Jesper said: "I'm going to Florida". We sat in
his car on the way home from the airport, where he picked up after a
good trip to Sumatra.
Only logical answer was: "When do we leave?" Morten's response the
following day: Take me with me, I come out so rarely!
We arrival well at Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale. After a bit of trouble, we get our Mitsubishi Gallant (almost new, electric windows, central lock, air-bag, air-conditioning, auto-gear, etc.), but the way to the hotel? - It's easy, you just have to go right and left, and then you're there! And then some! 100 (x 1.6) miles and quite a few right and left turns later, we were there, after a trip through deep down town Miami.
Only consolation was that we were among the first
to reach the hotel by 3 AM (night). Located in the middle of Miami
Beach, the hotel is from the 50's and was once truly fashionable.
The next morning - well, then this morning, we
find bread and peanut butter in a supermarket, head down to the
harbour and go for lunch.
From there, we drive a little around, passed
among other things, the neighbourhood of the rich: The area is
braided: Every other "road" is a channel In each backyard there is a
mega yacht. Was also out walking in some commercial streets, but was
not really impressed with the selection or prices.
We pass a truck stop where there are a number of large trucks. Several of them are Volvo, and they are no smaller than the American. They differ from the domestic ones by having a larger sleeper cabin, otherwise not.
It's raining, but we crawl on board a monster
truck, and start the trip through the swamp, which is mainly
populated with imported water buffalo, gazelles and deer. Well,
nature is exciting in itself. They just have big problems with
imported plants. Eucalyptus and flame trees spread totally
uncontrollably. Inside the forests there are epiphytes on the trees,
and in the rivers and lakes, there are some alligators.
Back at the starting point, we walk out of a
boardwalk through the swamp. We see some animals; squirrels, frogs,
fish, and inland we find fossils.
Runs right up to the main entrance, "Do you have open?" Sure! Inside and have a look: Almost only large mammals, and no cubs. What is special is that they all have large lawns with trees, surrounded by moats. Nicely but after 1½ hours, we went through it all.
On to the Ocean Zoo. Huge tanks with "coral reefs", dolphins, killer whales, seals, sea turtles, sea cows etc. Show with everything, we are in the USA after all. There are also some mangrove areas with quite a few sea turtles.
Zigzags on the way home, without seeing
anything interesting. Find another rich neighbourhood. Over the
course of the week, we saw about 100 Royles, a single Lamborghini
Diablo and an huge amount of Jaguars, Cadillacs, Porches, Hummers
and other toys + one Jugo. 100 miles.
It is getting late, but there are "only" 100
miles down to Key West and we should see that. Cruises around
on foot and by car. Residential neighbourhoods and backdrops
resemble hotels and commercial streets. Driving home, stopping along
the way to get swordfish somewhere, and freshly baked cookies
another. Arrive very late to the hotel. Having a bit of a race with
a lorry driver, which apparently want to drive us off the road. I
get this The Duel" feeling, and can relate to how Dennis Weaver must
have felt it. 370 miles.
Finds the "original" river steamer. Crap! No
impeller, pure steel hull - very American at its worst. Looking a
bit at the boats in the harbour. Everyone offers tuna- and sword
fishing and the like, but at horrible prices