlighted by a two-hour tram tour through the River of Grass with multiple opportunities to both see wildlife and to really understand the complex environment that is the Everglades. There is a tower at about the 2/3 point which provides some stunning views of the park.

The opportunity to spend quality time in the park on a guided tour is fantastic and we only wish the two-hour tour were longer. We saw deer, gators of all sizes, egrets, herons, and really gained an understanding of the Everglades.

After the Everglades, we did a return trip to Everglades Safari's airboats to allow the neophytes in our party to experience the Everglades form an airboat. A radically different experience from the tram.

It was fast and int the rain a lot of fun. We saw a lot fewer animals but really enjoyed the ride. Afterward, we toured the exhibits--but really cut that short since it seemed the mosquitoes had not been feed in what seemed like forever. They were biting through the bugspray.

Probably the scariest picture of the day was the vultures in the trees. We were afraid they were waiting for the mosuiitoes to finish with us and then pick clean the bones.

All is all though, it was a great day in the Everglades and we highly recommend both the Shark Valley part of the Everglades National Park and the Everglades Safari Airboat Tours. Convienently they are both located within about 10 miles of each other off the Tamiami Trail.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like fun! Glad you guys had a great time despite the rain and bugs.

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