52 States in 8 Months

Flamingos in Flamingo

Posted in Florida by Ulf on December 13, 2008

At the southern end of Florida’s mainland, there is a place called “Flamingo“. It was a small settlement from the late 19th century until the Everglades National Park was dedicated in 1947. Nowadays there are many empty parking slots in Flamingo, an unmanned visitor center and a couple of badly damaged buildings: the “Flamingo Hotel” has not been restored after the 2005 Hurricane Wilma. (Did you know that the strength of a hurricane can be measured by the air pressure in its eye? Wilma reached an center pressure as low as 0,882 bar which made it a very strong cyclone.)

There is also a small shop in Flamingo. One might call it a “Tante Emma Laden” in Germany. They have a little harbor, so you can get all kinds of boat equipment there. We also got our lunch at this place — and we were astonished about the cheap prices. Although this is the only place to buy something to eat in a radius of about 40 miles, we paid less than in Miami!

Reading my description so far, you might think Florida Bay is a really ugly, run-down place. Well, it is lonely, but not run-down. Look at the view! Do you notice the flamingos on the second picture?

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image11 Next to the harbor, they have a campsite. It’s free in the summer (May to September) as they have many mosquitoes, but some guides say it’s crowded in the winter season. Well, no.

Just as most campsites we went to so far, every lot has its own BBQ grill. The majority of them looked like nobody had ever used them so far. Maybe they have just been installed for this season?

If you ever come to Florida in the Winter with about one spare week, here is what you can do: Get some canoes or kayaks and go from campsite to campsite by boat! They have really marvelous places here. There are campsites on some of the tiny islands in Florida Bay which have wooden platforms where you can put your tent on. You can’t get wet there and crocodilians won’t reach you. (As we had only one day at this place, we only saw those campsites on the map from the National Park Service.)

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