Yesterday was a traveling day- I left Key West shortly before 9 AM and biked to the car rental place, where I picked up my swank SUV that neatly fit my bike in the back. After using a bicycle as my form of transport for the past 9 days, it was quite a luxury driving a car. I got to listen to the radio! I got to be in a climate controlled environment! WHOA.
The drive up the Keys to the Everglades took a little under 4 hours- it was satisfying passing all of my bicycle stopping places and landmarks so quickly. The 7 mile bridge just south of Marathon flew by so fast I didn’t even notice I was on it until it was over.
I stopped at the first convenient airboat ride Everglade tour place that I found, and jumped on a tour right as they were about to leave. There was a threat of thunderstorms, so they were anxious to get people going before it started to downpour.
I learned that alligators are scavengers, making them less dangerous than their crocodile cousins, who are predators. Our guide shared with us that if you press your hand under the bottom jaw of an alligator (basically where the digastric muscles would be in a human), it will think it is at risk of drowning and you will subdue it. Also, alligators do not have the greatest vision, so when you are on a boat they will only register the size of the boat- therefore, presuming that you are much larger than they are.
After the tour, I dropped the car off at the airport, which was an endeavor- the rental car return at the Miami airport is actually just a giant 3 level parking garage. Luckily, I was on the first floor, but there is apparently no such thing as a bicycle route out of the airport- when I asked about pedestrian exits, people looked at me like I was insane.
Eventually, I figured out how to get on some surface streets by going the wrong way down a couple of one way roads. It was a 12 mile journey back to South Beach with some challenging riding (no shoulder, no bike lanes, lots of traffic) and some very pleasant riding (along the Venetian Causeway).
I’d like to take a moment to offer a public service announcement.
Dear all men, everywhere,
Whistling, yelling, or in any way trying to get my attention while I’m on a loaded bicycle trying not to die in traffic- will just make me hate you and think you are a total creep. Also, I don’t want to talk to you. Ever. You are just some random person on the street who may or may not be threatening to me, a woman alone on a bicycle. You are not entitled to my time and attention- I am busy. I’ve got places to go. I don’t know what you think you are trying to accomplish, but mind your own fucking business and please just leave me alone.
I’m back at my hostel for another night before I venture to NYC! So far I’ve been the only person in a 4 person dorm, which basically means I am beyond happy and can watch Dawson’s Creek episodes and have loud phone conversations without annoying my roommates. I’m absolutely wiped out today, so apart from an Art Deco walking tour later, most of my day will be spent doing this: