Tuesday March 15th
14.03.2011 - 15.03.2011 24 °C
Tuesday morning we headed out from the St. Pete's area and picked our way south down the Gulf coast to Port Charlotte where we had booked a Microtel for the night. We had not stayed in one before so we thought we would try one out. When we arrived at noon our room was not ready so we headed west to explore the coast in this area and found a real treasure – Gasparilla Island and the lttle resort village of Boca Grande.
Boca Grande is a beautiful little resort village at the tip of Gasparilla Island. It is known for its charming authentic downtown, sugar sand beaches, blue water, and world class fishing. We saw relatively few Ontario cars – and a lot of Florida ones. This seems to be where the local residents go for vacation – many maintain homes here. It is very upscale and reminds you of Cape Hatteras – large homes build on gorgeous beaches rimmed by delevoping sand dunes. What you notice first though is a large number of golf carts driven by people of all ages. They are on a special pathway in many areas but also on the roads. We even saw the local Sherriff in a specially marked golf cart. We later found that one of the reasons so many of the residents drive these carts is that there are no gas stations in the place. As you drive by homes you will see 2 golf carts and one car in front. It seems like a perfect mode of transportation for a relatively compact area and where the weather permits. There are not only the standard golf carts but lots of customized carts made to look like a woody wagon or even a hot rod with flames painted on the fenders. There are even extended wheel base carts that look as long as a small limo.
Late in the day we finally headed back to Port Charlotte where we met David's cousin Anna Staples and her husband Peter for dinner. Anna and Peter are serious RVers and are staying in a lovely RV park near Port Charlotte for the winter this year. In another week or so they'll be starting to work their way north towards home in Canada for the summer months.
Wednesday we'll head off towards Naples where we'll likely stay until we head over to Miami to catch the ship on Saturday.