The motel is absolutely perfect…. it is on Conch Key, a small island with only a couple of roads. The motel is in a bay with its own beach and dock. What is the most fantastic for me is the wildlife… Pelicans galore, White Cranes, Cormorants, Sea Turtles, Sardines, Parrot fish and many others. Also a couple of Manatee visit, there were here all day yesterday. It is so wowowowow…. I’m absolutely delighted.
I have just come for a quick look around and already I have loads of photos…
Sea turtle who comes in everyday… sometimes there are two of them.
And this handsome chap.. or chapess, not sure which…
And there’s more..
various fish.. don’t know what they are…
Anyway, time to ride to Key West, but before I do I love it here so much that I decide to hang the expense and stay for an extra night until Tuesday. They have a room available and I ask if they have one with a bay view, yes I can move to the room next door. Fantastic! I move my things before I go and the room is perfect, as is the view.. but more of that later.
I sort out the Gopro camera so I can take some film of the ride to Key West… I don’t have the camera running as I cross 7 mile bridge but I’ll get that on the way back.. here is the clip of my arrival in central Key West..
Key West certainly has that olde worlde charm in places, however it is heavily commercialised the same as everywhere else. I think in my head I have a picture of it being small and quaint, which it is in places but mainly it is a long street with loads of bars and commercial outlets… a bit disappointing to be honest.
Next stop is the southernmost point of the continental USA. Oh, there’s a queue to take a photo..
I park up and join the end of the queue. It doesn’t take long and I’m soon the next in line. I ask the woman behind me if she would mind taking a photo for me and she very kindly agrees…
Except there is a house just to the right of this point.. it’s actually called the Southernmost, Southernmost House!
So now it’s back on the bike to ride to my hotel… I am really looking forward to sitting on the dock of the bay and enjoying the peace… and Manatees hopefully.
Ah here’s the start/end of Highway 1 so as I will now be travelling north all the way to New Jersey to drop off the bike I am hoping to complete most of HW1 starting right here.
I remember to switch on the GoPro to capture some of the ride.. including 7 mile bridge
The hotel gave me a map of the keys and so I find that Marathon is not just one island but a collection of islands of which Conch Key is one.
The seems to be the same for all the keys, they are grouped together to form areas… I suppose that makes sense really. So from Key West I pass through Big Pine Key, which includes Sugarloaf, Lower Sugarloaf, Cudjoe, Saddlebunch and Boca Chica Keys.. some fantastic names… then on to Marathon with Pigeon, Vaca, Stirrup, Key Colony, Fat Deer, Crawl and Little Crawl Keys to Grassy, Duck and into my Conch Key.
It also spot these places of interest along the way:
and some of the signs are really fab..
Looks a bit cross doesn’t it.
This is the view from my balcony…. fantastic isn’t it…
I immediately get changed and take a dip in the pool… it is lovely and warm and empty!! It’s a salt water pool, which reminds me of my childhood when I would go over to Ireland every summer to stay with my favourite Aunt, she was the Manageress of the Cafe at the ‘Centre’ basically Arklow Leisure Centre, where they had a seawater pool.
I also take more photos of the wildlife..no Manatee yet though 🙁
I find out that this is a baby Barracuda….
There are also Parrot Fish and White Cranes, one of which comes onto the dock for a look around
and the turtle returns, but still no Manatee…
It gets dark soon so I get changed and go to eat… I decide to go left towards the north to see what’s available on the next key… nothing… I travel about 10 miles and then give up. I turn around back to Marathon and find a place to eat.
Tomorrow I am definitely going to spend most of the day on the dock enjoying the peace and tranquility, swimming in the pool and watching the abundant wildlife and fantastic views.