I had to get the bike back to the shop by 4.30pm and I had no idea what might be in store for the day ahead. So my plan was to ride most of the distance back to Naples and see how the time was going, then decide what Everglade related activities to engage in. The ride out of the Keys was fun. In many ways the area between Key Largo and Miami is the most beautiful. The waters are an unreal shade of green-blue and fill numerous channels between the wooded islands and peninsulas. On the way back I managed to find the road that skirts the urban areas back to Tamiami Trail. I was really glad I did as I got to see another facet of Florida's countryside. The road was lined with nurseries and orchards growing lemons, oranges, limes and a variety of other fruit that may have been mangos and similar that I'd never seen on the tree before.
After enjoying a rest in a thatched shelter, I still had plenty of time to kill, and was beginning to get hungry for lunch, so I decided to hit the road and head towards Everglades City. The city, if you can call it that, is just a few miles south of U.S. 41. I was expecting something more substantial and had ridden through almost before I realised I had arrived. I continued on to the end of the road, to the small village of Chokoloskee. There wasn't a whole lot there either. The only attraction was some historic local store. I stuck my head in and could tell it wasn't worth the admission price, so retraced my tracks to EC. Right on the southern edge of the city is the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, part of Everglades National Park. I stuck me head it and the lady at the counter got straight to work on me, convincing me to go on a boat tour. It turned out I had just enough time to fit in a tour of the Ten Thousand Islands. The islands are comprised completely of mangrove trees. The boat tour was so excellent I think I might have to dedicate an entire post to it. See you next time!