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Out of the bubble......... One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.-- Henry Miller

Arriving at the last State in the States, Saturday, May 11th 2019

USA | Saturday, 18 May 2019 | Views [170]

Any guesses what this is??
Solution at the end of the story.

Any guesses what this is?? Solution at the end of the story.


Land of the swamps, snakes and alligators, but also of the soft, warm air (at least in May...), the gentle rain, the extreme downpours, the thunderstorms, the lush, tropical greenery and the warm turquoise sea.

During several of our rides through FL, we have encountered numerous small, but dead Coral Snakes (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micrurus_fulvius?wprov=sfti1) on the side of the road as well as one very much alive (and too big for comfort) Cottonmouth (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agkistrodon_piscivorus_conanti?wprov=sfti1) curled up in a striking position right close, next to my bike while I was pedaling past. James was right behind me and I was worried it would strike at him, I slowed down...and he yelled: Keep going, there is no time to linger....

I actually thought he was bitten and that was why he was yelling, but he just wanted to get the hell out of there.........Phew!!!

Our experiences with the people here are very mixed.

The southern dialect has switched from “y’all” and “all y’all”, to “you guys” and from here on out...

The “southern hospitality” is more sporadic, but when it’s there, it’s there! Seems more “black and white” and no grey. In other words, they hate us on our bicycles, honking, flipping us off, cussing us out, looking at us like we are from outer space when asking for a place to set up camp, charging us an arm and a leg, when it’s a campground, or even a State Park.......or, they very much enjoy us, feed us incredible food and invite us to their home at the beach and seem to become friends for life. 


I find it also interesting that some people -who I am able to connect with -very much dislike FL and moved here, because of elderly relatives who need care and so they feel stuck and politically displaced. 

We reached Sarasota, our “jump off place” with a bit of a “speed bump”(in actual fact we got here faster than expected that day after we left Madeira Beach):

St Petersburg and Bradenton is connected via the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the Tampa Bay. A beautiful piece of architecture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunshine_Skyway_Bridge?wprov=sfti1

The road across the bridge is a State Highway, but there were no signs that bicycle aren’t allowed to ride it (how could we know that in the State of FL bicycles aren’t allowed on any State Highways?) We only got conflicting information wether we can or can not. So, we did, or tried to....

Right by the toll plaza we got stopped (yelled at) and the HP was called and gave us a lecture. He pulled up fast in his police car .....seemingly angry, but then we started talking and he looked kind a funny with his upper teeth missing and I kept smiling...more amused than anything else, he got friendly, informing us - aside from all the rules and regulations- that Floridians are very unfriendly and unkind people and we probably wouldn’t stand a chance to get a ride across (besides it is illegal to “panhandle” as he put it). He said, if he had his truck that day, he would have given us a ride himself. Instead he sent us back the way we came, which meant we had to ride the freaking highway against traffic with hardly a shoulder at all for at least 2 miles which was a lot more dangerous -in my book- than riding the bridge with its nice big shoulder...check it out:


..and yes, here we are in a car with my sweet friends Erika and Achim, who picked us up and drove us over the Skyway bridge and beyond to their home in Sarasota to stay for a while.

Summery of the last States:




Solution: An alligator! Perspective is everything!


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