Trip Start Apr 30, 2013
7Trip End Jun 19, 2013
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Where I stayed
Off the southern tip of Florida, there is a series of islands called the Florida Keys, stretching south-west into the Gulf of Mexico. Some have familiar names, like Key Largo and Key West, but there's no Kokomo (the Beach Boys made that one up).
A string of these islands are connected by the Overseas Highway. It is a quite remarkable piece of road, stretching for a little over 200 km. There are many bridges connecting the various Keys. The longest of which is the Seven Mile Bridge.
There is a realistic looking and rather large statue of a lobster along the highway on the island of Islamorada
Key West was the first place in the world to offer Jet Packing to the general public (so they claim). Evidently they have had a 72 year old customer, so I though I'd give it a try. I found the controls to be a bit tricky, and while it was a definite buzz, I was concentrating so hard I couldn't fully appreciate it. I would like to give it another go sometime.
You do get thrown around a bit and often end up with your face in the water, but it is easy enough to roll over (that is the first thing they teach you). At the end of it my shoulders were a bit sore from having to hold my arms out in front of me.
Anyhow, you can watch the attached video of how I went once I have a bit of control, if you are interested
The Florida Keys are close to the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world (the 2nd largest is in Belize). We took a trip out to the reef and I did a bit of snorkeling.
The reef was not as spectacular as some I've seen, but interesting enough in it's own right.
We went on a very pleasant 90 minute sailing trip to watch the sunset off Key West. They fired a tiny cannon a few times. Despite its size, it made a lot of noise and you could feel it as well as hear it.
Ernest Hemingway did about 70% of his writing while living in Key West, I gather. The woman who bought the house off his sons when he died, got sick of people knocking on the door wanting to look around, so she set it up as a museum. And so it remains today. The house itself is mildly interesting, but the amusing stories from the guide made this well worth the visit. I've summarised a few in the photo comments.