The Planning is Almost Finished – Travels with Allie.
We set off on our journey to Marathon in the Florida Keys at about 915. It was to be our longest car journey this trip – around 345 miles. We decided to take a route down the centre of the state, to the west of Lake Okeechobee – Route 27 – rather than take the interstate or the turnpike. It would take around 40 minutes more, but be much more interesting and with less traffic.
And so it proved. It was a very rural route, past many farms. At first the fields were full of citrus – oranges mainly. Mile after mile, on either side of the road as far as you could see. From around Lake Okeechobee onward the citrus largely changed to sugar cane, growing in huge fields reclaimed from the swamps and benefitting from the copious water. Then, plantations of tropical plants being grown in an endless series of nursery gardens. Finally we entered the true Everglades and were surrounded by swampy channels of water.
We started down the chain of the Keys at around 330 and it took us about an hour to get from Key Largo to Marathon Key. Key Largo is a large island but as the road progresses, the keys get smaller and narrower and you can see the sea on either side. They are all very flat, barely above sea level. Would be interesting in any sort of tidal surge….
We checked in to our guest house – Captain Pip’s at Knights key. literally at the end of Marathon, at the foot of the 7 mile bridge. We have a two bedroom apartment with a full view of the bridge and the sea from most rooms. It was a good workout to get all our luggage up to the second floor by the stairs but we managed. By the time we’d unpacked the sunset was underway and a very splendid one it was. Another night i will walk down to the water’s edge and get an uninterrupted view of it.
We booked our covid tests at Walgreens for Thursday morning and then we headed off to the Sunset Grille, one of the most popular bar/restaurants on the island, and literally 2 minutes walk away. Wow. It was jumping. We had about a 40 minute wait which we filled by drinking margaritas at the bar.
The food was really excellent. I started with crab fried dumplings, Bob and Stuart had clam chowder. Then i had broiled shrimp, bob had a sashimi dinner, Stuart had seafood paella and Fi had baby back ribs. It was all really fantastic and just right. Will definitely be back here.
Tottered back down the road and up the stairs to our place. looking forward to 5 full days down here. It’s warmer already and due to be 28C by Thursday.