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We went on an afternoon coach trip to the Everglades and then on a boat trip around them. This was organised by the same people as run the Big Bus hop on hop off tour of Miami. We had a reduced rate for booking both at the same time and hence overall was considerably cheaper (about £44 each for the 2 days on the bus and the Everglades trip).

The bus picked us up from outside our hotel – it was about 20 mins late as there had been traffic problems. We were the second hotel pick up and it then went on to Miami Beach to collect several more people; the coach was finally about two thirds full. We actually got going on the trip about an hour after we first waited outside the hotel. This is, of course, one of the problems with this type of coach tour. As a consequence, however, we were among the first to be dropped off on our return.

The driver/guide chatted informatively about the various sights we passed on way out of Miami and to the Everglades and we soon arrived at the Everglades Safari park where we were given boat ride tickets and told we had about 30 mins to look around the shop, have something to eat etc. Our boat number was then called and we joined the airboat for a 40 min trip around the Everglades. This was fun and we saw two alligators as well as several types of bird.

On our return to the Park there was a short alligator “show” during which we were told a bit about the life and habits of alligators and then a photo opportunity for those who wished to hold a small alligator. We assembled at the coach soon afterwards and returned to our hotel in Miami – with a long delay at the road works where they are building a raised road through the Everglades to help the water flow and environment of the Everglades. As it was now dark the driver took us through the Miami town centre so we could see the Christmas lights, this made a pleasant end to the trip.

Overall it was a pleasant 5 – 6 hours (though with less road works traffic it would normally be shorter) with an informative and helpful driver and good value with our combined ticket.

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