. We also saw reproductions of cannon, an indentured servants' quarters and a settler's garden. On the property they also do genuine archaeological digs to find items from the Charles Townes rich past, though most of the digs were covered in black plastic so we couldn't see much. In the archaeological information area we saw one of the biggest spiders I'd ever seen - squatting in the middle of a huge web. Josh wasn't at all shy about putting his hand up by it for comparion in a photo!
After we'd finished at Charles Towne we went back to the 5th wheel to have lunch - and to discover that the truck had a flat tire! Fred pumped the tire up and after lunch we went to a tire place. Unfortunately the guy couldn't find the puncture, so we had to keep going.
We arrived at the Skidway Island Park campground (another State park) about 4.30 without incident. This is a lovely campground with big pull-thru sites and surrounded by a forest of trees draped in Spanish Moss. The kids soon discovered there was a playground and disappeared - but they weren't gone long before they came running back to say they'd seen a snake! Fred & I went down to the playground to see if we could see it, but no sign of it. We asked a couple of staff about it, and they said it sounded like a non-venomous grass snake. They also suggested we take a visit down to the Interpretive Centre in the park where they had reptiles, a baby alligator and other creatures
. So we packed the kids into the car and headed down there. Sarah, the Park Ranger that worked there, was really nice and because there was no one else there we had her undivided attention. She showed us the baby alligator and we got to pat him. He was a bit squirmy to start with, but after he calmed down we could even stroke his little belly (which was surprisingly soft). We also saw a turtle, 2 types of toads, 2 types of lizards, a rat eating snake (baby one), lots of different birds outside (like a humming bird, and a red cardinal) and a bullsnake, which we helped hold and pat. Bullsnakes are non-venomous constrictors, and this particular snake was a girl called Beau. Beau was rescued from a drug lab bust. The snake was really hard case and ended up threading herself through the Sarah's belt loops! She said Beau will often end up in her pockets when she holds her and we watched her coil around the Sarah's cellphone on her belt too. Kate wasn't too keen on touching the snake or the baby alligator, but she did eventually - but only quickly and then she kept her distance. Josh was quite relaxed about touching both the snake & the gator. I was so proud of Fred for (briefly!!!!) touching Beau the snake. We are hoping to go on a nature walk with her tomorrow night.
This morning we went to Charles Towne Landing State Park, SC - only about 30 minutes drive from the RV park. First we looked through a really good museum that told of the history of Charles Towne Landing which dates back to 1670. This was where the first settlers of Charleston made their original town. Then we went to the small zoo area, and the kids got to feed peanuts to the 2 male otters (North American otters, which are a lot larger than the otters we have at Wellington zoo) as a keeper was there feeding them. They were very, very cute as they were twisting and turning in the water. We also saw wild turkey, bison, elk and a black bear who was having a good ol' snooze (can't blame him, it was sooooo hot!) but we could only see him by pressing our eyes to a crack in the wooden fence. We also saw a couple of wild blue tailed geckos crossing a bridge in the park. By the time we had finished at the zoo Kate was getting grumpy and saying she didn't want to walk anymore, so we managed to catch a shuttle to the end of the park. There we saw a reproduction of the sailing ship "The Carolina" that brought the settlers to Charles Towne being built