Saturday, 14 April 2012

Last Day in Orlando part 2

Hello everyone

Big shout out to y'all- we've just got back from an awesome day in Orlando.  We left early this morning and set off to learn some more about the Florida ecology.  We met up with Debbie our eco guide who took us to meet our sea kayaking guides.  The sea kayaking was awesome.  We saw a bottle nosed dolphin- when it hunts in shallow water you can see the bow wave it creates as it captures the fish.  We also saw some Manatee grazing underwater.  They came up every now and again for air, they are closely related to elephants and quite incredible to watch.  You can tell they are coming up for air as they create a current on the water that is quite unique.  We possibly weren't quiet enough for the Manatee to really put on a good show for us.
The kayaking was very cool and our students were very confident about it all.  It was quite windy so it wasn't a very dry experience- we were supposed to see Alligators on the trip but unfortunately (thankfully) we didn't.
The photo above shows Debbie our eco guide explaining some of the local flora and fauna.

After lunch and an eco walk through the enchanted forest we went on the air boats.  Now that is one cool experience.  We saw Alligators just sunning themselves and the whole Air boat experience was kinda cool albeit noisy.  Lots of wildlife.  The operator thought it was a little cool so gave the students plastic rain ponchos in case of rain.  A picture tells a thousand words so I will let the pictures do the talking on this one.  Tom and I did consider leaving them there- all dressed up in their rain ponchos with not a drop of rain in sight.

 Rain ponchos.  Providing protection from the wild Florida weather.

We also had to wear ear protection from the noise pollution of the Air Boats.  They are however such a shallow draft that they are very environmentally acceptable as they don't disturb the water ways they are in.
 Dinner on the last night.  A proper American BBQ dinner.

Then we were off to the world famous cocoa beach and the Ron Jon Surf shop-open 24 hours a day.  What an awesome way to finish the trip.  Simplicity tours put on an awesome BBQ for us, the weather was warm but not boiling and it was a lovely relaxed afternoon.  The last thing we did was all go and "touch the Atlantic" We started the trip with a photo on LA's beaches and finished on an Atlantic beach.  We ended with such a positive note it seems a pity to be heading home really.  (currently we are trying to convince them all to pack)

 All the crew together for the last dinner.  (Adam was having a nap on the bus, we haven't lost him)

So what an awesome trip.  We are bringing back some really tired students (and two tired teachers) but they have learnt so much about themselves and other people that I know that every moment has been worth it.  We will keep you posted on our progress through the various airports we will pass through in the next 36 hours or so.
 Us at the Atlantic Ocean- see you back in NZ soon
So take care everyone

Until next time


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