Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

via caribbean
Detached sailboat on Manatee Creek, a few miles from Key Largo.
golden freedom
Bather over shallow water on a beach at Bahia Honda State Park.
To Bridge
Sign indicates access to the Overseas Highway, a succession of bridges over the eastern edge of the Gulf of Mexico.
Bather strolls along the coast of Bahia Honda State Park.
the possible beach
Demarcation of parking at Anne's Beach, south of Islamorada.
O 900136
Cataloged ID of a Crocodile Crossing on its way to Key Largo.
Docking Lot
Speedboats anchored in a Lower Matecumbe Key sea arm.
A case in point
Pedestrians on Henry Flagler's old Florida East Coast Railway highway structure at Bahia Honda State Park
"Pelican Dossier"
Pelicans dominate a Matecumbe Key pier walkway
Security controls the entrance to one of the many private waterfront resorts.
The other side
Sol illuminates one of the Overseas Highway's long concrete trays.
among mangroves
Bathers enjoy themselves in the waters of John Kennencamp Marine Park, near Key Largo.
Monument thanks to to lobster and the eccentric sea of ​​the Florida Keys in Islamorada.
night spell
Dusk seizes Anne's Beach outside Islamorada.
A convenient landing
Marine signal tower off John Kennencamp Marine Park.
road over the sea
Overseas Highway perspective from Pigeon Key.
silver beach
Moments before sunset on a beach in the Bahia Honda National Park, with the old railway line in the background.
to coke
Pelicans await their opportunity as a fisherman baits big fish just outside Islamorada.
From this side
Fishermen on a side and bottom deck of the Overseas Highway, a long succession of road bridges that span the Florida Keys.
sea ​​route
Signposts & in Caribbean waters at John Kennencamp Marine Park off Key Largo.
Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.

It's half past ten in the morning. Miami it was an hour and ninety kilometers behind. We had also left the soggy, green expanse of the Southern Glades and were continuing toward the origins of US Hwy 1, largely called the Overseas Highway because its asphalt and concrete structure rested on the sea.

This emblematic road in the United States took us through the amphibious region of the Sounds of the Florida Keys into the Florida Keys, sometimes through elevated viaducts facing the vast expanse of mangroves and flooded groves, sometimes through dirt roads, but where fences and successive prohibitive signs kept the surrounding landscape inaccessible. .

No wonder. Like the famous Everglades, the Southern Glades and its marine expanse remain wild for a while.

Swampy and labyrinthine, they are home to species such as American crocodiles, alligators and Florida panthers (endemic cougars) that, faced with need and opportunity, would not waste a human meal.

It is, therefore, with some relief that we see a detour appear in the road to a stronghold where, everything seemed, we could get out of the car safely and unwind our legs.

Pelican Cay RV park: An Unusual Refuge from the Glades

A sign signaled the eminence of a Pelican Cay RV park. A second signal warned that we were in an "Crocodile Crossing” and a graffiti print on the wall that delimited the road specified that it was the crossing area of ​​the US1 900136 reptiles.

Crocodile Crossing, next to Pelican Cay RV park, Florida Keys, United States of America

Cataloged identification of a Crocodile Crossing on its way to Key Largo.

The authorities had the animals and their movements cataloged and controlled. Unlike us who quickly suspect that we shouldn't stay there much longer.

We come with a car park and a private and guarded recreation complex to match. Before reaching the entrance portico, a new notice with translation into Spanish calls our attention "No coolers, No Outside Food or Beverage".

Owners took their right to profit seriously. In such a way that the security guard responsible for the gate makes us open the trunk and search the cabin and trunk in search of transgressions. We tell you we're just going to take a look at the place. The official relaxes his duties and grants us entry.

An Elaborate Basis for Fisheries

We walk through a large open bar with a resort look. Only on the other side did we realize that we were on the bank of one of the many inlets that crisscrossed the region, a Manatee Creek that connected that slant of land to the marine immensity of the Florida Keys.

Manatee Creek, Florida, United States of America

Detached sailboat on Manatee Creek, a few kilometers from Key Largo

In the absence of sandy beaches, taking into account the animal danger of those waters, the complex functioned as one of the numerous dens in which Florida fishermen used to stay, from where they set sail for offshore fishing and where they lived and exchanged their adventures on well-watered nights. .

The establishment's own rooms, on stilts, overlooked the canal. Instead of cars - as happened in almost all motels around the United States – had at the doors docks and launches equipped with large fishing rods.

We sat for a few moments examining the place. We also followed the departure of two of these vessels to the high seas. Then we resumed our own journey.

