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If you are not in Florida for the theme parks then you could do a lot worse than travel down towards Miami and spend a day in the Everglades. This natural unspoilt part of Florida is as it was all over before residential housing and Walt Disney World came along. Walt Disney only came to Florida when he ran out of room for his ambitious plans after he had finished creating Disney Land in California.
In the Everglades you can take a boat trip with a guide who will point out some of the wild life to you and give you all the history of the area. Our particular guide said he was looking for an alligator called Herman who was addicted to marshmallows. We were all asked to help call out for Herman and the children on the boat went for it with great gusto shouting “Herman” at the top of their voices. We all smiled knowingly but as he called, “Herman” and began to throw marshmallows, slowly there appeared in the distance a movement in the water that could only be an alligator approaching. As he got near to the boat, he headed straight towards the marshmallows and scoffed the lot. H really did love them. I hate to imagine the state of his teeth!
After the boat trip you could then go to an Indian reservation. Here they appear in full Indian traditional dress (although we arrived before they were open and saw them all wearing jeans and T-shirts). You can wander around and watch old women weaving bracelets and blankets or clothing. Many of the ancient Indian crafts were being demonstrated.
The high light of the tour is the Alligator wrestling. Here an Indian goes to the edge of a small pool where an alligator is minding his own business just swimming around. Very carefully, never taking his eyes of the animal, the Indian manages to get hold of his tail and then pulls it out of the water into a ring where he then gets on to the alligators back and opens his jaw to show the audience the teeth. Some of you may have seen the late Steve Irwin do this on television, but the ones he grabs seem much more aggressive. Whether or not the alligators are doped, I don’t know but the indians assure us that they are not.
So for a very different experience to Mickey Mouse or Harry Potter, take a trip to the Everglades.
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