Alligator meat tastes best ‘cooked slow’ according to Tyler, captain of our boat. He works as a Nuisance Alligator Tracker as well as a Boggy Creek Airboat Ride captain so knows a thing or two about Florida’s famous reptiles. The State is home to around 1.6 million alligators and my son hangs on Tyler’s every chirpy word as he tells us all about them. We’re on a flat-bottomed airboat on West Lake Toho (short for Tohopekaliga), headwater to the Florida Everglades. I’m with my husband and son while our teenage daughter is in bed recovering from Too Much Disney. We’re staying just outside the glorious artifice of Walt Disney World yet a half-hour drive has brought us to a stunning natural environment and it feels like another world.
Ever cheerful, Tyler steers our airboat across the lake. Airboats are propelled by a giant fan mounted above the water so can travel in depths which are too shallow for normal boats. When we get some way into the lake Tyler cuts the motor and there’s nothing but silence and acres and acres of water beautifully reflecting puffy white clouds and a blue, blue sky.