Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crocodile Hunting

A few weekends ago we decided to take a trip down to Everglades National Park. Before entering the park we stopped at Robert is Here (yes, that is the name of the place) for some milk shakes. Now all we knew about Robert is Here was that it is a fruit stand that is known for best fresh fruit milk shakes. We were not expecting this...
Robert is Here is not just a little fruit stand, it's a Big fruit stand. Cars line the road making the place standout from the surrounding farms. This is a different part of Florida with miles and miles of squared off land. They sell all kinds of local fruits and vegetables. There were heaps of mangos, coolers full of cold coconut, full canes of sugar, and a large number of different honeys (including avocado). They even have a little petting zoo out back. There was much more to the place then we were expecting. And the milk shakes lived up to our expectations. We tried a Mango, Guanoabana and Mamey milk shakes. 
After experiencing Robert is Here we were back on the road. We wanted to get to flamingo, the end of Everglades National Park before sundown. We were headed to Flamingo because this is the best place in Florida to see saltwater Crocodiles. Having lived in Florida, Blake and I have seen a LOT of Alligators... but never a saltwater croc. After arriving, we walked around Flamingo a little and did not see much. The Bellistons went to check out the kayaks. I was preparing myself with the idea of not seeing anything. Then Blake and I started to talk to a nice couple about the two osprey (Everglades National Park is also a wonderful place for bird watchers)
 After a little chat they were about to go. The couple started to walk away when the husband turned to me and said, "oh, and did you see the crocodile just over there". We were Over excited! Blake turned and yelled for the Bellistons. While the nice man just pointed a few feet from where we were standing. There, if you just looked down was a good size female crocodile. We had expected the crocs to look much more fearsome then any alligator. But only their snout and flaunting teeth were scary. Their size and really their body/tale proportion was almost laughable. 
We then walked down the bank and spotted another one. They blend-in well with the rocky shore. 
We wanted to get closer but there was no way without getting in the water. So the obvious solution was to ask the random kayakers pulling up to barrow their kayaks, which after a little hesitation they agreed. So Blake grabbed the camera, hopped in the kayak and paddled right up to the croc. 
Deciding his cover was blown he slid into the water and we watched him disappear into the mangroves. 
We ended the night eating our dinner on a picnic table, enjoying the sunset. I believe we can call this trip a success.

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