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Archive for June 3rd, 2009

Day 177 – 3rd June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 3, 2009

Wednesday – Key West, Florida

Sunset at Key West, can it get any better 🙂

Well, as I planned on being at Key West, I needed an early start, I already worked up a sweat just walking back and forth loading the bike and it promised to get hotter and stickier.

I left about 8am and headed down the island to the south and then west over the water, and I thought I was coming back from Tassie again, because on the other side of the water was Melbourne!

There was a fair bit of this

With some of this in between. As I could not use the camera in the real heavy traffic, it looks light on, but it just means I found some air. Soon after this when I got to Ft Pierce, I decided to get off the road I am on and try a different highway, I told the GPS to avoid toll ways but the next thing I know I am on a turnpike, which is I think, an American toll way. I kept seeing all these signs about paying, but when I entered I was in the wrong lane in bad traffic and ended up through a Sunpass lane. I kept on for a while, but everyone had to stop near Boyton Beach for a check, this is where I had to pay, not cheap for 50 miles, $7, so no way was I going all the way to south like that, so I got off at that point and back into the traffic.

I eventually got to a place called Fort Lauderhill, although I did not know it at the time, but I was hungry and hot and needed a rest, so I spotted a Subway and went in. The cops were busy booking some people right outside, so later when I asked where this place was, he said don’t stop next time, go right on past.

More traffic as I am going down to Miami and the road works do not help a bit.

I found a bank to see if my money had come through, but it hadn’t so this left me a bit short for the next few days unless the transfer hurried up. Every other time I have tried a transfer, public holidays have been on at home, so I do not how long it takes in normal time, this is the test. Anyway, grabbed the remainder and afterwards saw a great old car, not sure about the colour though.

It is half two in the arvo by the time I get to Homestead and of course I am heading south, I am still thinking about turning around at this stage, because the stop start traffic is horrible. Traffic lights everywhere and I am sure they bought a job lot of red lights with no green ones! You just get up to speed when another light turns up. This has been going on for the past hundred miles, so next time I get caught in the ten sets of lights back home in Musgrave St, I will know it can get worse.

I still had about 160 miles to go, or 250km but eventually I was at the start of the keys and saw my first bit of water. And lo and behold, I am in Key Largo!

A place of continuous strip malls and of course tourist attractions, but in between there are bridges and reef, the wind was great it started to cool me down a bit as well, no turning around now, I have committed myself.

Sometimes all you see is this

And sometimes this

After the town of Marathon there is the 7 mile bridge, there is an older one off to the side which must have had a draw bridge at one stage for boats, but it is no longer used.

Then I entered a Deer habitat, these are special deer and are endangered, so they strictly enforce the speed limits along here.

Eventually at 5pm I was in Key West, the first place I stopped at was a welcome centre, these guys help you find accommodation and recreation etc. Well, it pays to book ahead apparently, the rates were of course holiday resort rates, but there was no turning back, as the next closest place was an hour back at Marathon. They know that people will come back there and their prices go up late afternoon. I bit the bullet and got a room at a B&B, by this time I was real hot and sweltering in all the riding gear. But, the room turned out OK when I found it, but you have to pay for parking which is on top of the room rate, space is at a premium down here.

I found the internet only worked from up near the office, so I quickly checked email, had a cleanup and headed down to the sunset viewing place, it was about 1 mile away. There were a stack of scooters around, no ATGATT for these people, also a lot of bars. Beers, scooters and young college graduates, makes for accidents waiting to happen I reckon.

I bypassed all those bars without a drink, just to get to the Sunset Pier, here I bought a beer or two while waiting for the sunset. This is the in place to be apparently for this occasion, either that or on a cruise boat.

There was a cloud bank on the horizon, so sunset was a bit of a fizzer 😦

I then wandered back up towards the room, slowly and stopping for a beer now and then. As I intended leaving early in the morning I did not need a hangover, as I knew it would be the same as today. This place is for partying, I was here for the ride, although a few beers now and then is fun 🙂

I met a chap in Jimmy Buffets bar called Jeremy, we had a few beers before moving on, some weird stuff here. This is a place called MargaritaVille, after the song of that name, read it and weep Alan 🙂

The next beer was at a cowboy place where they had a mechanical bull, apparently they have ‘sexy’ riders later on, but that will be beyond my bedtime, there was some fluff around though 🙂

I like the writing on the dude’s shirt, “Liver is evil, it must be punished”

A few more chicky babes before I headed off home, before I was roped into a hangover 🙂

So, a late night again, but as breakfast was not until 8am, I could maybe sleep in a bit, I doubt it though, I have been up at 6 every morning just about. I enjoyed being here, the sunset was not right on the horizon due to cloud cover, but in the end, I think it will be worth it. It may take a few years for that to sink in, maybe I will come back and do some diving etc, spend a few more days, who knows. If I had not of come here, then I would have been kicking myself down the track.

Day – 370 miles and 595 km
Trip – 15,897 miles and 25,584 km


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