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02 March 2015

Alligators Scare The Crap Out Of Me {Everglades National Park}

Whenever we go someplace new, Scott loves nothing more then to list the animals we might see in the area that can kill us. He’s like a little kid – so excited at the possibility of seeing poisonous snakes, creatures with sharp, pointy teeth or animals that can crush you in their arms. Obviously, not your normal little kid. Because you average kid doesn’t dream about different ways animals can kill you. At least I hope not. 

Scott loves to wind me up and he knows that nothing winds me up more then the possibility of close encounters with animals that can kill me. Like alligators. So you can imagine how much he loved our visit to the Shark Valley Visitor Center in the Everglades National Park. Apparently, it is one of the best places in the Everglades to see alligators up close and personal. A little too close and personal to my liking.

As usual, we didn’t know too much about the place before we got there. Turns out one of the big attractions is to take a wildlife-viewing tram ride along a 15 mile multi-use loop trail. Alternatively, you can bike along the trail. We were too cheap to pay for the tram tour and we don’t have bikes, so we decided to walk part of the trail instead. At first it was pretty ho-hum as we walked along the Bobcat Boardwalk. And then we got to the main part of the loop trail and there they were – lots and lots of alligators sunning themselves on the side of the trail.

Alligator Everglades

All of the gators were on the west side of the path, so I walked as close to the east side of the path as I possibly could. Which was stupid, because who’s to say there weren’t other alligators lurking in the bushes behind me.

Alligator Everglades 2

Fortunately, it wasn’t all alligators. We saw a turtle. I like them. They’re slow. I can outrun them.

Turtle Everglades

And birds. I’m of two minds when it comes to birds. Most of the time, they don’t bother me. But I have seen Hitchcock's movie The Birds, so I’m well aware that they can turn evil in an instant and peck you to death. These birds seemed harmless though. 

Brid Everglades
Bird Everglades 2

One of the reasons I love New Zealand is because there are very few animals there that can kill you. That’s why I’m so glad we’re permanent residents. We can always go back there to escape from the alligators. If you’ve never been to New Zealand and deadly animals scare the crap out of you, put it at the top of your bucket list.

I got the crap scared out of me by alligators at the Shark Valley Visitor Center on 9 February 2015.

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15 comments:

  1. Those are some big alligators!!! They scare me too! We saw a small alligator in one of our neighborhood ponds. Don't know how it got there but I was excited when they removed it!

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    1. We went for a walk yesterday and saw another one. Scott got excited and walked closer to get a better look. I headed in the opposite direction. Quickly.

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  2. Oh, I don't know, Scott sounds like a lot of little boys I know. It's funny how New Zealand has so few animals that can kill you, but you're so close to Australia which has so many! It's lucky that you're a Kiwi.

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    1. Hi Kerensa - we're not actually Kiwis. We're Americans who are just lucky enough to live there :-)

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  3. It's amazing to me that people who live in Florida don't seem to mind the gators. I recently was talking to a chap who water skis. I asked him if he was fearful of the gators. His response, "Na. We just ski around 'em". I checked to see if he had all his appendages. He did.

    I think these people spend a little too much time in the sun.

    Mark

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

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    1. I know - they're entirely too laid back about them :-)

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  4. When I saw that you wanted to see alligators up close I was going to suggest that you go to Everglades Nat'l Park and bike the route but then as I read further on I see that that is where you went. Too bad that you didn't have bikes, it is a fantastic bike ride but at least you were able to walk some of it. We loved it there. www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2008/03/alligators.html

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  5. We are really wishing that we had bikes, but not sure if we should invest in them (and a bike rack) at this time as our plans are a bit up in the air (currently looking for our next sailboat). The Everglades was amazing in terms of gator spotting - so many of them in the same place at one time - wow!

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  6. I shouldn't be smiling at your discomfort, but you write about it in such an amusing manner! :)

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    1. Thanks Katrina - sometimes you just have to laugh about these things. Helps to keep your mind off of their sharp teeth :-)

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  7. Alligators scare me too, but so do white tail spiders. Of course given the choice, we live far away from the alligators. Your photos are wonderful.

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  8. Ah! I went to the Everglades once and don't remember much but being heinously annoyed at all the mosquitos!

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    2. If only the Mosquitos would bother alligators instead of humans, the world would be a far better place!

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