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DAY 6

(27.12.2010 Monday)

When we wake up we stay in the bed more, because of the cold outside. After it gets warmer we are on the way back to Miami from the road we took yesterday. Today’s target is Sanibel Island and then Tampa, Florida. These places are located on the west side of Florida. If there were a ferry, we wouldn’t take the same road back. Although there is a demand for this, they don’t do it. I don’t understand. Anyway, we are on the way back following the same road. But, we’re lucky, because there is no wind now. We go on the way without any problem, and after a short break before the longest bridge we are ready for the 650-mile trip today…

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We have to two choices to go to Tampa from Key West, one is I-75 and the other is US 41 W. We don’t choose I-75 because it is an interstate; hence we take US 41W to discover. Both of them are straight and will reach us to the place we want to go, but there is chance to see some different things is we don’t go from an interstate.

After we turn to US 41W, the signs about the wild life and the alligators start to appear again, and we pass through some Indian villages. The region is an Indian reservation named Miccosukee. While we are passing through another Indian village, we see some signs that say some stuff about a festival. It is very crowded. We have a long way for today, but we want to take a look. Although it is very crowded, people just looking at the things that are for sale. There is no music or other activities. Therefore, we don’t want to spend that much time here and decide to move on.

I start the engine and open the gps, but it got locked after a few seconds. I get terrified when I see it is locked. This road is straight which goes directly to Tampa, but I have no idea how we’ll find the hotel. It is hard find someone outside in the evening in the USA, and even if you find one, it has a very low possibility that he/she would know the address you ask. And from the formula of the physics that is about time (mile/speed), it is evident that we will be in Tampa in the late evening. I give the map, which is not so detailed, to Emel and we go on.

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We see some airboat advertisements on the road besides the villages. It collects lots of interest. Therefore, I’d like to take a tour as well like in the action movies to see the wild life here. But Emel doesn’t accept my offer after she sees lots of alligators along the road in the river. She scares… because we have a long way, I don’t insist. Time is going and the gps is not working… we don’t want to stay here in the dark… and the phone does not work here as well…

But, we still stop by a viewpoint to watch the alligators… 

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We see another BMW R 1200 GS Adventure when we park. We’d like to ask for the right way to the owner about going to Tampa, and he comes while we were looking around. I ask to him about the gps, and he knows nothing about it. Then  I ask him about the way to Tampa, and he offers us an offroad where we’ll be able to see about 200 alligators on it… no comments…

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So, this is the road we were on from the morning, and the river on the right hand side full of alligators. And these are the small ones according to the BMW man…

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We are on the way again running away from the Alligators… we would skip Sanibel Island actually after this gps event… but we decide to go there despite every problem. Because it is in the book of “1000 places to see before you die”… We’ll find it anyway. And a brilliant idea comes while going to Sanibel Island. I take it off from the rack and put it to the top case to see if it’ll work after the battery dies. Let’s see…

We are tired a little bit, and scared… and the signs for Fort Myers start to appear. There are 2-3 entries to the city, and we don’t know which one to take. Therefore we take the first one to the west with the thoughts that it should be on the west. We go, go, go, and go… but it is like it’ll never end. We follow the cars that they should go to Sanibel Island, the most famous place here… and it became dark now. There will be few things to see even if we find there because of the dark. The other cars disappear after a while, and we are alone now on the road. Hence we go the gas station to ask about the road. And the guy says “go straight from this road for another 2-3 miles” and we are there! I’d like to check the gps here also, and see it is working… I immediately write for the island to the gps, and it says 12 miles, and that’s also ok.

We follow the directions and see a long bridge in the dark in front of us. The fee for the bridge is 2 dollars, there is a boy at the gate and I ask to him where to go in the Sanibel Island, but he says he has never gone there… when we are on the island, all the streets are empty, and the lights finish. We are going to nowhere along the forest. Therefore we decide to stop at a restaurant to eat and to ask about the city center…

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A nice fish restaurant, we have to wait a little to sit. The decoration is also good inside, and smiley faces… after we finish eating, we ask to the waiter about the city center or something. But, he says, “there is no city center here on this island!” and I ask again for some street to walk and drink a coffee… he says no streets to walk!... He says that there are only restaurants and stores here… so I want to see the author of the book, 1000 places to see before you die, at that moment…

So, we just write Tampa to the gps, and leave Sanibel Island… our main thought is to arrive Tampa as soon as possible and sleep… the visors of the helmets get crystalized because of the cold at this time. We have a gas problem know the motorcycle says that we can go 0 miles with the gas inside… and we don’t see any exits for a gas station… after a while we see one exit and take it right away. We drink some hot coffee with the gas and continue… we arrive at the hotel around midnight, and sleep immediately… 

end of day 6...

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