Arriving in Tampa

3/30/22

Well, I bade a fond farewell to Miami this morning (I must return sometime!) and made my way via monorail, commuter rail, and pedal power to the Amtrak station. Having just arrived on the same train three days ago, I knew exactly how I would need to prepare my rig, so boarding went pretty smoothly.

The train ride took about five and a half hours, much of it through pleasant, puffy-cloud-sky warmth.

When we arrived in Tampa, it was 5 pm, and hotter than I’ve been accustomed to so far! (Of course I know that many more hot and humid days await me on the second half of this journey.) Still, it felt mostly pleasant to bike the four miles to the pleasant home of my new Warmshowers hosts, John and Barbara, and the buildings and trees I passed were pleasant as well.

When I arrived, they greeted me warmly and introduced me to their adorable dog and cat, and then showed me their screened-backyard pool and hot tub, with an invitation to indulge while they attended a short dinner party next door with their neighbors. I did indeed appreciate a brief dip in the cool water, then warm—it all felt especially nice after my day of travel, even though the actual bike ride was brief.

I enjoyed a nice dinner salad and some good conversation with them when they returned. Barbara has spent her career in recycling, and the two of them have been bicycle touring for 50 years! They often tour on their tandem bike, which I think is such a nifty way to go.

They gave me some good recommendations for my upcoming time in St. Petersburg, where I’ll be heading tomorrow, as well as Tampa, where I do hope to spend a few more days before moving on. I’m looking forward to exploring this area!

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