Air Boat And Gaters.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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What I did
Everglades National Park

Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, November 26, 2012

We are in the land of swamp buggies with giant tyres, air boats that zip over grass as easy as water and southern accents. The talk is of "Gators" and pythons and the biggest they have seen. My thoughts are it is like the fishing tale that grows a little bit more in each telling.

We are also in the land where the dilema of tipping confronts the traveller at every moment. It isn't enough to pay for a full day tour incuding lunch, you then find that you are expected to tip the staff for each of two boat rides, the lunch waitress and the at the end of the day the guide/driver. What is a mystery is how the Americans are confidently prepared for it. There seems to be no rustling and rummaging of purse or wallet at the time, they just seem to have the money ready to press into the palm of the expectant recipient. It is not a skill I really want to learn though!  Whilst we do what is expected, (when in Rome...etc) it is a uniquely American thing for there to be an expectation of tips at every turn. Notices proclaim that "your Generous tips are appreciated" everywhere and on all documentation, just in case we don't understand the tipping culture.

Everglades National Park is UNESCO World Heritage listed. It is a huge area of wetland spanning 1.5 million acres and is known for its unique "rivers of grass" that are home to wading birds, alligators, turtles, fish, snakes, bears and the endangerd manatee (same family as the dugong). We got to see a good slice of the Everglades on a full day tour that included boats, walking and lots of driving. The most fun was zipping across the wetlands and rivers of grass in the unique airboat that is the travel of choice in the Everglades.

Avan felt quite at home when two Dolphins turned up on our 10000 islands tour and began surfing the boats wake. We were told they were Lennards Bottle Nosed Dolphin, however a search of the internet has not produced this Species, perhaps this is the local name for the Common Bottle Nose Dolphin.

Footnote: Everglades National Park is UNESCO World Heritage Listed.    
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