I'm back! After nearly a month travelling in Florida and the Galapagos Islands I'm back at home, with the dogs and the builders and the dust (I'd forgotten about the dust!). It was a pretty amazing trip - the Galapagos Islands were everything we'd hoped for and more. But before I get into the (relatively) highbrow, nature lovers paradise that was the Galapagos I wanted to tell you that I wrestled an alligator!
Well...I sort of wrestled an alligator. Okay, I didn't actually wrestle it. At all. Our guide and the step-sons wrangled the gator, I just sat on it (which, on reflection, just sounds a bit weird really…)
Let's back up a bit. We had to go to Orlando for a convention, and we had a day or two to spare. The accepted thing to do when you go to Orlando is visit the theme parks. But the thought of dealing with all those crowds and queues and the awful theme park food had us slightly terrified. Not to mention the fact that I hate roller coasters. So instead we booked a behind the scenes tour at the wonderfully named Gatorland.
I'll be honest and say our expectations were lowish going in, but it turned out to be completely, utterly awesome. Our guide was hilarious and passionate and clearly loved the reptilian critters he worked with every day. He regaled us with tales of dog eating gators and croc handling slip ups and rescuing cockatoos from hungry jaws.
We met a giant tortoise who liked having his neck scratched; a baby gator, a small scorpion and a very big spider; and a family of incredibly rare white gators. We got to do things that felt like they were right on the edge of safe. We stood on a sandy island and threw chunks of meat at a hoard of giant hungry gators; in the middle of a gator infested pond there was just us and two guys with sticks and a bucket of meat. And then we got rather hands on with one especially accommodating fellow. It's not an opportunity to say no to is it?
Ps. If you go gator wrestling do make sure you wear a more appropriate outfit than I did. Jeans and a tee would have much more suitable than my shortish dress…