Towards the Florida Keys Stepping Stone

From there, US Hwy 1 continued southwest until it encountered the long barrier of land that separated the Florida Keys from the Caribbean Sea. We intersected it at Key Largo, the largest of the Keys (islets), almost 53 km long. Key Largo is a diving mecca.

Its south coast overlooks a well-preserved coral reef that attracts snorkelers and divers in droves to its John PennenKamp Coral Reef State Park, the world's first underwater park. USA

among mangrovesWhen we passed there, the strong wind and a persistent layer of clouds reduced the underwater visibility to almost nothing. Intent on keeping intact the seductive, tropical reputation of that Caribbean threshold, we stay on the ground.

We explored how American vacationers were entertained there, devoted to kayaking expeditions and paddle board among the mangroves, to American football passes or readings in the coves hidden by the greenery of the seashore.

Meanwhile it starts to rain. It was the ideal pretext to cut short our return to the road. We were scheduled to stay in Islamorada. The day's destination was 40km away. In this stretch, the splendid and bold engineering of the Overseas Highway would start to surprise us.

Travel through the history of the Florida Keys

Around 1920, Florida's quirky and insular expanse sparked great interest from real estate investors. Interested in valuing thousands of hectares on the edge of the archipelago that would delight the nation's fishing community, these investors have allied with the Miami Motor Club.

With the railway now complete and the ferry service that transported vehicles to certain areas insufficient, it seemed to everyone that the construction of a track would be not only feasible but also urgent. Gradually and against successive setbacks, the project was carried out even though the spaces between the more distant islands continued to depend on ferries.

Indication of access to an Overseas Highway bridge, Florida Keys, United States of America

Sign indicates access to the Overseas Highway, a succession of bridges over the eastern edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

After the financial difficulties of the Great Depression of the 30s, the work was resumed. Thousands of men still out of step with the participation in the 1st World War and lacking income, built a unique long sea highway, in large part based on fixed pillars on the bed of the Caribbean Sea.

In 1935, a category 5 cyclone swept the area. It destroyed much of the road infrastructure and killed 400 workers, more than half of World War I veterans and their families. The catastrophe caused authorities to abort construction. Once the intense controversy raised by the hurricane had dissipated, it would be taken up again on a different path.

The Overseas Highway with an unbroken route from South Florida to Key West on which we were now driving, would only be inaugurated in 1938. The following year, President Roosevelt traveled it with due pomp and circumstance.

Golden Arches of the Overseas Highway, Florida Keys, United States of America.

Sol illuminates one of the long concrete decks on the Overseas Highway.

From Key Largo, we descend through the narrow strip of land that, as if for geological mercy, the millennia bequeathed to the Caribbean Sea.

The Overseas Highway was imposed on the biggest of all Florida keys, a long chain that stretches from Biscaine Bay, south of Miami, and extends for almost 200km to the unlikely peninsular extreme of Key West, the largest of its cities.

Lower Matecumbe Key sea arm, Florida Keys, United States of America

Speedboats anchored in a Lower Matecumbe Key sea arm.

Seven Mile Bridge and a few more Miles to Key West

Arriving at the Islamorada that would welcome us that night, we settled in the hotel and immediately set out to discover. A reality that we should be aware of in that marginal context but, even so, capitalist of USA, surprised us.

No matter how hard we tried, access to the ever-imminent coastline was monopolized by private properties, vacation homes, hotels, resorts and the like.

Street of Islamorada with the blue sea in the background.

Security controls the entrance to one of the many private waterfront resorts.

From time to time, there appeared the end of a cross street that allowed the view of the ocean, in uncharacteristic patches, little or not at all attractive.

Only 10km to the southwest, we came upon a public beach, a patch of sand dotted with mangroves that the retreat of the low tide revealed, as revealed by the immense shallow bed onwards. Anne's Beach was more amenable to Caribbean amphibians than bathing.

Entrance to Anne's Beach, Islamorada, Florida Keys, United States of America

Anne's Beach car park, south of Islamorada

We abandoned it in search of alternatives and found in Lower Matecumbe Key a new surreal corner of the keys, a complex of bars and fishing and souvenir shops with extension to a new harbor.

Part of its walkways delimited ponds full of large fish. Visitors bought buckets of bait and entertained themselves by feeding them. Unsurprisingly, Caribbean pelicans have become regular customers of the place.

Matecumbe Key pier, Florida Keys, United States of America

Pelicans dominate a Matecumbe Key pier bridge

When we got there, they patrolled the walkways. They stole pieces of fish and disputed them with outcry, for the entertainment of the families who had lunch there or were preparing to set sail for their sacred fishing afternoons.

Seven Mile Bridge and a few more Miles to Key West

From Islamorada south, we travel literally over the Caribbean Sea with “jumps” and investigative stops at other intriguing fillies. We went through Vaca Key and Boot Key.

