12 (March 15, 2014) Miami
This day is for knowing Miami and the Everglades
until the time to get our final return flight to home, at 6:10 PM.
The idea is optimizing our time in Miami, so we
will probably join an organized tour there.
The spots marked at map are:
0- Baltic Hotel
in Miami Beach
1- Miami airport
At 8 AM we’re ready to go downstairs for our
breakfast but then the phone rings. It is the woman in charge of the
hotel telling us the tour bus is waiting for us. A lot of questions and
exclamations come to my mind, like “What!?”, “Shouldn’t it be at 8:50
AM?”, “And the brochure estates they start picking up people at 8:30
The answers come downstairs, when the woman asks if we got
sleep or what and I explain we were up since time ago, just getting
ready our baggage with no rushes and coming to breakfast at 8 AM as we
told yesterday. Then she says “It is 9 AM now!” and we understand. What
I don’t understand is why when we confirmed the local time with her
last night she answered yes to my question “It’s just one hour
difference with Mexico, isn’t it?” We just added one more hour to our
clocks when we should add two. The clock beside our bed in the room was
showing the time we adjusted, the wrong one, and the woman tells us
people set that clock at the time is good for them.
So we get into the bus without breakfast, but
leaving our room free as the baggage was kept downstairs. We spend the
next hour seeing how the bus is taking people all along North Beach and
then goes down to complete South Beach. In our way we can see mansions
across the water with big boats in front of each one of them. One
passenger asks about them and the driver answers: “There are no
celebrities living there, they’re just millionaires”.
When the bus is finished with the island take the
bridge to go to Miami City. And we get beautiful views from it.
Once at city can see the airport from the road and then it
stops in a meeting point where we’re distributed in different buses by
tours. The ones going to Everglades take the bus labeled as “Miami
tours plus”. It seems regardless the tour you take and the agency from
where you take it, the picking up and the tour itself is centralized in
the same operators.
We finally leave the city and soon the road
appears surrounded by an endless green sea made of vegetation. We
already are in Everglades National Park and you cannot say below that
dense green surface is full of water. We arrive two hours after being
picked up at our hotel.
As we’ve got some time until the airboat ride we go to the
restaurant to get some sandwiches and coffee for breakfast. When we
arrive to our assigned airboat, the 9, I’m still eating and, as we’re
the last ones, just take the spared seats in the third row.
They deliver earplugs to each one of us and it makes us
thinks about how noisy this vehicle can be and we leave following what
looks like a river. But it is not real, the river is just a clear of
grass in the water and this airboat can go over whether the clean water
areas or the ones with all the weeds. Our ranger demonstrates this by
making some tricks with the airboat as if it was skidding.
We can see a heron and some other birds, but also alligators
of different sizes, including three babies, and a big turtle. All this
in a landscape so different to any other one we’ve ever seen. We really
get surprised by the demonstration from the ranger about how deep is
this place: just a few more than one meter. If it weren’t dangerous
animals here anyone could come back from this point just by walking, he
We come back by a place recalling a river through the
rainforest and where we can see a young alligator with no reaction for
The airboat completes this ride in the same visitor’s center
we left from 40 minutes ago and we’re addressed to a hut with some
grandstand around a fenced sand pitch with four big alligators on it.
A ranger appears and goes inside with the animals for some
explanations and demonstrations for us in a show where is clear these
animals don’t move often. IT seems the 95% of their lives they’re quiet
taking some sun or, in his words, doing nothing. He disturbs them as
long as he cans to show us there is no reaction. It is only coming when
he puts his hand inside one open mouth alligator, touches its tongue
and removes the hand very fast, as the mouth gets closed immediately
with a hollow sound.
Then he comes to the public to show an alligator
offspring closely. He says we can hold and get a picture of it with our
own camera by 3$. We take the offer.
As we still have some time until the time we were asked to be
back at bus, we explore the area at our will. They have other species
of reptiles from different countries.
As it is an area opened to the park, we can find some alligators
in their sun bath. Due to the previous explanation we feel confident of
these animals and we take each other some pictures with them really
close. Too much close as a ranger comes complaining about our audacity.
At 12:30 AM we’re back at the parking lot to get the bus back to
Miami. We’re living the opposite of this morning process, seeing how
the bus is getting empty until we’re delivered at our hotel at 2:15 PM.
In the way, we’ve been able of taking some beautiful images from the
Our travel is over. What we must do now is following the classic
steps: calling a taxi to the airport, checking in our baggage there,
passing the security control and, after finding our boarding gate,
leaving it to look for a place for lunching.
We eat the menu of an Italian restaurant, where we can extinguish our
desire of pasta. We spend some time at our table, taking advantage of
the coke cup we can fill all the times we want.
Before boarding, we go to a exchange desk to get euros for all our remaining dollars at a quite low rate.
The plane takes off on time and we get some beautiful views of Miami and South Beach in the process.
It will be Sunday morning when this plane lands in Barcelona and
this travel, which we’ve enjoyed a lot, is no more than a collection of
memories the pictures will help to keep alive.