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6-13/10 1996
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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.
After a little dinner at Donking Dounut, we went home in the room to split one bed, leaving sleeping room for 3.

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.
Then we drove up to Fort Lauderdale, to visit a dinosaur museum. It had just closed on Monday. Then we had to try the butterfly park. Beautiful, with a choice of different species, but without a single poster, with names and info.

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.
In the evening we drove down to the Art Deco district, the local "Latin Quarter". Exciting business in between, but what a price! Ate some pizzas, which was so cheap, we got to order too much the first time. Then we drove home and to went to bed after 165 miles.

Early up and over to Denny´s for breakfast. A Grand Slam: 3 corn pancakes with syrup, 3 sausages, 3 pieces of bacon, 3 flipped fried eggs for $ 3.50 It keeps your stomach occupied for 10 hours!
Up north, up to the upper part of the Everglades swamp, where the Siminole Indians have a nature reserve worth a visit. We'll be off at the next exit - in about 50 miles!

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.
We stop at a fence where our Cuban driver wake up a fairly large alligator.

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.
In the parking lot some giant vans run out. They have a small trailer with a 4WD on.
On the way home we stop at a mall, a form of City 2. Can't find anything, not even the desired model of Lewis. 200 miles.

Miami's Zoo ranks among the world's ultimate zoos, so we had to spend a day there. Early up, we have to things to see, and out to the zoo. When we arrive at the 3x3 kilometre parking lot, there is not a single car (reminiscent of Father's Fede Holiday: Wolly World; the remodel closed).

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.

South on, along A1A, down to The Keys, where, among other things, we snorkel on a reef 40 minute boat trip out. It should be some of the coolest, but I'm disappointed. Afterwards there are walks of walkways through the mangrove swamp and tamarind. It was more exciting.

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.

Driving through the Everglades swamp of the ROAD. An area larger than Funen. Really huge pristine areas. Do some small trips; swamps, cedar trees, limestone palms, watching a few turtles mate, a raccoon, some alligators and pike-like fish. It's swampy, yet pretty varied. 215 miles.

The Dino Museum is open, but no dinosaurs. By contrast, there is an impressive mineral collection, and a lot of copies of the world's Native American culture stuff.
Finds a pants store and gets bought in. Save 60-70% on Lewis and so they had many models.

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

On the way to the airport, we visit a nature park that is 1-200 meters wide. Here we are for the first time on the beach. Total 1150 miles = 1840 km.
Handing over a very dirty car at the last minute, and then flying home.
Those who should have been home the next week, did not come so easily; Calypso Travel cracked!
USA? Well, - "been there, and then?"  Price: 5-6,000 kr.

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