Given that Hurrican Harvey was now winding a destuctive path through Texas, we had no choice but to abandon our plans of a 6 day road trip through the desert. Although this was disapointing (it was the part of the USA trip that excited us the most) we were extremely grateful not to have been caught up in the category 4 storm.
Instead we headed over to miami for a few days as this was only a short flight away from New Orleans, which was our next planned stop, and the area was considered as being safe from any major hurricanes at the time..oh how wrong they were!
We chose to stay in a condo in Coconut Grove to give us a chance to get on top of washing our clothes and have a break for a few days. This would have been a good plan but unfortunately the condo had no hot water for the first 2 days, and most of our time was spent trying to ring the owners to complain and get moved, by this point we were desperate for a shower. Once we were finally moved at the end of the second day we were able to have a break, and take in the news that a second major hurricane was headed our way, Irma. They were tracking it coming over the next week but as we already had our flights to new Orleans booked in a few days time we didn’t have to panic too much.
The incredible heat and humidity meant there wasn’t much you could do during the day, so we decided to hire a car and head over to the Everglades for an airboat tour. The views were amazing being enclosed by the mangrove trees on a completely still, reflective sheet of water, with a calming feeling of peace in the silence (when the airboat ceased its roaring). At times it almost felt like we were suspended in the air with the trees below us as the reflection was so clear.
We were very excited about seeing some alligator action up close, and whereas we weren’t disapointed, only one alligator really made an apperance and this was from a distance.
We saw one raccoon as well but the ariboat captain informed us 15 minutes in that with the coming storm all of the animals were playing up and so we were unlikely to see much activity.
This could have been a disapointing end to the tour, but instead our captain suprised us and took us out to an open stretch of the water to let our group of five take turns driving the airboat! This was definitely an experience and good fun, we appreciate his flexibility as let’s face it, he probably wasn’t supposed to let a bunch of inexperienced tourists loose on his airboat!
On the drive back from the everglades we started to sense the enormity of the coming storm. Every single petrol station in Miami Dade County had a queue of cars into the road waiting to fuel up. We joined a queue and patiently waited an hour to fuel the hire car up before returning it.
Leaving Miami the next day we took no chances and set off for the airport in the morning, despite us having an evening flight. This was to have contingency for any accidents caused by people evacuating the city (there were a fair few in the end). After getting to the airport ridiculously early, we watched hopelessly as our flight continued to get further and further delayed, in the end resulting in over 12 hours spent in the airport slowly going crazy. In the end we managed to board a flight out of Miami, and just in the nick of time as a day later the airports had closed.
After the few days spent having downtime in Miami, we were more than ready to get back to sightseeing in New Orleans.