Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fla Day 3, St. Augustine - Cudjoe Key

Up at the usual time, and after complementary bacon and eggs, drove to a nearby gas station to fill up.  As we left the pump, the dreaded thumpa-thumpa started and the dashboard informed me of a flat rear tire.  Found an air-pump, topped up tire and started down the street to make a u-turn and get back on the highway.  Tire pressure was already falling rapidly, so we pulled into another gas-station (no service, of course), put the tiny, temporary, spare tire on the right rear and GPSed to the nearest Tire Store.  Needless to say, the damage was irreparable and they (of course) didn’t carry snow tires, so they stuck a used Michelin All-Season on it instead and off we went.  We probably won’t have to worry about snow for a few months yet.  Shame though, since it was the first time we’d used the snow tires.

Back on I95 and immediately hit a traffic jam caused by an accident; an accident that had been there so long that someone had had time to install roadside signs.  This killed another half-hour before we were well and truly away.  All part of the “Travel Experience” as my arty-farty friends would no doubt say.

How Floridians (or tourists) could have accidents on a perfectly clear, dry, sunny day is unknown, but given the extremely limited access/egress possibilities of the Interstate system, any hiccup results in huge tail-backs, even for people going the other way, thanks to Lookie-Loos.

Never mind, as we passed the exit for Cape Canaveral, the car solemnly informed us that the outside temperature was now 70F.  That’s a bit of alright!

Outside Miami, were apprised by radio that all further toll roads and bridges had no toll booths and only sensors that accept an electronic pass which you could buy at one of the extremely rare roadside service centres.  Since we were already on a toll road, we bought a pass and spent twenty minutes activating it and tying it to our Visa.  Failure to do so means they take a picture of your car, send you the toll and a “Administrative Fee” for each invisible toll that you sail through.  If you don’t pay, $200 fine.  If you don’t pay that, don’t come back to the US.

Arrived at Stefan’s place about nine, and struggled unsuccessfully to open the door in the dark.  Wrong house!  Moved over a block, found the right house, unloaded the car and crashed for the night.  I still get a little frisson of terror when I realize I stood on a Floridian’s porch in the dark and tried to get into his house; could have been shot!

Groceries tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. SWEET! Enjoy the warmth! Here we got a dusting of snow today - only 4 cms, but delivered by a howling wind, of course... oh well...

    Take care and keep up the blog!