Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amazon Adventure Day 3 - Nov 23

We started the morning with a big drive. From Fort Lauderdale we drove south all the way to Key West. It was close to 200 miles. I don't think I realized how long Florida is. The last 100 miles was along the causeway.

It was really interesting as the causeway goes from little island to little island. On each of the little island is a marina, a beach bar, a tourist shop selling trinkets, and a dive shop. The marina's were filled with boats which had for sale signs on 70% of them and the rest had for charter signs on them. The rates were surprising at $750/day, it was sticker shock. The bars were filled with colourful locals all of whom were wasting a way in Mauretiaville. The dive shops had definitely seen better days. The one we laughed about was called "Discount Dive" What do they do to cut the price? used air? Or maybe the operative word was Dive, as it certainly was.

At the end of the drive was Key West. It is a really interesting little town. The place has a long history as pirate retreat, couch fishery, marine salvage industry, navy supply depot, finally the tourist industry has taken over. Narrow little streets filled with historic homes and buildings. The most famous is Ernst Hemingway, who wrote a lot of his books in Key West. He loved the deep sea fishing. However there were lots of other famous inhabitants of Key West. Harry Trueman had his "Little White House" on the navel base in Key West. There is a marker there which marks the most southerly point of the the US.

At the West end of town is the main downtown. At sunset there is a huge crowd which congregates on the pier for the sunset celebration. There are street performers, vendors selling everything from crafts to beer. As the sun sinks into the ocean the crowd goes wild cheering and yelling. You would think that it had never happened before. Then everyone wanders off the pier and into one of the hundred open air bars. As we had close to 200 miles to drive we got back on the road. What a fun day.


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