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With another short day ahead of me, there was no rush to get on the road and so when Leslie mentioned a trip to the beach I jumped at the chance. I packed up the bike and we rolled over to meet her mum Liz and then walked to the ferry.

You could only ride the ferry if you had a monthly or annual pass and so it was for locals only. Liz knew everyone on the ferry as she took it most days. The ferry ride took only a few minutes to cross the Intracoastal and we were dropped off by a quiet beach. As well as the usual deck chairs and ice coolers, most of the people I saw were carrying some kind of sieve. Liz & Leslie told me that Venice is the shark tooth capital of the world and those people were out trying to find them. Apparently there had been a guy who recently found a really large one and had made the news so people were out in even more force than usual. With Leslie & Liz’s help I was able to find one of my own.

We were only on the beach for a short stroll before taking the ferry back to Liz’s mum’s place but it was a lovely way to start the day. Liz has travelled all over the world and said that she wouldn’t live anywhere else, and at least part of that reason was having what feels like her own personal beach being 5 minutes away.

After sitting round nattering with Leslie & Liz while looking at Liz’s photo collection, it was time to roll. I would be heading to Punta Gorda and meeting up with Earl & Karen who I had met with C back in Charleston. They had been touring then and it was exciting to meet up with them and hear about how their trip went. Meeting them had been an eye-opening experience and I had learnt a lot, from Earl in particular, as he had lots of tips on cycle touring on a budget. He had been the guy that gave me the confidence to knock on people’s doors to ask for help. He was also the inspiration behind the sour cream and fruit that C & I ate for lunch for a long time.

US-41 was again the road that stood between myself and my destination and just as with the previous days, there was little to report about riding along it. There are some short parts of it where there is a shoulder, but on the whole it’s thoroughly uninspiring riding and I understand why I’ve seen no other bike tourists. They’re probably all heading down the Atlantic Coast on A1A.

Arriving at Earl & Karen’s was wonderful. I meet so many new people every day that it was a fun change to meet someone who had an idea of my background and so we could cut straight to the stories and talking about what had happened since we had parted ways.

Waiting for the ferry

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