August 4th 2012 – Key West, Florida

It felt good to be driving a car again! We drove straight out of Miami (neither of us are interested in the city) and headed south towards the Keys. As it was getting late in the day we decided to stop at Florida City on the mainland, the last town before heading out to the island keys. We found a great motel and then walked out for food (back to super-size portions and masses of meat with everything), then went to buy some water in Walmart. This shop is better than telly, you could walk around for hours being entertained by the locals 🙂

The next day we decided to travel all the way to the end at Key West, about 150 miles, just to get a feel for the place and check out what there is to do. It was a great drive on concrete bridges, over miles and miles of calm, crystal clear waters – the keys are amazing !

The Drive on 7 Mile Road

The Drive on “7 Mile Road”

We spent two nights here in a pretty decent motel not far from the main hub of the town – a road called Duval Street. This is a funky place with art galleries, restaurants and music bars vying for space along the main drag. No dance music crap here though, each bar has either a full rock band or just guys on acoustic guitars, it’s pretty cool.

The Strand

The Strand – A typical building on Duval Street

There’s an upmarket marina lined by boardwalk Seafood restaurants – but we are staying off the Gulf water Corexit-soaked fish and prawns for now, and have found a great Cuban eatery – where the food is impressive – the whole Cuban influence is massive here, from the grub to the drinks and cigars (Cuba is only 90 miles away across the water) and of course there’s the ever famous Key Lime Pie – which is absolutely amazing!

Cuban Restaurant

Cuban Restaurant

On an evening there’s free entertainment down on Sunset Square, right on the most Weastern edge of the dock – the usual street stuff – jugglers, sword swallowers, and one guy, Who was not so good on the Banjo, but was getting the most tips because he had cleverly taught his dog to collect the money and put it in the pot. All this while you watch the sun go down 🙂

Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Key West Marina

Key West Marina

Earnest Hemmingway came here to write and fish, and the white clapboard houses with porches, old wooden docks and tree lined streets, make it easy to imagine what the place must have been like back in the 50’s – this is a really nice place. Tomorrow we are going to take a slow ride back up the keys and find a new place to stay and check out a couple of places we saw on the way down.

But we leave you with the lastest water toy to be found on the keys….

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