March 03, 2012

Day 36, 22nd September 2011. South Carolina - St. Augustine, Florida!

Today was the day we were going home!!!! And by home I mean FLORIDA!!

It started raining this morning when we were packing our stuff away which was a bit hectic, but I really didn't care, nothing was going to ruin my mood today because we were going to my favourite state. I'll say now that even though we visited so many states in the USA, and went to so many amazing places that I love and can't wait to go back to, and even want to live in, there is nothing like Florida! Maybe it is because it feels like home to me because I've been so many times, but it definitely feels different to anywhere else.

After about 4 hours of driving through South Carolina and Georgia, we reached the Sunshine State. We stopped just after the Florida border to eat lunch, and weather just felt instantly hotter, and I just felt so happy to be there.

It was about another 2 hours drive to St. Augustine, and within that time the Sunshine State stopped living up to its name and it started raining. I love Florida so much that I even love it's rain. It then stopped raining for just long enough for us to set up our tents, and then we went out to spend the afternoon in St. Augustine, which is the oldest city in the USA. We first went to the 'Fountain of Youth' which isn't actually the fountain of youh, it's just where Ponce De Leon first started searching for it.

After that we went into the town to just wander about and look around. It started raining really hard so we were running from store to store trying not to get soaked.

A sign you are in Florida, Manatee items in the gift shop!

Me and Gary tried our first Candy Apple

It was nicer than I'd expected

The town was nice but there wasn't much there. It was very Pirate's of the Carribean-y which I loved, getting excited that I'd be able to go on the real ride in a few days time.

At 5pm we went back to camp. It was a really sticky situation (literally) because everything was wet and humid. Camping in Florida is not reccomended, I need my nice air conditioned Rosen Plaza Hotel room please! Still, I managed to have a nice shower and wash my hair because the shower block at this campground was actually not too bad, I felt clean and dry for about an hour before the humidity made me feel all sweaty again.

I'm sure you can guess what I'm going to say about dinner tonight - gross. Thats all I have to say about that. I have written in my diary that it was an egg thing with potatoes, mushrooms, sausages and bacon all mixed in together. It doesn't sound too bad written down but I assure you it was really bad. Luckily there was this undercover gazebo thing where we could eat and hang out so we weren't sitting on the soggy grass all night. It stopped raining at some point.

This next section is going to be a bit long as we had a really disasterous night. It'sgoing to seem negative and complainy so don't read it if you don't wanna hear it.

Mark suggested we go down to the beach in the dark. I wasn't sure about this at first because I had just washed my hair and I didn't want to get all covered in the salty sea water and have to have another shower. Anyway, you only live once so we decided to go, we all quickly got our bikini's on (well Gary wore his swimming shorts haha) and we took the 10 minute walk down to the beach.

When we got there we all ran down into the sea, the water was so warm, it was so nice and Florida-ish :)
This is where it all went wrong. At about knee deep sea level there was a little ditch, only a few inches or so......... Gary fell.

Everyone else was fine, no one else fell, but Gary really hurt his ankle/foot. At first he said it was fine and he would just walk it off, so me and Kirsty continued into the sea. We didn't go very deep but the waves were so strong we ended up getting soaked, so much for my freshly washed hair. After about 5 minutes we decided to get out, some of the others had gone in really deep and it was pitch black which I thought was really scary.

I went to check on Gary and he said his foot was really hurting, it was getting worse rather than better. We tried to start walking back to camp but he barely made it to the top of the beach. We decided we would have to wait for Mark to get out of the water and he would have to go get the van to drive Gary back. Mark was the last one to get out of the water, half an hour later when everyone else was waiting for him. Apparently he had gone out really deep into the water in the complete darkness, Personally I think that was totally irresponsible when he is meant to be leading a group of people. A shark could have come out of nowhere and he wouldn't have even seen it (I know thats highly unlikely, but there is still a possibility).

When we told him about Gary's foot without even looking he said 'It's probably broken' but Gary knew it wasn't broken because even though he was in loads of pain, it didn't hurt that much. He then said Gary had to walk back because he coundn't get the van even though Gary said there was no chance he could walk all that way. It took us 45 minutes to walk back, Gary had to actually hop the entire way. I cannot even tell you how angry I was, Mark was so unconcerned abut Gary, he just walked back as fast as he could and didn't care how hard it was for Gary.

I then found out that the reason Mark wouldn't go and get the van was because he had been drinking loads. So he had been swimming in the deep sea, in the pitch dark, drunk. Theres no point going on about my anger here but I was SO MAD! I said a lot of bad things about him that night. To make things that little bit worse while I was helping Gary hop over a kerb he was balancing on me and I stood on a red ants nest and got bitten about a million times on my feet.

When we finally got back, Mark gave Gary a bandage to put on his foot (uhmm, too little too late) and then I left Gary under the gazebo with my phone to play with while I went to have another shower because I was all salty and my feet were stinging from the ant bites. Thankfully when I got back, Nick from the other group was there to give Gary a piggyback to the tent. It was rainy and muddy, and the air was so humid, it was not a comfortable night.

1 comment:

  1. What a terrible first night! That Mark guy sounds like a real (insert favorite curse word here). lol I hope you gave him a bad review on the Trek America site. His lack of concern, going out to sea in the dark and getting drunk on the job was really irresponsible. I can't believe someone like that was trusted with the task of guiding people! Crazyiness!

    On the bright side - I'm glad you guys had your first caramel apple. They have better ones at Disney and at a place called Rocky Mtn. Chocolate Factory. You totally have to try that next time you're here.