Day 44 – Big Beasties

This morning I think I would like to stay another night at this motel, it is very good and clean.. aww they are fully booked so I can’t stay on.. oh well, nevermind.

The breakfast is the DIY waffles, but they also have egg omelette like patties and grits… not for me thanks. There is also toast and cakes which is pretty standard along with cereal,  various flavours of porridge, tea and coffee so it’s very good really.

I take the bike next door for a wash and then have to check out at 11am. I manage to clear out by 11.10, but don’t pack up the bike yet as I want to give her a bit of a polish this time.

It is now gone 12.30 and I see I have some business emails to deal with before I can leave, so I go into the reception area and there is tea/coffee available for free with little cakes.. I do wish I could stay another night here…

I continue to head for St Petersburg on the 90.. oh there’s the Chiefland water tower..

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Before long I enter Crystal River… home of the Manatee it seems..

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aww cute…. and there she is;

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and opposite…

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so… that’s where Delboy disappeared to then.

There is a Harley shop here so I drop in to get a free coffee, a pin and use their wifi.  I spot an advert for an event this weekend in Key West… oh no, that means all the accommodation will be full.  I get on to booking.com to find something and it is very, very expensive… why didn’t I realise that before, of course it’s going to be expensive, it’s a luxury destination and the weekend… duh!! I do manage to get something in Marathon, which is about half way along the keys, but it is still expensive.. even more than NOLA so I bloody hope there isn’t going to be any problems.

After I have booked for tomorrow and Sunday nights I realise I have made a mistake and should have booked Sunday and Monday nights… this now means a long ride tomorrow, sigh!  I would change it but its a full cancellation fee so I’ll just have to ‘suck it up’… bloody awful expression.

Anyway, back to today… all along this highway there are places with really fantastic names…

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and the best one so far…

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where the fellas chew tabbacy and the women weeki wachee woooooo*

Live mermaids no less, bet that’s believeable!

About as real as the curious beasts that crop up from time to time along the highway: Gorillas

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and the occasional dinosaur…

or two…  how strange…

I see a sign for the alternate 90 so chuck a right hoping it isn’t going to be another 20 mile dead end… but no, at last here it is again, the Gulf of Mexico and beautiful, beautiful bright white sand

and a turtle dancing on top of a pole of course.

This is Clearwater and the architecture is like mini Miami..

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although I’m not sure why St Louis features on this sign post… a bit odd really…

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I now cross a causeway

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and am on a long spit of land that I assume was/is a sand bar…

I pass through Belleair Shore, Sand Key, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores

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and as I ride along I have the Gulf of Mexico on the right and the ‘Narrows’ on the left with again some very desirable homes.

on the right there is mile after mile of holiday places; motels, hotels, resorts etc. and retirement apartments.  As I go along it becomes more and more commercial on both sides of the road.

As I pass through Redington Shores, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Madeira Beach it is quite slow going with lots of stopping and starting for traffic lights and then this…


Once across I’m in Treasure Island… Yep seriously… I decide to stop for the night so back on to trusty booking.com.. wow this is an expensive area, about as expensive as the rest of the florida keys… I do manage to find somewhere reasonable, but it’s back in North Redington Beach.. oh well it’s only a couple of miles back.

When I arrive it does look pretty tired next to all the glitzier places, but it will do.  No breakfast here and he wants a $5 security deposit for the key… first time that’s happened.

The room is good enough, so it will do.  The wifi isn’t very good though and I have to either sit outside in the heat and humidity or try and sit as close as possible to the window… not ideal.

So, another long day tomorrow… Marathon is going to be exactly that with over 380 miles to do… somehow I don’t think I’m going to be sightseeing on anymore sand bars tomorrow 🙁

*Nagasaki – an old song from the 1920’s

‘Hot ginger and dynamite / There’s nothing but that at night / Back in Nagasaki where the fellas chew tobaccy / And the women wicky-wacky-woo’

 

 

 

 

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