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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Florida State, USA part 1

USA | Thursday, 18 March 2010 | Views [415]

Our flight to Florida was about 3 hours and we were able to see some of the islands below as we crossed near to Dominican Republic and Cuba. We also flew over the Florida Keys and got to see the huge area of sandy bottomed shallow blue blue sea there. Greg was allocated the seat next to us and told us about the area we were flying over and when we arrived in Fort Lauderdale he kindly gave us a ride to the Tri-rail station near his home. We rode from there to West Palm Beach and were met by our 'couch' Linda.

First order of the afternoon was to get into the hot tub after which Carol promptly fell asleep on the bed. Also visiting Linda were two friends from college years and we had a great time over the 2 nights getting to know them all and having lots of laughs. Carol, Linda, Lyn and Sue discovered they are all exactly the same age and had a lot in common.

A large portion of the eastern coast of America is lined with long thin islands, the mainland is linked to them with bridges and the waterway in between the two is called the 'Intercoastal Waterway'. It's possible to sail a great deal of the way from north to south using these waterways. We walked down to the portion of it near Lindas home and found it to be quite wide with some yachts but no big vessels, the water is a dark tea colour possibly because of the water draining from the swamps. When the first pioneers arrived here (a little to the north in a place called St Augustine) this waterway was filled with fresh water, they opened a channel to the sea so they could bring in there ships and shelter from the hurricanes that pound the coast. As a result of this practical solution the interior wildlife and wetlands were changed forever and now the waterways are saltwater and are flushed with the tides.

Carol and Linda walked in the morning on the beach and Carol saw a long thin fish jump out of the top of a wave, spin about and land back in the water. The morning before Linda had seen a shark outlined in a wave with the sun behind. In the evening the 4 women climbed on the roof, up 2 ladders, and enjoyed the sunset while Kent toiled away below making dinner. Of all the times we have made this meal it is considered the most unusual meal by North Americans. We make potatos and carrots mashed together (nothing is ever mashed with potato if potato is mashed at all), lightly boiled cabbage with a little butter and lots of pepper (they only eat cabbage as coleslaw), mince with herbs and tomatoes (ground beef is not a favoured meat...). Linda, Lyn and Sue were quite worried about what might come out the other end of the things they saw sitting on the bench and checked in now and then to see how the cooking was going, relaying not so SOS signals back to the others lol. In the end everything was eaten and enjoyed and they were pleased to have tried something new.

Linda dropped us on Saturday to a pickup point where we were to connect with Holly, Carl and Kay to head north to Vero Beach for a Spring Equinox BBQ at Terrys place. Terry is the Head Park Ranger at the Sebastian Inlet State Park and lives in a home right on the beach at the entrance to the park. About 35 other couchsurfing hosts and surfers were there and a small tent city popped up around the house. Carol took the opportunity to use one of the pushbikes there and go for a ride out throught the park, view the sunset over the Indian River Lagoon and also rose with most of the others to watch the sunrise in the morning. The evening was fun with food, music, dancing and games. In a game of truth and dare Carol came inside to find Kent wearing the clothes of the guy sitting next to him!

Next day we put our things into the car of Lisa and Brian who were taking us up to Titusville right next to the Kennedy Space Centre. Originally there was to be a rocket launch on the 22nd but during our planning this had been cancelled but we were still eager to see the Spacecoast. Lisa and Brian live right where you get perfect views of any liftoff so it would have been great to see a launch but we weren't disappointed as we got to see the area and the shuttle in the distance up and ready for it's scheduled launch on April 5th. Lisa is training to be a helicopter pilot and is 50 hours into it, cool!

The day we spent with Lisa and Brian they took us out for the day to the wetlands that surround the launchpads. It is a huge area very wet when we were visiting because of the rain they have had lately and filled with all kinds of wildlife and birds. We spent hours crawling slowly through in the car and seeing some wonderful sights and getting some great pics. We were especially glad to have our new canon with its bigger lens and better zoom, some of the pics were excellent.

Tuesday we got up at 5am and left for Orlando with Brian who works there. He kindly got up half an hour earlier in order to drop us there at the Greyhound Bus terminal on his way to his work at 7am.  Next stop Tallahassee.


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