Shortly thereafter, we entered the Seven Mile Bridge, the longest of the Florida Keys, at 11.2 km and which maintains the parallel company of the original, much tighter bridge, still considered a world engineering marvel when it was completed in 1916, thanks to obsession. Henry Flagler, an oil tycoon who gambled on taking his Florida East Coast Railway from Miami, over the sea, to Key West.

Flagler spent $30 million of his own money on what was called "Flagler's Madness." But in September 1935, the most powerful cyclone to hit the USA devastated much of that work.

Overseas Highway seen from Pigeon Key, Florida Keys, United States of America

Overseas Highway Perspective from Pigeon Key

Pigeon Key: A Legacy of Henry Flagler's Determination

We advance to Pigeon Key, an islander and former camp where, between 1908 and 1912, lived about 400 of the thousands of workers hired by Flagler at 1.5 dollars a day. There, we learned of many other curiosities and adventures, protected from a sudden new rush of water in the old museum buildings.

From Pigeon Key, we proceed to Bahia Honda Key and Bahia Honda State Park. There, finally, the Florida Keys reveal a little of its bathing facet: white coral sands, coconut trees standing out above a mangrove forest, but not only that.

coast of Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys, United States of America

Bather strolls along the coast of Bahia Honda State Park.

Ibys roamed the beach in search of food, even among bathers who sometimes soaked up the winter sun and sometimes enjoyed themselves in the shallow water.

The old Seven Mile Bridge also passed by. First lost among the coconut trees. Then, extended along the sea in all its geometric eccentricity of concrete and steel.

The sun falls over the horizon. It transforms the bridge and the beach into an unusual silhouette, in a lacy background that receives the first silver painting, however gilded, from that noble late afternoon.

Bahia Honda National Park beach, with the old railway line, Florida Keys, United States of America

Moments before sunset on a beach in the Bahia Honda National Park, with the old railway line in the background.

Henry Flagler's old Florida East Coast Railway road structure at Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys

Pedestrians on Henry Flagler's old Florida East Coast Railway road structure at Bahia Honda State Park

It's already dark when we enter Key West, the southernmost city in the continental US and the inhabited point of the most advanced Yankee nation in the Florida Keys.

In the image of the Alaska, Key West gained a reputation for being a bit crazy. As some residents proudly theorize “it's as if they had shaken the USA and all the crazies fell to the bottom”. THE Key West, we will dedicate an article as separate as the city.

TAP operates daily flights from Lisbon to Miami.

Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Anchorage to Homer, USA

Journey to the End of the Alaskan Road

If Anchorage became the great city of the 49th US state, Homer, 350km away, is its most famous dead end. Veterans of these parts consider this strange tongue of land sacred ground. They also venerate the fact that, from there, they cannot continue anywhere.
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.
Mendoza, Argentina

From One Side to the Other of the Andes

Departing from Mendoza city, the N7 route gets lost in vineyards, rises to the foot of Mount Aconcagua and crosses the Andes to Chile. Few cross-border stretches reveal the magnificence of this forced ascent
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
shadow vs light
Architecture & Design
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Correspondence verification
Ceremonies and Festivities
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Selfie, Hida from Ancient and Medieval Japan
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Chefchouen to Merzouga, Morocco

Morocco from Top to Bottom

From the aniseed alleys of Chefchaouen to the first dunes of the Sahara, Morocco reveals the sharp contrasts of the first African lands, as Iberia has always seen in this vast Maghreb kingdom.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, dhow
Zanzibar, Tanzania

The African Spice Islands

Vasco da Gama opened the Indian Ocean to the Portuguese empire. In the XNUMXth century, the Zanzibar archipelago became the largest producer of cloves and the available spices diversified, as did the people who disputed them.
Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Mme Moline popinée
LifouLoyalty Islands

The Greatest of the Loyalties

Lifou is the island in the middle of the three that make up the semi-francophone archipelago off New Caledonia. In time, the Kanak natives will decide if they want their paradise independent of the distant metropolis.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a Chame, Nepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
View of La Graciosa de Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Natural Parks
La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.
Teide Volcano, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
UNESCO World Heritage
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
conversation at sunset
Boracay, Philippines

The Philippine Beach of All Dreams

It was revealed by Western backpackers and the film crew of “Thus Heroes are Born”. Hundreds of resorts and thousands of eastern vacationers followed, whiter than the chalky sand.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Merida cable car, Renovation, Venezuela, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel
Mérida, Venezuela

The Vertiginous Renovation of the World's Highest Cable Car

Underway from 2010, the rebuilding of the Mérida cable car was carried out in the Sierra Nevada by intrepid workers who suffered firsthand the magnitude of the work.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.