The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Anhinga Trail

Having left Key West this morning, the Everglades was our destination. Having lugged our backpacking gear around with us all this time, our intention was to spend a couple of nights camping.

It was mid-afternoon by the time we entered the National Park, having spent a little while in the Visitor Centre talking to a ranger and taking in the exhibits, so we headed straight for the campsite, just 5 miles or so down the road. The ranger had gone into such detail as to tell us which pitch to try to get at the campsite, and that we wouldn't find it to be busy. She was quite right about it not being busy. Apparently nobody told her that its currently closed for refurb.

That threw us a bit, as we didn't really want to drive 34 miles further up a dead-end road to the next campsite, where the ranger has told us the mosquitoes were still out in force. To give us time to contemplate, we thought we'd go and walk the Anhinga Trail, which is less than a mile long, but (because of its location and route) is crammed full of wildlife.

We weren't disappointed. In fact, quite the opposite - it was absolutely fantastic, as much for the sounds as the sights (splash, flap, squawk, splash, flap, ROAR).

The sights were impressive, though. Both of the photos attached have 'gators in them. The one with the view actually has two within the frame (although I don't know how visible the second one is in this snap).

Whilst seeing wild 'gators on their natural habitat was the icing on the cake, we were just as taken with the fish (perfectly visible in the clear water) and the birds - moreover, the birds we witnessed catching fish. Top stuff!

We would have investigated another trail, but decided to go back in the morning to join the ranger led walk and to visit another couple of nature trails, so headed out to find accommodation.

Homestead is where Mick spent months at a time in the years before Hurricane Andrew flattened the place, and that's where we ended up. As much as it would have been nice to spend a couple of nights in the tent, I'm quite happy to be in a comfy bed again tonight. My only complaint about our chosen accommodation so far is that the walls seem not to be sound-insulative. Let's hope our neighbour doesn't fall asleep with the TV on - I need to be fresh as a daisy for more Everglades Oggling tomorrow!


  1. I think that second one is JJ in disguise.

  2. Now that's more thrilling than a fancy fairground ride. Big "Ooooo!" from the crowd.

  3. No no Conrad, I didn't bother with my disguise for that shot!