For a while there it looked like we might not get away this winter, but a 26 day window opened so we jumped through and find ourselves in Florida USA.
The twin draws of sunshine and another cycling adventure will see us following the orange line on the map above, pedaling west, from St. Augustine on the Atlantic coast. Founded by Spanish explorers in 1565 this is the oldest continuously inhabited, European established settlement, in the US.
Our route follows Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier Route, which crosses the continent, ending at San Diego, California on the Pacific coast. Totalling just over 3,000 miles, the entire route would be a might ambitious for us old codgers to achieve in three weeks. Our plan is to get to New Orleans on this leg, following the blue route south, once we reach the Mississippi River – about a third of the total route. (Leaving another couple of trips for the future).
If all goes to plan, we will arrive in New Orleans during the festivities and processions leading up to the City’s world famous Mardis Gras.
Wet and windy weather delayed our departure from Gatwick by an hour and US customs was the usual tedious process on arrival at Tampa. The airport is well laid out with very efficient, driverless, trains taking the slog out of getting around the concourse.
Today, we will head for At. Augustine in our rental car, via Cape Canaveral and Daytona beach, leaving Sunday to prepare the bikes and kit for an early start on Monday morning.