Key West.

We left Miami and headed south towards Key West. We were going to stop at Everglades National Park for a look-see to decide if we wanted to do more there. Apparently not, cos we didn’t manage to make the tour timing. The tour would have brought us in a boat out to the river and swamps area to view wild crocs, a la Anaconda in those boats powered by a huge motor fan.

We took a walk instead through the park and came really close to alligators that were living in the wild. My first time seeing them up close, without any glass or wire between us. Pretty cool. We also saw other wildlife like birds and there was this particular one that swooped down from the sky so fast that we, or I, thought it was something falling from the sky. Well, it happened in a split second and next thing you know, it was flying off with its prize – a perch struggling to break free from the bird’s claws. We also walked a little trail for all of five minutes and I came across a snake, which was probably highly poisonous. Well, it slithered away before the rest could see it. Reminds me of the snake I saw during field camp back in my army days when I was proning next to it. Everglades reminded me of two things I have to get used to again upon returning to Singapore – the humidity… and mosquitoes.

You can just make out the croc, near enough for my camera that can’t zoom.

Another one, remember there were no fences or cages, though we were on a bridge.

We headed to Key West, kudos to Yeh Yang for driving so many hours. And I think Xinpei and Tanny helped out a little bit as well.. Angela and I ended up falling asleep (not most, but) many parts of the journey. The journey took longer than expected. Oh, I spotted my first Long John Silver’s along the way as well. Driving to Key West is rather fun if you have the patience and tolerance. The view is fantastic because you see the Atlantic on either side of the car, but because its a single lane for both directions, it’s hard to overtake, and it was especially irritating cos we came across many slow cars going at 30mph probably. Someone said, I think it was Yang, that Key West is a retirement place that’s why all the cars were going so slowly.

My vantage point from the backseat.

As we arrived in Key West, the sun was just about to set. It was really beautiful. We pulled into Key West after passing through many many Keys. Key West is the southernmost point of continental USA. It’s literally the end of the road, and 90 miles north of Cuba.

We were only going to spend one night here so we decided to find a place for dinner first before checking into the hostel. We stopped at the Bight Ferry Terminal, where there was loads of seafood places to choose from. Not before Yang closed the car door on Angela’s fingers though.. Haha. That one really hard to forget.

I liked Key West. Because I like seafood, and the smell of fishy breeze, and the laid back lifestyle, and the little old man playing the oboe.

This is paradise.

You know staying in hostels really allows you to meet all kinds of people. My experience in London and Paris taught me well. Haha. Our hostel in Key West was a 14-person dorm divided into three rooms. When we first entered, there was a towel hanging from one of the double-deck beds such that it completely hid the lower bunk. I just assumed that the person was sleeping and didn’t want to be disturbed by light. Then again, the lights weren’t on… Anyway, thinking nothing of it, we went ahead to choose our beds and unpack.

OK, I hate to be one of those who tells you a juicy story halfway and stop, but this is a healthy and clean blog rated G, so. To be continued… If you remember to ask me when I get back in August.

The drive out of Key West was equally scenic. Too bad it’s a single lane road, so stopping for photos would be troublesome. We were going to drive to Miami airport, return the rented car there, and take a train from the airport to Fort Lauderdale, where we were spending the night.

How nice to travel in a train over the blue ocean. The track is not in use anymore though.

Yeh Yang and Xinpei.

Angela. Loser shuffle.

We returned the car and while waiting for our train, we sat down very unglamly to play dai di. I have no idea why, but that was the first day I felt truly relaxed and comfortable with Yang, Angela, Xinpei and Tanny. I remember laughing like crazy over random silly stuff while we played. I declare myself King and Xinpei can be Queen of Dai Di. The other three, not worth mentioning… 😉


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