Saturday, December 31, 2011

Airboat tour

yesterday when driving from fort myers to miami we went on an hourlong airboat tour in the swamps of the everglades! above you see such a boat. it is a flat-bottomed boat propelled in a forward direction by a propeller, using a lot of gasoline... (i think). it was marvelous!! we went through tunnels of trees... saw 2 alligators; one lying somewhere in the mud and one swimming in the water (i found that a bit scary.. but one of the tour guides suddenly just grabbed it and pulled the enormous animal out of the water, yuk). and they were feeding him marshmallows! (writing that down im wondering whether he was real.. ?). sometimes the boat went really fast, and we were just going over branches of trees etc... yup, i was afraid, but still it was fun, and especially just beautiful... i took some pictures but they are not that good... you really have to see and experience that yourselves!! like on tv.. haha...only i didnt know those boats are very noisy because of the propellor.... 
it was very touristy, however. along the highway there were many, many of such airboat tours. perhaps if you look from the air you see a big black cloud coming from the swamps... not very ecofriendly. at the entrance you could also hold a baby alligator. the guy almost forced him into my arms, but he quickly understood i was really not into that. i thought that was a bit sad, everytime that animal was put into another set of hands, everyone wanted to feel it, and the guy was constantly touching its eyes to show how funny it looks when he closes them.. they should leave that part out! aside from all these "complaints" it was really amazing to see a little bit of the everglades like that.... :)

Alligator safety

as you can see, there were some warning notes, but quite ahead of the plastic fence, i was surprised about that too. we actually were just driving, and then we saw many, many people with cameras hanging over some ditch... so we turned the car and then we saw allll those alligators lying around there! it was a little weird. and indeed, i was wondering about the warnings... but they came a little later. here we were actually standing on some bridge, and the alligators were below, as you can see...
we also did a tour (im looking for a pic now, but they are a bit disappointing), and the guide told us that during summer (i think?), anyways, when the waters are high in the everglades (now they are low, brownish and stinky, and then they are clear and you could drink it, he said), the alligators move much more, are much active, and they also cross the highway (the one we drove on!!!), so you see some dead ones along the road, that had been hit by cars... :(
unfortunately, the info center was just closing when we were here.