Jul 28, 2012 15:10 - holly | 1,236 views
The most exciting playground for all the Lewis and Clarke wannabes of the 21st century can still be found in the New World. The Everglades is an area of subtropical wetlands located in the southern part of the Florida peninsula and the third largest National Park in the lower 48. The 2,358 square miles of wetland still seems to be uncharted and untouched by humans in many parts, and act as the living-room for creatures that are as ancient as dinosaurs would be if they were still around today. Alligators, bullfrogs, pythons and panthers are only some of the inhabitants of natural wonder and beauty that you will encounter when exploring this wet terrain.
One major obstacle in the Everglades is the dangerously sharp sawgrass prairie. If not navigated in the proper way these sharp blades can cut your skin right to the bones. When hiking through this area during the dry season you must be careful because the muddy ground camouflaged by the grass could act as a trap and pull you under like quicksand.
If you’re looking for a really thrilling, heart-racing adventure go on a guided hovercraft tour that will take you out into the seemingly never-ending vastness of the swamp. Usually steered by a guide who is missing a couple fingers and whose skin is deep with wrinkles from squinting into the sun for too long, the boat will fly across the wetlands at dangerously high speeds, only occasionally touching the surface and making your stomach do somersaults.
Whilst aboard one of these airboat tours you will be asked to try and spot some alligators, and if you are lucky or skilled enough to find some you will get the chance to feed them chickens. A word of warning – feed the alligators from a safe distance. Were you not curious as to how your driver lost his fingers?
If you continue out into the wild for a little longer, make sure to stop at one of the local restaurants where you can order a serving of incredibly large bullfrog legs – definitely something worth trying. You could also help the indigenous people of the region to support themselves by popping into one of their casinos for some fun. Usually it is prohibited to run such gambling establishments anywhere outside Nevada, however the Everglades have gained special permission.
Once you’ve had enough excitement here head down south to the marvelously beautiful Key West and hop onboard a Caribbean Cruise to finish off your trip in style, replacing bullfrog legs with 5 star cuisine, sawgrass with crystal clear water, and alligator sightings with dolphins.