Monday 28 October 2013

Bikeless in Miami

Friday we rode the last 3 miles from our hotel to the shipping agents, after a couple of hours sorting out the paperwork we said goodbye to or bikes and to most of our stuff. We then got a taxi to the nearest shopping mall to buy some civilian clothes and a suitcase to put them in. So we left our hotel on our bikes and arrived back morphed into tourists with a 4 wheeled suitcase, how sad is that. Yesterday we went to Miami Beach which to my surprise isn't a beach but a town full of posers and expensive shops, just my kind of place, made for interesting people watching though. Our hotel is in a place which is also interesting, the Ferrari's pass by during the day and at night you share the pavements with the occasional hooker & drug addicts, a city of extreme opposites indeed.
Shortly we'll go to join our ship for a wee trip to the Bahamas so no updates until next Weekend when we'll be back in Florida again, keep watching though!
Fiona's Mascot in December
And now after the trip!!
Final Packing and goodbyes
Fiona's gloves, fit for the bin now
We met Gianfranco & Stefanie outside our hotel, they told us about the old bike scene in Miami, not sure we'll catch it though
A nice bottle of wine. Had to laugh at the remarkably full bodied statement
Miami Beach and German beer for lunch
An Oasis of peace in a mad place, nice church!
Pretty and a street back from the main drag, quieter
Bigger tyres than my Norton!

Thursday 24 October 2013

Into Miami

We left Nicola, Brian and Lucy on Monday after a great five days in their company, sad to leave them but not that sad to leave Orlando or as I prefer tourist hell!
We rode south on the very busy I 95 then turned off thinking it would be quieter and nicer on US 1 but we were wrong, traffic light hell but we were rewarded with the Johnathan  Dickinson State park. We stayed there for three nights, enjoying camping amongst some great wildlife most of which disappeared when I grabbed the camera, some of the biggest eagles I've ever seen but to fast for my lens! Some cool but scary alligators and several million mosquitoes who feasted out big style on Fiona and I for the whole time we were there, so much so we now both look like we have chickenpox!!!
Apart from that there was some sadness as we broke camp this morning for the last time this trip. We're not ready for home yet but the bikes go to the shippers soon so it's going to be hotels and cruise ships for a while until we summon up the courage to face the reality of Scotland in the Winter.
The cruise ship (or ferry as i prefer to call it) will take us to the Bahamas for a while, ridiculous as it may seem we got a last minute deal fully inclusive (except alcohol) much cheaper than some campsites we've stayed at!
So Miami tonight and tomorrow organising the shipping home of the bikes, sad but still some adventures left on this trip!

You see some amazing cars here
Our last gas stop....but it wasn't, had to put another $5 in later to make sure we got to Miami
Mr Sleepy Alligator
Mr I can see you Alligator 
Nature, just us and millions of mozzies
Preparing dinner
time for us to be dinner
Life is good
These things kept me entertained for hours
Suspect it was a mating ritual
Our new pal Eddie who we met at McD's we spoke for ages and he gave us his lottery ticket as a gift, we never won but another example of how friendly and open people are in life.
Fi's very worn triners and socks are sacrificed
The last breaking camp of this trip......we think.....

Friday 18 October 2013

Being a tourist in Orlando

We rode out of Daytona and stopped to take pictures of the famous Daytona Speedway but its undergoing major redevelopment so access wasn't possible as the place is a building site, the security guard did say i could take a guided tour in a bus so I passed on that delight.
Into Orlando home to Mickey Mouse and all his pals to meet up with my neice Nicola, Brian and daughter Lucy. Great to see them and yesterday we all went to Seaworld together to play at tourists (I now remember why I hate being a "tourist") We did enough queuing to last several lifetimes. Its great for the kids I think but I do have an issue with the animals that are kept in captivity performing for the huge audiences every day, despite the conservation message that continues to be driven home its really if we are all being honest about conserving the dollars in the cash registers. Apologies for being a grouch but this adventure we have been on has taught me many things and one is the importance of our habitat and wildlife and how it needs to be protected.
That said we are lapping up the Florida sunshine and good company for a while before heading further South.

Daytona , a famous name, now a huge building site
Prospective motorcyclist?
Lucy & Brian annoy the fish
Circus act
All bred in captivity, they never see the wild
Killer whales perform 3 times daily for their supper
The Ladies enjoying the sun
Lucy & Brian inspecting tonsils
Fearless Lucy feeding the dolphin

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Florida to Daytona Beach

We left Savannah Sunday and rode south, crossing into the sunshine state, Florida, it was damned hot and we made our way to Fernandina beach state park. There was what seemed to be a half marathon on, running in that heat was taking its toll on the backmarkers we passed, I'm sure they could have got a bus and saved the pain!
So camping at a reasonable price again, excellent. We stayed two nights but yesterday the weather turned and it got rainy and windy but no matter it was great to be camping by the sea again. Last night we were lucky to cook dinner in between showers and even managed to get a good fire going. Today we rode further South to Daytona Beach, famous of course for the racetrack and for the bike events held here. The annual October Bike fest is this weekend so the place is filling up fast with thousands of Harleys, we are heading tomorrow so will miss the main event but at least we got a feel for it, funnily enough we feel like aliens on our "adventure" bikes amongst all the laid back cruising dudes but hey ho. Our hotel tonight is axcellent and crazily costs less than some of the campsites we have stayed in. Tomorrow Orlando to catch up with my niece Nicola, her husband Brian and daughter Lucy for a few days (until they get fed up of us and throw us out!) It feels now that we are coming to the end but I'm sure we still have adventures to live, its not over until we land in Edinburgh.....whenever that is! 29500 miles so far and many tales to tell , hopefully a few more in the coming weeks so keep watching.

I bought a dozen beers and never realised they were very small until I got back to the tent...dissapointed!
Our wee campsite
This is what its about, sunsets and a campfire (and small beers....and some whisky)
Into MacD's in town to blag free wifi, the staff are worked too hard obviously, these guys were on their break
Fort Clinch, used during the Civil war by Unuin soldiers
Quite spacious....
Fi doing the washing
How does it feel to sit on tons of gunpowder?
Very orderly
Big guns, these took 10 men each to work, minimum of 6
They have guys pretending its still in the day, interesting to find out more about the civil war. Not too dissimilar to whats going on just now in Capitol Hill
Out looking for alligators
getting close
but they were hiding from us, dissapointed and relieved at the same time
Watching this guy foraging in the tidal wash
3 bags of firewood for our wet night here!
Daytona beach
Jacuzzi overlooking the sea, not bad for 30 quid a night
I liked this, what it means of course is no people soliciting rather than no Scottish Lawyers but it was funny anyway!