I wanted a great experience in the Everglades and carefully researched the tours available. My husband and I were just delighted with our trip with Todd of Tour the Glades (www.tourtheglades.com). He is the owner/operated and has an obvious passion and extensive knowledge of the area. Far from a typical "tour", the whole trip was tailored for us. We selected the 6-hour "Journey to the 10,000 Islands". We meandered through the thick mangroves while Todd told stories of the Calusa and Seminole Indians, Spanish explorers and Andrew Jackson's attempts to subdue the inhabitants, and I felt like the first explorer! Flocks of Ibis thundered into the air at times, and eagles called overhead. The mangroves were filled with birds, bromeliads and orchids, and a few reclusive alligators. We paddled to an island built by the Indians from shell, and explored an old cemetery from early settlers. After 6 hours, we were happy to see the powerboat that would take us back to camp, but we were just getting started! Capt. Rodney Raffield picked us up and pulled out the fishing rods! What a prince of a guy! We "baited up" and fished in his "special spots" and quickly caught snook, trout and lady fish! Don't worry - he'll even bait your hook and take the fish off! We had a blast! Back at the dock, Todd cleaned our trout, and suggested we take them to the "Seafood Depot" restaurant where they would cook our fish and serve them with salad and side dishes. As weary as we were, we headed into town. The fish was serve blackened and grilled, and was delicious! I only regretted we couldn't eat all the fish! It had been a fabulous adventure and an experience we'll never forget. Like I said, what a day!
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