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Day 16 - Visiting the Everglades

This time I didn’t miss the breakfast as I got up rather early. Also I had to be ready for the hostel pick up for the Everglades Safari Tour which I had booked the day before at the hostel reception. The tour bus came almost in time. Riding down to the Everglades took quite a while as the bus had to stop several times in order to pick up more passengers. After two more stops at South Beach the bus crossed the big bridge in order to get to downtown Miami. Downtown Miami looked quite modern to me but I also saw a few interesting buildings, perhaps I might still visit Miami downtown if time allows. After we had picked up more passengers from various hotels we finally got on the highway. It took about an hour until we finally arrived at the Safari Park which is part of the Everglades National Park. After paying for the tour the driver handed out the tickets for the park, we had two hours time for the air boat tour and the alligator show. A park ranger took us from the entrance and guided our group to the air boat. It was pretty exciting to travel on an air boat, something I always wanted to experience. After everybody was on board the ride began. We hadn’t even left the bay when the park ranger already shouted “alligator to the left”. Indeed there were alligators just everywhere. The ride took about an hour and we had a few stops where the park ranger explained a bit the flora and fauna of the park. Besides alligators we also got to see all kinds of birds. After the air boat tour we were sent over to the alligator show. Another park ranger showed us different alligators and demonstrated quite impressively how harmless those animals actually are. There was also the opportunity to hold a baby alligator in the arms and take pictures with it. After the show I discovered a bit more of the park on my own until it was time to get back to the entrance where the tour bus was already ready for boarding. The ride back was in the same order with many hotel drop offs. I was back at the hostel in the early afternoon and went straight for lunch as I had gotten really hungry on the way back. After lunch I returned to the hostel just in order to get my stuff for the beach. I left pretty soon to the beach. I took a nice swim first before resting in the sun for a while. Before leaving the beach I jumped into the water one more time but didn’t stay anymore long as lighting could be seen on the other side of the islands and being in the water during a thunderstorm is not a good idea. Dark clouds moved in and I started to leave back to the hostel. I took a shower first before heading down into the lobby. I spent some time reading my e-mails and working on the blog which I hopefully will have soon online. At 6 pm dinner was served. This time I got rice with black beans but there wasn’t more to eat for vegetarians. After dinner I went back to the room to get my camera and to go for an evening walk. The thunderstorm had just moved away and it was sunny again. I walked up Washington Blvd to 18th Street. From there I turned back to the south walking along the beach until the very south tip of Miami Beach. The sun was already setting when I finally reached the south tip. I got some pretty amazing sunset shots of downtown Miami and the harbor as well as the South Beach. I left the south tip after the sun had set and had to walk quite a while until I was back at the hostel. In the end it had gotten quite late but I was happy about the great pictures I had gotten from the sunset.

Air boat tour

Discovering the Everglades

Alligator at the show

Evening walk by the beach

Sunset by the south tip

Downtown Miami and harbor

Beautiful sunset over Miami

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