The both of us started off the day seeking a little exercise. PJ headed over to Planet Fitness while I walked under the highway to swim a few turns around the pool. There were already two people in the water swimming laps so I joined them hugging the far wall next to the beach. A really old dude was walking back and forth across the shallow end for a workout, so we had to dodge him and occasionally his wife as they slowly moved into our path. The sun was shining, the water was warm and the people in the pool were all friendly and fun to talk to. I swam for half an hour then chatted with a couple who relocated here from San Diego. It was interesting conversation but I had to hurry back and get camp all rolled up and ready for the road.
I had just about everything stowed away when PJ got back so we dropped off the keys at the office and headed for a grueling day of driving. The wind has been blowing hard for the past several days and there was no letting up today. I was getting moved around like a chess piece as we made our way through traffic to reach the Florida turnpike. I was okay with the small toll because the road is less travelled and bypasses a lot of the more congested areas in the Miami area along I-95 which I was eager to avoid. Unfortunately about 45 minutes in, Google Maps tells us that there’s a crash up ahead adding close to an hour to the ride but we can take an alternative route which, you guessed it, is the I-95. So we shuttled over and worked our way through the heavy but always moving traffic until we reached our destination in Aladdin City near the entrance to the Everglades National Park.
There were a lot of campers crowded into the full hook up sites, but the camping area lacking sewer service in a grove of trees only had one person camping. We switched our arranged site over to one of those and set ourselves up in a nice quiet spot beneath the trees. It had rained off and on throughout most of the drive but it really came down hard just as we were setting up. We waited it out then took Cali on a tour of the grounds which has a trail through the trees that circles the entire park. Surrounding the park are nurseries and agricultural fields growing palms, sugar cane, bamboo, bananas and lots of other fruit trees I wasn’t sure of. Definitely getting tropical. A mango tree had some freshly fallen mangoes on the ground so we picked out the best few and took them back to the RV to see if we can get them to ripen up.
Spent the rest of the evening relaxing around camp taking the occasional walk and checking out the weather for the coming week. Some rain blowing in from the Bahamas but we’ll miss most of it when we move further south. Tomorrow we hit the Ernest Coe visitors center and the Everglades National Park.