‘Gators and tacos

I spent my last few days in Miami soaking up the sun and hanging out with the fantastic people that I met at my hostel.  There are always some interesting characters that you meet when travelling – the strangest person I’ve met so far was an American bloke who fancied himself as a bit of a Che Guevara, anti-establishment type.  He was in Miami to buy a yacht so that he could sail to Cuba, despite not knowing at all how to sail.

But mostly, it’s been great meeting people from all around the world that I will probably never see again, but thanks to Facebook, we can keep in touch and perhaps cross paths in the future.

 

I also took the opportunity to visit the Everglades national park, since I’ve always fancied going on a ride on those air boats!  The trip to the Everglades was quite fun, getting up close and personal with alligators, seeing on of the park guides jump on top of a 6 foot ‘gator and the air boat ride out into the marshlands, zooming sideways over the shallow swamps and spotting turtles, little alligators and a few different varieties of birds.

I am now in Mexico City, enjoying the constant sounds and rhythms of this populous city.  There is music blaring constantly, drum beats, vibrant colours, and smells of street food!  I tried my first street taco yesterday at only M$10 each (less than US$1), which was was packed full of flavour and heat.  Being constantly surrounded by this amazing food, I think I will struggle to leave Mexico any less than 5 kilos heavier!!

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Miami heat

Miami reminds a lot of the Gold Coast, and South Beach is pretty much just like Surfer’s Paradise – flashy and ostentatious. Even the mannequins here have obscenely enhanced breasts!

With glorious autumn temperatures of at least 28C every day and clear blue waters, the beach is the main appeal here. The cuisine, on the other hand, is not so appealing though unless you live on pizza and sushi, in which case this place would be your idea of culinary heaven. I would estimate that 80% of the restaurants here on South Beach would be pizza joints and sushi bars, with the remaining 20% made up of burger joints. This is not the place to be craving a chicken pad thai (how Australian!).

The men here are very forward and a bit leery, and I get a lot of stares (perhaps I just look like a complete tourist??).  Men beep the horns of their pickup trucks at me as the drive past.  Guys will say, “oh, you are beautiful” as I walk past them in the street. I certainly don’t get this sort of attention in Australia or in the UK – I don’t know whether I should be flattered or embarrassed! I keep checking to see whether I have toilet paper hanging out of my skirt.

 

Dive 219: The Tanks/Matthew Lawrence, Miami (USA)

Dive time: 00:44:00
Max depth: 14.9 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 8 metres
Buddy: Tom
Surface interval: 00:39:00

We descended on the first tank, onto which the boat had tied off on the gun. We followed the markers a short swim to the wreck of the Matthew Lawrence. A small but nice intact wreck with lots of growth and fish. Saw a couple of beautiful grey angelfish.

We swam back to the first tank, which was covered in hard coral growth and tube sponges. Swimming over the rock pile we found the other tank.

A pretty easy dive. Viz not that great and Tom was an OK buddy, although a bit of a flailing diver!

Dive 218: The Patricia/Karline, Miami (USA)

Dive time: 00:46:00
Max depth: 17.4 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 8 metres
Buddy: Tom

After a fairly useless dive brief, we dropped down the anchor line that was tied to the bow of the Patricia. The Patricia is a sunken tug with a bit of growth and fairly intact. We saw a school of small yellow snapper, a vivid blue parrotfish, butterflyfish, and cute little trunkfish.

We swam along the markers to the Karline and broken radio antennae. A decent dive but disappointing after the Red Sea last week!

It was also the first time using hire gear in a while. Horrible!