I had not been to Flamingo in probably 40 years so decided to take a leisurely drive with my camera, hoping to get some interesting photos. Flamingo is an approximately 38 mile drive from the entrance of Everglades National Park. It's a scenic trip with changing landscapes and there are turnouts and other stopping points where you can get out of the car and have a look around. I arrived at the Flamingo Visitor's Center and decided to see what was on offer. From the outside, it looked fine. Two Flamingo pink buildings connected by a breezeway which offered a nice view of the water. Inside, it was like something out of the Apocalypse. I went into the exhibition room. No a soul in sight ANYWHERE. Just sad, ancient and neglected displays, peeling paint and an eerie silence. I could not get out of there fast enough as I was alone and it really gave me the creeps. Downstairs are the remains of what appears to have once been some sort of restaurant. This too was devoid of any signs of life. This is in stark contrast to the Coe Visitor Center found at the entrance to the park which is beautiful and welcoming and buzzing with people. It feels rather sad knowing such amazing potential exists at Flamingo to educate and engage people about our amazing environment but it is being lost to neglect. I know the hurricane of 2005 had an impact but it is 8 years later and something needs to be done or risk losing tourists. I know I won't be going back.
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