Key West

An iconic destination for many Americans, it’s even worth spending $140 on a 7 hour return ferry crossing from Ft Myers, to have just 4 hours on this southernmost point of the continent

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Linked with famous personalities such as Harry Truman, Audubon and Hemingway

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the crowds come for the tropical climate, the beaches, and to raise a glass or two to the memory of Hemingway in his favourite bar

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I raised a glass of Budweiser…..
His image is everywhere, on T-shirts, porcelain and glassware, is almost as recognizable as the image of Che Guevara, and has spawned an association of Hemingway look-a-likes.

The journey out was a high speed catamaran ride, averaging 40mph (gps confirmed) over 3.5 hours

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and this was the turbulence left in its wake

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with mine, a lone bike, strapped up alongside the luggage

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As I stepped off the boat, it was like stepping into a sauna. Heavy humidity, easily in the mid-30s C, that opened the sweat pores immediately.
When I eventually found a campground, 5 miles out of Key West (at Mile Marker 5 to be precise), it didn’t surprise me that my square metre of space would set me back $72. As a camping neighbour pointed out: the prices of camping are governed by the cost of hotel rooms on the Keys, which are generally $400-500 per night for a very ordinary room. Relatively, then, camping is cheap.
A major entertainment each day are the sunset celebrations on Mallory Square, where you will be kept amused by acrobats

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tarot card readers

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piglet trainers

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and the occasional performer who cracks his whip to summon his audience

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when, really, the most effective ploy would have been……to perform!
For those who would like to see the mapping of the final few days of my journey, apologies for the crude picture of my map, but the broken orange line on the left marks today’s ferry crossing from Ft Myers, and the continuous line marks my 120 mile journey through the Keys,

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crossing over 40 bridges, including 7 mile bridge, to Florida City, then onwards through Miami to Ft Lauderdale, where I started my journey 10 days ago.
The whole experience has been an adventure, with surprises round every corner.

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on February 21, 2014, in Cycling Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Piglet trainer?????

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