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It was New Years Eve and I had less than 30 miles of riding to get to my destination for the day so I slept in and didn’t stir until past 9am. When I got up I was treated to breakfast and a relaxing morning while talking with Susann and her family. They mentioned that if I come back through, they’ll take me to see the Blue Angels who train in Pensacola for the vast majority of the year. Being ex-Navy, both her and her sister have base access and can get to the best seats to watch them.

After leaving, I made my way up to Pensacola and stopped by the library where I met a guy called Roger. He had cycle-toured before and was the owner of a boat and so we had a great chat about the logistics of getting a position crewing on a boat, the cheapest way I can find to get myself to see the Caribbean. He suggested that I check out Sailnet and I’ll definitely be checking that out when I get down to Orlando.

Jeff & Heidi, my hosts for the evening had some errands to run and so I made my way slowly over to their spectacular condo by the beach. It involved crossing a couple of bridges which were made interesting by some very heavy fog that sometimes reduced visibility to about 100 feet. I made it to their condo a bit before they were free so spent some time relaxing and listening to the Gulf of Mexico lapping up to the beach, not a bad way to see out 2011.

When 4pm rolled round, I headed up to Jeff & Heidi’s gorgeous place and had a simply spectacular evening. It started sitting round their condo getting to know each other while drinking a couple of local beers, was followed up with a trip down to relax in the hot tub where further drinking was encouraged, a meal of sublime seafood, cards and fireworks. While we started as strangers, as the night flew by it felt like we were old friends. Wonderful people.

Note : Although I’ve not compiled detailed stats, since May 11th I’ve travelled 10,280 miles. The vast majority of that has been pedal power although I’ve no idea how much. Here’s to seeing how far 2012 will take me!

Hello Pensacola Beach

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