journey through Shark Valley

Before I terrify you with photographs of how “normal” it is to bike and walk through Shark Valley in the Florida Everglades, check out this delicious breakfast.

SO delicious. I can’t wait to go back to Islas Canarias. It was New Year’s Day and pretty jam-packed full of people picking up their croquetas, or what have you, for whatever party they were throwing/attending that evening. Other than the café con leche being a little heavy on the leche, the food was divine. I was totally ready to ride bikes for 16 miles. No problem.

Minus one little detail. There were 4 of us, and 3 bicycles. And the rental place was out of bikes. UGH. I decided to suck it up and JOG. Oh yes, jogging just a few feet away from unrestricted alligators. Lots of them. Seeing an alligator appear in the weeds was not something I could get used to right away. Around mile 4 is when I gathered the courage for the photo above. Before that I kept gasping and jumping to the left [I only saw one alligator on the left the whole ride to the observatory].

Thank goodness my cousin, her husband [Javi], and Daniel took pity on me. I ran a couple miles before Ely let me borrow her bike and she ran a bit. I ran another mile or so before Daniel gave me his for a stint. Then Ely and Javi had the brilliant idea of letting Daniel and I ride the next 4 miles to the observatory since they had been there before.

Before the 8 mile bike ride the running wasn’t so bad. But those last 2.5 miles were KILLER. My crotch hurt from the seat and my legs burned from trying to make up for lost time.

I realize that we were ridiculously close to several alligators most of the time, but it was never all that scary when there were several other tourists around being stupider than you. The more nerve-racking moments occurred when it was just the four [or two] of us…and the gator’s jaws are facing an oncoming you. And then his eyes open…and he lifts his head. SPRINTING TIME. ha! Any close up photos I share are all Daniel’s doing. Also this bird that thinks he’s a stud. Daniel had a dang photoshoot with this guy. 🙂

So if you ever feel like being kind of an idiot with a bunch of other touristy types, check out Shark Valley in the Everglades. 🙂
[There are also tram tours in case you want to take the smart route.]




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