Road trip around Florida Everglades – Day 4
We leave behind the beautiful Florida Keys and head back toward Miami.
Two people told us to take the fast freeway to our next destination, and avoid the ‘boring’ Everglades.
And then we met an inspiring couple in MacDonald’s.
“No you must go. There are alligators and deer and so much to see. Your son will love it”.
So glad I listen to positive people.
When we travel we often ‘wing it’. Loose plans and a lot of freedom to explore, and change our minds. To stop when we want and not to be pushing through and missing things.
So I was pretty pleased to read the Billboards and stop at Miccosukee Indian Village.
After our own personal wrestling with baby alligators it is suddenly mid afternoon and we have to push on.
Now the Everglades are gorgeous. There are not many places to stop. And when you do stop, take a look where you tread. There are so many alligators on the sides of the roads, and in the swamp areas and sawgrass reeds.
If you like taking photographs, take some time to stop and look past the Coca-cola coloured waters, and to the beauty of all God has created in this part of the world.
We stopped by a little bridge, and were amazed at how many fish, and varieties of fish swarmed the waters.
Like most of Florida attractions, there are no warning signs to the real touristic places to stop.
Like this tiny Post Office. I am sure there were several cars about 5 minutes after us who avoided a nasty collision as one guy madly came to a halt, instead of traveling a mile down the road, and doing a safe U-turn – like we did … of course!
We then headed toward the coast to a lovely little town of Naples.
I unfortunately nearly ran a red light. I found myself half way into the middle of an intersection.
In USA not only am I driving on the other side of the road than I am used to, but the traffic lights are not on side poles like I am used to, and the painted lines are well back. I often find I am sitting right at the edge of the road. And I do concentrate hard when driving. But collision avoided, I drive on into Naples.
There is one main tourist strip. Filled with lovely holiday makes, and snow birds. All shopping up, and eating up.
I have to confess, I have never in my life seen so many (especially men) with enormous tummies as in USA. But as we eat out, I notice they always serve friend food, steaks and enormous side serves everywhere we go. I admire any slim person in USA. You have a LOT of self control.
So the main street of Naples is filled with traffic.
We take 1 hour to get back from the beach to the main road, and now it is after 5 p.m.
We finally find our way to Captiva. To get here you have to go over a toll bridge to Sanibel and then drive about another 4o minutes. We find a place we think we can park for the night and we head off to get some dinner. Neither of us are really hungry. We both say we would like a pub scene, like the English or Irish pubs, where you can sit at a bar and talk to people. There are few and far between in USA, and we miss them. We end up at a restaurant that has crab races on.
But we get there just as they are about to start so we can’t join in.
The kids are given bazookas to blow. The guy who runs it is really quite a prat and he won’t give me son a bazooka because we are late. “Come back Thursday” he says. My over-tired son gets tears in his eyes. The guy is really rude. He has spares and they are free. What really is the harm?
So we watch the crab races.
Then as they are packing up some-one gives my son a bazooka.
I sit and have a glass of wine and my son sits at a table and plays his iPad. The bar is full of retired snow-birds thawing out their bones. There are a couple of families but they are eating and there is no-one to talk to. This is when travel gets lonely. I end up talk to a guy who works at the resort behind, and buys me a drink. We go to leave and the bar charges me for the drink he buys. Seriously. This night is just not happening!
We leave and are amazed at how freezing it is at night.
We toss and turn. The van is too cold for a good night’s sleep. We decide we will move on tomorrow. But most of Day 4 was a great journey in southern Florida.