Another week in the USA! It’s been a great one, meeting people and discovering Florida.
It started on thursday when I walked from Englewood. Half way through the day I did 2 tv interviews for local stations, this is John, one of the reporters. I had a lot people comment that they had seen me on the news under the next few days!
My plan was to camp in the Oscar Scherer State Park but when I finally arrived there, hot and tired after a long day, it was full! Ended up in a hotel for the night..
On friday I continued towards Bradenton and as I passed through Sarasota, I walked passed the Sarasota Lawn Bowls Club. I seen a lot of lawn bowls in Australia but have never played and I slowed down to have a look. Before long I was invited in for a quick lesson and a cold beer!
In Bradenton I was to couchsurf with Max, a cool guy who had seen me looking for a place to stay on the couchsurfing site and quickly offered me a couch at his place for a couple of nights.
Max likes classic american cars and has a Cougar he drives around in. It felt very USA to be cruising the broad streets of Florida in a large american car with a hood like a helicopter landing pad!
Max also took me to one of the local tourist spots, Munchies 420. It’s a place that serves large sandwiches with some weird (for me) combinations. How about 2 cheese burgers, mac-n-cheese, chicken fingers, onion hoops, spuds and mozzarella sticks. Yeah, on a sandwich…
The name of the place, Munchies 420 will probably give you a clue as to when and who would appreciate this fine cuisine…
Hanging out the window with my 28mm equivalent Ricoh GR made me feel a little like Garry Winogrand.
After a day hanging out with Max, it was time to head north again, towards Clearwater Beach. Max gave me a ride over the Sky Way Bridge as you are not allowed to walk across it and I headed towards the Camelot Resort at Clearwater Beach. A guy named Steven had reached out to me and offered me a place to stay but when I finally had a time when I could arrive, it turned out that he had to go away for work. He instead went out of his way to involve his sister Vickie and they arranged for me to stay 2 nights at the Camelot Resort. It was a beautiful little place to stay at and I don’t know how to thank Steven and Vickie enough!
Spent a day walking around the beach, checking the surf shops and doing some washing. Didn’t buy anything, don’t need it.
On tuesday morning I headed of towards Kelby Training. Had been emailing a bit to try to get a tour of their studio and had finally managed to arrange it. Got there in the afternoon after being totally soaked in yet another thunderstorm.
As I waited for Levi who was going to show me around, R C Conception passed by and when he saw the Mule he wanted to know all about my trip. He ended up showing me around the place, taking some photographs of both me and the Mule and then inviting me to watch a live recording of the Grid the next day.
I left Kelby Training and headed over to Gena and Johns place. They were a couple that I had met at Englewood and they had invited me to couchsurf with them when I reached Clearwater.
We actually spent the evening going to a couchsurfing meetup that Gena had organised at the Taco Bus. The local couchsurfing hosts got together, met each other and exchanged experiences. A great mixture of different people from all ages with the only common denominator being that they liked meeting other people. Great stuff!
Wednesday was spent with Gena and John, being shown around Safety Harbour and Dunedin and then back to Kelby Training to watch a live episode of the Grid.
Tomorrow it’s back on the road again, heading north. Really need to start getting some miles done or the USA is going to take forever!