Our new place to stay has to get the 1st prize for the noisiest place that we have stayed on this adventure. The air conditioner is very noisy; we are next to some sort of generator that goes off throughout the day and night plus we are close by the local airport. The accommodation itself isn't too bad and even through the noise we managed some sleep. Today we decided to take the 100 mile round journey to Key West and see what that has to offer. Where we are staying is about halfway along the keys giving us access to anywhere although after we had been to Key West I wished we had stayed there as this is where most things go on. Once we arrived we took the route around the small beaches and ended up at the famous buoy that signifies that this is the southernmost part of the USA. There were people queuing to have their photos taken so I just took the picture of the buoy on its own when a gap appeared
. Just by this point there was a hotel, a house and a guesthouse all saying that they were the most southern most of their kind. We then headed off to the main part of the island where people go to see the sunrise and sunset at Mallory Square and surrounding areas. We took the walk along the marinas where there were lots of boats to charter for fishing, joy rides and other things. For the most part of the day we just strolled around stopping for a drink and just watching what went on. On Mallory square we saw a guy catch what he described as a shark of some sort (see picture) and just lost it as he tried to put it into his net. It certainly had some big teeth. As the day started to come to an end we decided to book a trip out for the 7th and that allowed us a free trip on the sunset cruise, for an additional $19 each we could upgrade to a buffet and unlimited drinks, which we did. Now you can see why I wish we had stayed at Key West because I had to drive back the unlimited drinks held little meaning to me. Sue did manage to polish off a few wines though, pay back for all the years she has driven me around I think. The cruise itself was very good with good music played and a hen night on board to boot. The cruise was for two hours and we managed to see the sunset un-obscured by an island that those on Mallory Square would have had to put up with. Each night people go to see the sunset and many street acts come out and bands play to earn a few bucks and keep people amused.
6th May – Marathon – Bahia Honda State Park – Marathon - 39 Miles – Kingsail Resort
After a late morning followed by a catch up at the launderette and a lunch at the local café we thought we would visit Bahia Honda State Park known for having the best beaches on the Keys according to a book that I read. The park was just over the seven mile bridge, which is a new bridge replacing the old one that was once known as the eighth wonder of the world when first built. The old one runs parallel to the new one and half is kept preserved for people to walk and cycle etc. and the other half is just rusting and having trees grow out of it. When we arrived at the park we were charged $9 to enter, we parked up expecting to find some fantastic beach but only found a very narrow one that was full of seaweed. There was enough sand to lay our towels though so we settled down to an afternoon of sunbathing. The real beauty here though is the wonderful colour of the water. First you walk through a weedy and stony part for about 10 feet and then you reach beautiful clear water upon soft sand. The level of water never gets above your knees and is nice and warm. Eventually you come to the dark bit of water, which I wrongly assumed was because it was deeper when actually it was because the sandy base now was covered in a fixed sort of grass giving a darker colour
. We both dipped in and out of the water and to be honest have both sinned again by getting a little burnt but nowhere near as bad as when in Darwin. On my last visit I was sitting in the water all calm when I felt something touch me. It made me jump to my feet and as I walked away I trod on something else. This was after seeing someone else do similar just a few metres away earlier. After settling myself I notice that it was a fish around six to eight inches long and almost clear in colour blending with the crystal clear water. Sue wondered what was going on and came out. Ad we stood looking the fish appeared again and kept circling us taking a shine to Sue as it kept nudging her. This unnerved Sue in an amusing way so we decided to leave it be and return to the safety of the beach. Once we had had enough of the beach we had a look around the park but it was much like the beach we had been on so off we went to do a little shopping and prepare for an adventurous day on Saturday.
May 7th - Marathon – Key West – Marathon – 100 Miles – Kingsail Resort (Written by Sue)
Today we are up early for a day of water sport activities. The day didn't start well as between the noises and Terry keep getting up it was hard to sleep
. We headed off to Key West again (as that’s where everything seems to happen) to catch our Party Cat Boat with about 35 to 40 other people. We started by motoring out to a wreck site which was to be our base then it was all systems go. We chose to try the kayaking first hoping we’d stay in the boat after watching the poor guys yesterday. We went out to the wreck to find the water only about 3 feet deep and we could clearly see a Manta Ray and a couple of other fish. On the wreck sat 12 or so birds which weren’t at all worried about us paddling around them. Next we tried the Jet Skis and once we managed to get on them it was great fun. We thought we might have a rest then but no it was time for our Parasail, so onto another boat with 10 other people and off we went. All of us were tandem riders so it was quickly our turn and I have to say it was brilliant, getting dunked a couple of times, but over all too soon. It’s a great feeling to soar high above the boat and watch the sea below you and all the activities going on, can’t wait to do it again. After that it was time for lunch and after a short sit down we tried the kayaking again and the Jet Skis, Terry having got the hang of them going faster this time and turning more sharply. We had hoped to go on the Banana Boat then but it was taking people Water Skiing so we decided to go back on the Kayak to take some photos of the birds. Not a good decision as Terry slipped getting into the Kayak banging his mouth on the oar and the camera ended up in the Kayak in water. We still went to photo the birds but yes you’ve guessed it the camera now doesn’t work. After that we went back to the boat but decided that we had had our fill of activities so settled down for a couple of drinks before heading back to shore. Despite the camera we had a really enjoyable day and one that I would love to do again.
Regrettably there are no pictures of our day due to the faulty camera but we did get pictures that were taken by the crew, unfortunately these are on DVD and our PC doesn’t have one.
5th May – Marathon – Key West – Marathon – 109 Miles – Kingsail Resort