Timucuan E&HP, Florida

Timucuan E&HP, Florida

In the past, Timucua was an Indian tribe that inhabited the United States in the area from the Northeast, through Central Florida to Southeast Georgia. Different groups of the Timucua people used different dialects of the original Timucua language.

At that time, there were no European settlers in these places, so the entire territory, stretching from the Altamaha River, through Cumberland Island in present-day Georgia, Orlando, inland Florida to the Atlantic coast, was occupied by people who spoke the Timucua dialect. The population of the people of Timucua numbered around 200,000 before the arrival of the Europeans, and only 50,000 after the arrival of the first colonists.

Today, the National Park Service (NPS) manages the important Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, located east of downtown Jacksonville, Florida. The reserve is located between the Iowa city of Saint Johns and the Nassau Rivers. The area was declared in 1988 and protects culturally, naturally and historically unique places in the area. It also includes the remains of the settlements left behind by the people of Timucua, who were considered the first inhabitants of Florida. The settlement history of this place dates back more than 6000 years.

According to anycountyprivateschools.com, Timucuan Reserve is also one of the last intact coastal wetlands on the Atlantic coast. However, you will also find salt marshes, coastal sand dunes and swampy areas. The 46,000-hectare reserve has therefore become a refuge for many species of wildlife. Here you can see 191 species of birds, 70 species of butterflies and endless species of insects.

To Florida for alligators, beautiful nature and entertainment

COMPETITION ARTICLE – One of our deputies once commented on the purchase of a former prime minister’s apartment in Miami, saying that there is “only stink, retirees and crocodiles” in Florida. Looks like the Honorable Member has never been to Florida. During our trip we saw beautiful natural scenery, famous beaches and amusement parks, a launch pad for shuttles and the southernmost place in the United States. And it smelled almost everywhere…

During a roughly three-week trip to American Florida, we tried to conquer the most interesting places of the state, which on the one hand washes the Pacific Ocean and on the other hand we can wet our feet in the Gulf of Mexico. Only with the passage of time did it become clear what was really interesting and what left deep traces in us. An unforgettable experience was definitely a visit to the Everglades National Park, which covers a large part of the southern tip of the peninsula together with the Big Cypress National Park, or big cypress.

Equipped with a map and, of course, cameras and binoculars, we set off from the rental car to meet the most popular animal in the area, an alligator, simply familiar by the gator. The first stop and at the same time our first meeting with the alligator took place at the Everglades Park Service Visitors Center, which is simply, in addition to the visitor center, a fenced and asphalted swamp where even a small child can see alligators in their natural environment up close and safely. or a nimble American senior. When we first approached the fence, behind which a smaller male alligator was warming up (at least the guide said so, and we didn’t go into closer examination), it was the same thing “yeah, look, yeah, that’s a cat”, etc. Only after passing the whole Everglades region, we found that it was no cat and that we would get so close to the alligators that we wouldn’t like it. There are several places in the national park where you can safely observe alligators, and then there are also many places where you can observe animals at your own risk. From this point of view, the passage through parts of Big Cypress Park proved to be the most nutritious. At the turn-off from one of the main roads, a very nice view of part of the river and several alligators on the bank was offered, of course from a fenced pier. However, several cars made their way further into the park along the river and we followed them. The asphalt road lined the local river and the banks were lined with alligators. There was nothing to stop meeting the animals in these places. Sometimes we stopped for a while and got out of the car, watching in disbelief to see if any of the alligators had moved, and if so, a jump into the car followed. All the cars in front of us turned a long time ago and returned to the main. The asphalt road gradually turned dusty, but the view to the right of the river was still the same. In front of us on the road, a pile suddenly emerged from the dust. We were slowly coming closer, and only in close proximity did we recognize that it was a coiled snake. Viper. The drawing on his back was strong, but it didn’t look much like our common viper. We were afraid to lean over her from the window, let alone get out of the car and somehow hit her. It stopped us that she didn’t move at all even after driving close to it. We turned the car a short distance behind the viper, passed the snake a second time and headed back. Even on this dusty road, which was surprisingly marked on the map, we constantly watched where we could turn and see something interesting. We missed one such turn and said we would try. The dirt road sank into the grove and very quickly turned into a muddy path lined with swamps and, of course, alligators. Suddenly we saw those bulging eyes everywhere. The mud was growing and since we were not sitting in a “humbe” but in an ordinary dodge calibra, we started to panic a bit and especially the idea of a quick return. Getting stuck in a rental car in the middle of a swamp full of crocodiles wouldn’t be much. In one stronger place we managed to turn the car rychle and quickly get out of here.

