The Everglades: 21st March 2015
Gator Park is about half an hour’s drive away from the cruise terminal at Miami, and we didn’t really see much of the city on the way. The park, although a little basic, was a delight … and I hope it remains that way, rather than becoming too much like an alligator-based theme park. The sole object is to see (and, hopefully, not get eaten by) alligators, which we saw both in the wild in the creeks from the airboat, but also, in case of the unlikely event of missing seeing them, in enclosures around the centre.
I’m in two minds about the airboat. It really doesn’t seem the most environment friendly way to get about the swamps; we were issued with ear defenders, so goodness knows how the wildlife feels about it. But, we did see plenty … mainly birds and, of course, alligators, either sunning themselves or lurking in wait. For these, we slowed down almost to a stop.
Anyway, as you’ll see from the video next week, it’s certainly a fun way to get around.
This, of course, poses the question … how do you tell an alligator from a crocodile? Well, the obvious one is, if you see a crocodile in the United States, it’s most probably an alligator. But, if you get attacked by an alligator in Australia, it’s almost certainly a crocodile! But, the easiest way to tell them apart is, when an alligator closes its mouth, you can’t see any teeth; with a crocodile, you can.
The Everglades National Park consists of 1.5 million acres of swampland around the southern tip of Florida. That’s a lot of swamp … and, fortunately, efforts to drain it have, so far, usually been resisted, Of course, they were only able to show us the minutest portion, but it did contain a pretty fair cross-section.