FLORIDA - See you later, Alligator! (The Everglades)

Okay, so what have we learned so far? -The state Florida has got lovely beaches some with a Caribbean flair and others with a Springbreak atmosphere and we have been introduced to a few very special animals (manatee) and unique vegitation (mangroves).
Today's posting deals with an interesting ecosystem and one of its most dangerous creatures. Most of you will know them from horrormovies: the Everglades and the American Alligator. The first are two huge national park-like areas called Wildlife Management Area and Water Conservation Area. If you zoom in on these parts in the lowest/last third of the state you can get an impression of the brown-green marbled landscape. To explore the territory beside the scattered roads one needs some kind of boat and as a tourist going on an airboat tour seems to be a good idea, so we did it.

In the company's office and shop which offers such tours, we see this funny mosquito scale. Luckily today's expected collective attack by these blood sucking insects is rather low. Though one can buy anti-mosquito-spray here and apply before entering the wilderness, if advisable (>4).

Being placed in these airboates and equiped with hearing protection a driver who knows the area as good as his own vest pocket, maneuvers us safely through the water labyrinth. His slides over muddy parts of the shallow water entertains quite well, when the alligators hid themselves. We only see one small sized reptile in some distance, escaping from us. But if you think about it, it's very plausible, because the ear-deafening engine of the airboat is just too loud...

On our way back home we don't take the highway and detect a large amount of alligators along the roads with irrigation channels for the fields next to them. It's dry season and the water level here is higher than in the open Everglades.

So, if you really want to make sure to see some alligators you can also visit this miniature golf court near Fort Myers which attracks with its own baby allgators in cat size.

Though the complex and visionary composition of the court was breath-taking enough for us as foreign tourists. None of us had seen such a splendid miniture golf court before.

Well, as you know every journey comes to an end one day and so there's nothing left to say but:
"See you later Alligator!" - "In a while, Crocodile!" ;)
(of the Florida Tour 2011)

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