13 May 2015

Florida, Part III - Circle B Bar Wildlife Reserve


Hello everyone!

Here comes another chapter from our travels in Florida. On the 4th day, we decided to visit the Circle B Bar Reserve, a "swamp walk". Now, the best thing about this place is that you don't need to pay to visit, you drive to the very remote area, park, and you're free to go your own way. The staff were very helpful, there were free maps available at the entry, and there is a place for you to cool down after your tour. If you're a fan of hiking, walking, sight-seeing, wilderness watching like us, this is perfect for you, I would definitely recommend it. Unless you have an extreme fear of alligators. The reserve is huge, there are about 4 different 'areas' you walk through, there are no gates, fences, nothing : you're walking with the wildlife. It took us about 3 hours to walk around the entire reserve, though I could of happily stayed longer.


Among the "gators" as they call them, we also saw giant Bald Eagles (who make their nests in the huge trees overlooking the swamps) turtles, tortoises, so many different kinds of birds, & we were even lucky enough to meet an armadillo on the path, and a family of wild black boars (we did keep our distance from them, though).
The alligators were meters away, in their natural environment, there are hundreds of them there, although you have to keep your eyes open, they blend in with their surroundings so perfectly, they're easy to miss. They often cross the path you walk on to get to another side of the swamp. I must admit, I was always looking behind me to check one wasn't creeping up on me and I kept jumping whenever I accidentally walked into a plant (at the slightest noise, my entire family would panic a little), what can I say, it's a strong contrast to the french countryside! 

Summer & I thoroughly enjoyed the hike, it was something I absolutely wanted to do while in Florida. We were so grateful to have the opportunity to see the wildlife up close. At times it seemed as though we were completely alone in the reserve. We were overwhelmed by the pure beauty of the place : the giant bearded oaks loomed over us, blocking the sunlight, offering us a moment of rest in the shade. The tall grass seemed to have it's own secrets, providing shelter for the wildlife hiding within. The sounds of insects and birds was omnipresent, almost deafening at times, and the untouched natural surroundings radiated beauty and power, making us feel small, very small. 

If you have any questions about the Circle B Bar Reserve, feel free to ask us!

Holly xxx

Summer




Holly










our brother, Harley















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