Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
Trip End Jun 28, 2013

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What I did
Key West Express

Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Up at sparrow's fart yet again.

Checked out of my Fort Myer's Beach accommodation and started the hike over to the terminal where I would be catching the 'Key West Express' ferry to Key West.

I had decided to walk it given I had spent about $50 more than I had intended to on yesterday's taxi. In hindsight I probably should have taken the cab as the walk with a 25kg fully laden back-pack plus a day-pack proved relatively challenging given I had a steep bridge to climb on the way. Still I made it, albeit sweating bucket loads. It really made the shower I had earlier worthwhile. Still, I wasn't having to sit next to anyone on the ferry :)

I jumped on the ferry which had 3 levels and seated 500 people. It was only about half full for this sailing though. We left Fort Myers Beach to a show put on by dolphins playing in the ferry's wake. Somersaults and everything. Pretty cool.

Now I forgot to mention, Florida had finally found its sunshine. Today's weather for my ferry crossing was amazing. Bright blue sky and not a cloud to be seen.

There were a lot of old crusties on the ferry which was a little surprising given Key West's reputation for being a party town. Still, good to be the spriteful youth on board. I'll take it !

I grabbed some breakfast and a couple of beers on the boat, not necessarily in that order, and tried to kill some time. It is about a 4 hour trip from Fort Myers Beach to Key West and for 3 of those hours you can't even see land so it wasn't too exciting.

Apart from a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, I didn't make any friends on the trip. Nigel bloody no mates !

We arrived into Key West on time around 12.30 in the afternoon. I had assumed it was probably a 10-15 minute walk to the hotel so I set off on my merry way. An hour later I still hadn't arrived and I had got another good sweat up. I had to stop and reassess and rehydrate at Dunkin Donuts in case I had my directions horribly wrong. The Key is only 4 miles along for christ sake ! I hooked into the Dunkin Donuts wi-fi and found out that I had been heading in the right direction and I still had 1.5km to go. I thought that since I had walked this far, I may as well keep going, so I did.

Finally, I reached my hotel, and it is fair to say I was well and truly routed. I had walked 5.5km with my pack so I was feeling pretty good about myself and less concerned about all the fried shit I had eaten over the past 3 weeks.

I decided a shower was in order. I got changed and caught the free shuttle bus back into town to have a look around. Where the feck was the shuttle when I needed it earlier ?

Key West is an awesome little town and like a lot of the other places I have been to, the bars are pretty much located in one street or just off it. The difference here is everyone is so laid back.
You can walk into bars wearing whatever you want, you can walk the streets with your drinks and you can ride your Harley without a helmet.

Upon a recommendation from Harold, the maker of the Hog Wash BBQ sauce, who I had met in Tennessee, I headed to Mallory Square to watch the sunset. There were some awesome street entertainers down there and the sunset was spectacular.

I headed back to the hustle and bustle of Duval Street and started at an Irish Bar that had some 'live' music going on. I spent the rest of the night bar hopping pretty much. I met a group of 5 people who I hung out with for most of the night and they let me tag along with them. I also met a kiwi taxi driver who had been living in Key West for the last 12 years who said he'd take me back to the hotel later in the evening. Where the feck was he earlier !

Yet again, I had forgotten to have dinner so when the kiwi taxi driver picked me up in the wee hours, I talked him into going through a drive-thru fried chicken joint and got me a late night feed, before he dropped me back at my hotel.

I pretty much inhaled my 2 bits of chicken and chips, guzzled a bottle of water and crashed out within seconds of finishing it.

Over and out !
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