Day 310 – Knight Key to Miami, Florida

Day 310 – Knight Key to Miami, Florida        06/27/11        Mileage: 116

It was hard to leave paradise but it was time to get back on the road north. I found a new rear sub-frame and sidecase rack for the bike and had them shipped to Miami. They were both damaged in the accident back in Venezuela and although the bike is clearly able to be ridden as is, I wanted to swap out those parts as soon as possible The parts were due to arrive at my cousins house back in Miami so that was my destination. As luck would have it I pulled up just as the UPS truck was making the delivery….sweet! So with the new rack and sub-frame in hand, I set about swapping them out. Unfortunately this was no small feat as I had to take the back end of the bike almost completely apart.

Vespa parking only?

Luckily it all went better than I expected and with a quick trip to the hardware store for some replacement bolts, I had the bike back together in around 6 hours. Tomorrow I’m going to meet up with my friends John and Sabine who are on their way to Miami in route to Sao Paulo, Brazil….I can’t wait to see them!

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Day 309 – Knight Key, Florida

Day 309 – Knight Key, Florida         06/26/11         Mileage: 0

The beer at the Sunset Grill was so cold and the camping at Knight Key was so good I decided to stay another day. Well, to be honest…the campsite was just OK…but the beer and food at the Sunset Grill was fantastic…and they had good wifi so I could get caught up on the blog and my beer drinking all at once. Maybe I am a good multitasker after all?

Today is my last day on the road…

Today is my last day on the road….

I’ve been putting in some long days in the saddle and I’m currently in northern Virginia. To sum up the last few days since leaving the Florida Keys, I met my friends John and Sabine in Miami just before they caught their flight to Brazil…we had a great time! I rode through Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and took the Blue Ridge Parkway which is nothing short of spectacular! Today I’ll be arriving back in NJ to see many the friends I haven’t seen in ten months. Like all good things, this trip too must end…

More posts to follow soon…

Day 308 – Key West to Knight Key, Florida

Day 308 – Key West to Knight Key, Florida        06/25/11        Mileage: 53

I was a little slow out of the chute this morning no thanks to the beer and Jagger last night I’m sure. I lingered in the comfort of my air-conditioned and immaculately clean room that came complete with a flush toilet, hot and cold running water and a TV with English channels….luxury. But soon it was time to pack the bike and hit the road north. I made my way up to Knight Key where I found a nice RV/campground right on the water.

But what sold it was a cool little tiki bar walking distance away. So, after I setup camp I wandered over to the Sunset Grill for dinner and some drinks.

It is a cool place right on the water, the food is great and it’s a good spot to watch the sunset over the water.

This is not going to make my transition back into the “real” world any easier…that’s fro sure…

Day 307 – Miami to Key West, Florida

Day 307 – Miami to Key West, Florida         06/24/11        Mileage: 166

It was only 160 or so miles from Miami down to Key West and the southernmost point in the continental US, so that seemed like something too good to pass up. Or, maybe it was Duval St that beckoned, but either way I packed the bike and hit the road south for one last time. The riding was hot but the scenery was more than making up for it.

I had a great lunch overlooking the water…

Once I arrived in Key West I made my way down to the southernmost point in the US for the requisite photo.

Got the requisite picture at the southernmost point in the continental USA…

….and in front of Capt. Tony’s Saloon!

Even though it was supposedly the off season, there was quite a crowd in town and I had a hell of a time finding a room in Key West, but did eventually track one down for $180…making it the most expensive hotel room on this trip so far…ouch. But, there was no time to dwell on that fact when Duval St. and it’s many famous bars beckon. So after quickly unpacking, I made my way downtown to commence a Duval Crawl.

My first stop was Capt. Tony’s made famous in part by Jimmy Buffett.

Next I stopped into Sloppy Joe’s which had 2 hilarious guys on stage singing songs you knew by heart, but with dirty lyrics…it was hysterical!

Instead of “I Have Friends in Low PLaces” by Garth Brooks…they sang “I Lick Girls in Low PLaces”…and that’s all I can say on the “G” rated blog!

I stayed to the end of their act and then made my way over to the Hogs Breath Saloon for a beer.

Straight to the point. And they did have good pizza…

Next I headed down Duval St. to Fogarty’s and then on the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaretville.

Next up was Willie T’s followed by The Bull and Whistle Bar, but ended up spending most of the rest of the night in Durty Harry’s. 

Inside Durty Harry’s….

For me and my buddy Erik…me an ex-Coastie…and Erik an ex-Naval aviator…

They had a great cover band, ice cold Jagger and PBR’s….nuff said….

Day 302-306 – Bogota, Colombia to Miami, Florida

Day 302-306 – Bogota, Colombia to Miami, Florida         06/19-23/11        Mileage: Local miles

I had an early flight out of Bogotá to Panama City where I caught my flight to Miami. It’s been 8 months since I left the US and it was great to be back…though they speak still speak mostly Spanish here…so that wasn’t much of a change. lol I stayed the next 5 days visiting with family in the area and with my parents who flew down from NJ.

From L to R: My Aunt Helen, Cousin Barbara, my mother, father and me…

My cousins Barbara and Murray were great hosts and staying at their place was like a vacation within a vacation!

The great view from my cousins house….

Barbara also helped me get the bike out of customs which was a big help, and gladly went really smooth.

Unwrap it and ride away…it doesn’t get any easier…..thanks Barabara for your help!

I also took some time to work on the bike and get her ready for the final leg of my journey home to NJ…

Day 300-301 – Bogota, Colombia 06/17-18/11 Mileage: 0

Day 300-301 – Bogota, Colombia        06/17-18/11         Mileage: 0

The last two days I spent getting caught up with blog and walking around downtown Bogotá.

I made it a point to stop by the street stand I got the hotdog from the other day to try out her burger….and it did not disappoint. It probably tripled my cholesterol, but whatever…it was freakin good!

Tomorrow it’s back to the good ‘ol USA after 8 months out of the country…