FLORIDA 2015

 

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Fort Lauderdale Flyplass - Hotel 9km
20150915_113822.jpg (86532 bytes) The flight of 9.5 hours by Norwegian Dreamliner went on schedule and we landed in Fort Lauderdale at approx. 8 PM. What wasn't nice was the status of my bike. The baggage handling personnel had managed to destroy a brake lever. You should use some forse to to manage that .....
It was dark when we got out of the terminal, but the route that the GPS suggested to the hotel worked superbly.
Fort Lauderdale - Miccosukee Resort and Gambling 
  94km
DSC_4379.jpg (52456 bytes) Next morning we started early to manage the 150 km we had planned to cycle to Everglade City. Once again we did not fellow the GPS advise and therefore followed the wrong path westward. It extended the trip by about 20 km. The area is extremely flat and the road runs mostly straight. Not very inspiring to ride straight ahead 100km ....
Eventually we came to a road that was set up
with road dividers and there was not room for both trucks and bike so we had to run off the road every time they approached. It was tiring, stressful and frustrating at the same time. The temperature of 38 degrees and high humidity made the fluid requirement unusually high. I did not bring any salt or magnesium tablets to compensate for the loss and it went as it had to in the end. I got the worst cramps ever and it returned every time I tried to continue cycling. Eventually I had to throw in the towel and was partly towed back to a hotel that happened to be in the area. We were now in the Everglades Indian Reservation and here it was just a hotel for the next 100 km. Luck! 
We took in at Miccosukee Resort and Gaming
Miccosukee Resort - Naples 146km
DSC_4367.jpg (3325314 bytes) The next day we continued towards Naples and the day started with 100km straight ahead. In the canal next to where we cycled we saw our first live alligator, ca. 3 meters long. We also saw 2 dead ones lying in the road. After 146km almost straight with a headwind we came to Naples. Final back in civilization!
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Naples - Charlotte 108km
DSC_4393.jpg (116791 bytes) We agreed to take a couple of quiet days so we rode only 108km to Charlotte. Again no big landscape experience. We rode mostly in urban areas, with x number of traffic lights and much traffic noise. We rode past a number of resorts for the elderly. Average age in Florida is 62 years.
Charlotte - Sarasota 81km
DSC_4385.jpg (186113 bytes) The next day was also a quiet cycle day (80 km)up to Sarasota. Bicycle terms very similar to the day before and temp remained high. We tried all the way to acquire a hotel / motel in the center of the places we came, but it was not easy. Although GPS or Booking.com said the center mostly American cities don't have center as we know from Europe. Downtown is often complitely dead in the evenings. In Sarasota it stood 1km to center on Booking.com, but it was 10km. Taxi was the solution.
Sarasota - Ruskin 80km
DSC_4413.jpg (168849 bytes) We had planed to cycle up to Clearwater, but it is not allowed to ride over Skyline bridge located north of Sarasota. Thus was heeded option to ride up to Tampa and from there out to Clearwater. It was too fare for us so we chose to cycle to Ruskin via Longboat Key. When we started it was overcast and a pleasant temperature of 24 degrees in the morning. Longboat Key was our first nature-related experience so far on this trip. We arrived at the hotel outside Ruskin, with hope of finding us a restaurant with beer service. It ended up with a mega portion with Chinese Takeaway and a Cola Light ....
Ruskin - Lake Wales 109km
DSC_4417.jpg (59938 bytes) We started our trip eastward again and aim for the day was Lake Wales. Again it was mostly straight forward all the way and not much to look at. The positive that can be said about the tension was that there was not much traffic to be USA.
Lake Wales - Vero Beach 141km
DSC_4391.jpg (80543 bytes) Last stretch over to Vero Beach and back to civilization again (140 km) went quickly with the tour's first light tailwind. We cycled 70km before  12:00 pm and after a short break we continued the rest of the leg almost directly up to Vero Beach. It was huge with insects which made it a good idea to keep the mouth closed when we rode. It was not particularly tempting to stop either. Insects sat down on us everywhere.
Vero Beach-West Palm Beach127km
DSC_4420.jpg (94983 bytes) From Vero Beach we rode on A1A all the way down to Miami. This stretch lifted the quality of the trip to a new and better level. In addition to a tailwind, there was little traffic, stunning beaches and amazing properties that are clearly not within my financial framework. First stretch of A1A went down to West Palm Beach.
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West Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale 88km
DSC_4430.jpg (114100 bytes) The last leg of the tour went down to Tropirock Resort on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Again same great experience as the day before. Tropirock Resort wasn't with too many stars, but we do not have high demands on how we stay, when we are on cycling. The location was at least good, only 100 meters from the beach.
Fort Lauderdale - Miami - FL 92km
DSC_4449.jpg (62812 bytes) Returnday was planed to be resting day, but since the plane did not leaved before 10 pm, we took a leisurely bike ride down to Miami Beach and back again to Fort Lauderdale. Hollywood Beach about 10 km from the airport in Fort Lauderdale, we found the most beautiful site I saw on the trip. Great beach, boardwalk and la ow buildings erea with hotels and cozy restaurants.
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Sarasota and Longboat Key and the last three days saved our trip !! Lots of traffic, noise and little to see. Extreme flat area. Lake Wales was it's highest point at 77 meters. We were probably a bit too early in the season. The temperature was mostly a strain, and it is the first time I have experienced that I am looking for shade whenever we stopped. It was actually like riding in a sauna for 6 to 7 hours ..
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1080 km totalt