On the way from the Everglades, we came across anything related to the gator many more times. We turned down air boats, hovercraft that will take you and a few other daredevils through the swamps for several reasons. On the one hand, we thought it wouldn’t be nice for those monsters to have a giant propeller with seats, which only makes noise and smell, pass them by the nose several times a day, and a worm of doubt gnawed at us again, what if the ship tilts or even…

After all the fascinating experiences, enchanted by the beautiful nature, we said it was time to change the locality and headed to the southernmost place in the United States, Key West.

Key West is the southernmost and westernmost island of the Florida Keys archipelago. It probably wouldn’t make much sense to look for some meaning in the English name of the city and try to translate it into Czech. The English name is most likely a distortion of the original Spanish name of Cayo Hueso (read kajo weso), or Bone Island. The journey itself and the arrival in Key West are reminiscent of an American road movie. You drive on Highway number 1 to its end, resp. beginning, and most of the way you are surrounded by azure sea. Sometimes you go through a small island and a small town, where the main road is lined with bars, restaurants, motels and here and there a beach shop. The radio is an American classic of the 60’s and you just regret not sitting in a convertible. A torso of an old wooden bridge occasionally runs out into the sea behind the islands, and a dog walker on it.

Everyone who comes to Key West from around Miami and doesn’t know what to expect from it will experience a culture shock. Just like us. Key West is so different from the rest of Florida and so friendly to Europeans that we immediately fell in love with the city. Not that giant stores and fast food didn’t appear in the newer part of town, we weren’t that far from America, but the old part of town was different coffee. The former island of lost existences is today primarily an island of tourists and good mood. The main and side streets are literally littered with bars, from which loud music and Latin American rhythms emanate. People move subconsciously on a swaying step, sipping a lime cake, sucking on a mojito, and tourists on bicycles intertwine in between. We didn’t want to deny any of that. We rented a bike for two days right at the motel. Heavy wheels, peeling, with one transfer and a shopping basket. Nobody practices a fast ride in the city anyway, and in the end the basket came in handy as well. In order not to go from bar to bar, we drove almost the whole island in the morning. From the beach, where besides us there were only morning runners and pelicans fishing, to the port with a giant ocean liner. If a visitor to Key West forgives himself for a lime cake and a bike ride, no one will miss the southernmost point of the island, Southernmost Point, which is about two and a half meters high buoy at the southern tip of South Street and Whitehead Street, where everyone they want to take a picture and which informs that Cuba is only 90 miles away, respectively. close. Another mandatory attraction is the sunset. We were especially curious about this romantic affair. So we gathered on the waterfront with another thousand enthusiasts, who were, of course, in pairs and lovingly all around each other. We stared at the sea and the orange ball that was slowly sinking into it. The ultimate experience can then be achieved if a ship appears on the horizon, preferably a ship whose silhouette resembles ships from the time of Christopher Columbus. Unfortunately, we were not so lucky. As soon as the sun disappeared into the sea, we went for a walk through the city in order to have a drink and taste the famous lime cake. Along the way, we discussed whether the sunset in Key West was really the bomb as claimed, and we agreed that it was worth seeing, but the sunset on our pond is much nicer and more romantic.

Timucuan E&HP, Florida