Cross country

Friday 15th December

Talking to the locals continues to be a valuable way not only to make friends (not forgetting old ones of course) but also to find out about things to see places to eat etc. Kieth at the campsite was no disappointment. How else would we have found the pub serving bean soup at 18 cents a bowl? Or Tony’s fish stall where we bought some Tuna and King fish that was practically still wriggling.

It was delicious.

We did have a few problems trying to find wi-fi though, it’s a wonder we didn’t get arrested as we cruised from small shopping parade to motel, to the next small row of shops in our pursuit of a connection. Not at all suspicious with computer on lap and headphones at the ready. However no one seemed to notice, not even the sheriff, are we now part of eccentric America? We visited a local Flea market, which turned out to be a real experience. You could buy just about anything… from farm produce to, leather biking gear, every tool you could ever imagine (yes he did spend ages perusing) all manner of “surgical” equipment I’ve never seen so many different kinds of scissors! Jewellery, souvenirs, wigs, antique furniture the list is endless. Oh and there was live music from two “cowboys” who were actually very good.

We have now crossed Florida to the Gulf coast; it was a very interesting journey in that at times we were on empty roads and the landscape changed from the lush foliage of the Space coast to the much more open and almost barren lands of the “interior”. Yes there was lots of evidence of the Florida oranges, but also cattle farming and sod farms! There were a few little bridges nothing to mention really except that they were a little narrow at times. But we soon came back to civilisation when we entered Fort Myers, which is much, much bigger than we expected. Navigation was near perfect…one tiny error at the end when we “hung” a right a bit too soon, but we took a turn around the block and got it right at the second attempt. We are now parked on the front drive of friends here. Ross and Karen have also arrived from the UK. Yesterday we began to explore the area now it’s back to the lush tropical vegetation, there are bougainvillea hedges, hibiscus trees, banana and coconut palms. The Birds of Paradise are about 12 feet tall! At the moment it’s very humid and we have had some rain. Florida’s the only cloudy place at the moment, we’re beginning to think it’s following us…perhaps we should head to Arizona and sell our rainmaking skills.

The coastline here is beautiful, especially Sanibel and Captiva – small islands just out from FM. the stuff of all those holiday brochures we drool over at this time of year in storm ridden Britain. Truly white sand and turquoise waters, birds fishing in the shallows and cool cocktails under the sun.  Aaaah! Somehow though it just doesn’t seem right to be coupled with Santas and Xmas trees, though they do have a way of trying to marry the two.

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