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Our Everglades Experience – Part I
It was a warm Tuesday morning in early April when we embarked on our mini adventure to the wetlands of Florida. There was a certain amount of apprehension to begin with, as this was our first experience of driving on American roads, but that soon disappeared. In fact, the route from Orange Tree to Everglades City could not be simpler. Head south down the US 27 then just over one hundred miles later bear right on to State Road 29 and follow that all the way to Everglades City. Just watch out for the staggered junction about fourteen miles after getting on to the 29, where you turn on to the State Road 80 for about thirty yards and have to get over to the left hand lane to get back on the 29 south again.
There are no services as we would know them along American roads, but there are fast food outlets every few miles and they seem to be fine about people using their facilities without buying anything. You can even find something approximating to proper food if you look out for a Subway outlet, as opposed to the multitude of variations on a burger bar.
And so we arrived in Everglades City, although I would venture to suggest that “city” is something of a misnomer. It is about the size of an English village, and I did not see any cathedrals rising into the skyline. It is actually like a quaint little colonial town trapped in a time warp; quite different from anywhere else we came across in Florida. The old buildings are mainly of timber construction, some built on stilts to keep the residents safe from snakes and other wild creatures! There is a small harbour area and the main industry, apart from a certain amount of tourism, seems to revolve around the local crabs.
We made our way to the Ivey House Inn, which was to be our accommodation for the next couple of nights. It was fully occupied, no doubt due to the fact that it was Easter, so it was just as well that we had made a reservation before leaving the United Kingdom, having discovered the place on the internet. Our room had two double beds, a TV, a fridge, air conditioning and en-suite facilities including a very good shower. However, there is no carpet, the floor is tiled throughout the bedroom as well as the en-suite area. Please continue to read our report of the Everglades in the second section of our review
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