We’ve made it to our turnaround point, at least for the Prius. There is no more road left to drive. We’re still deciding whether or not to sail out to Dry Tortuga National Park. We’ve got a couple of nights here. Let the party begin!
We spent the day nature loving. Our first stop was a mile from the motel, the NOAA HQ for the keys. Emphasis here on the ocean aspect of the acronym, It was just a government office, so we never made it past the entrance, but the two people that we spoke with were very helpful. I ran our itinerary by them and they offered helpful suggestions.
They’re first suggestions was breakfast, a Cuban grocery and café. Locals rule! The Cuban coffee was precious, every single drop of it. The rest of the meal was not too shabby either. We dogged a bullet, by not going to the local sea circus. We visited Long Key State Park instead. A much better investment of time and money. The park still shows signs of Irma storm damage, as does the rest of the keys, but on the other hand, everything is amazingly uncrowded here, leaving us to be treated like royalty. You should come visit too! I hear it’s cold up there.
The high point of the day was to the turtle rescue hospital. This non-profit is dedicated to rescuing sea turtles in the keys. They have ambulances, operating rooms and recuperation facilities. It is an amazing place. Our last stop before Key West was Blue Hole on Big Pine Key. This fresh water sinkhole promised alligators, but instead, we saw key deer, the smallest species of deer in America. A Peru dinner nicely bookended our day.