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
Linked with famous personalities such as Harry Truman, Audubon and Hemingway
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
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
and this was the turbulence left in its wake
with mine, a lone bike, strapped up alongside the luggage
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
tarot card readers
and the occasional performer who cracks his whip to summon his audience
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,
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.