We drove up Rte 31 for 40 miles, to Arcadia. The main reason was I fancied ‘cruising’ in the Mustang (the males drove in it all last week). Arcadia also looked relatively interesting in the guide book, and was described as a ‘cowboy town’.
We didn’t see any cowboys. But we did see fields of orange trees being harvested. (Probably ready to be sent to Spain – see previous blog.) There were ranches, mangrove swamps and mile after mile of very straight road.
In the evening, we walked along the beach while the sun went down. Husband changed the settings on my phone, so all the photos looked like they’d been superimposed. We saw pelicans fishing, and little sandpipers again; but no dolphins.
The food for the day was Dunkin Donuts for coffee, a McDonald’s lunch and the Sandbar Diner for dinner, where we started with a lovely clam chowder.
We walked along the beach, searching the water for dolphins (didn’t see any). Then we swam, and Husband took photos with his cheap underwater camera and worried about whether it would actually work (it really was very cheap).
We hired bikes and cycled around the island for the afternoon. Everywhere on Sanibel seems to have Billy’s Bikes (and in fact, when we were here 20 years ago, we rented Billy’s Bikes. But we’ve never met Billy).
We cycled to the wildlife reserve, and paid $1 each to cycle round it. We asked the woman at the entrance what animals we might see, and she said there were alligators. (Actually, she said: “Gators”.) She seemed quite cheerful about this. I was not at all sure that I could cycle faster than an alligator can run. I mentioned this to Son, who grinned and said that was fine, he only needed to be able to cycle faster than me. Did not feel very reassured.
We didn’t see any alligators.
We then went to Dairy Queen. I love Dairy Queen, it’s where we used to go on the last day of term when the children were at school here, and it represents sunshine and sugar. Husband was very rude about it, but I enjoyed my ice-cream.
Early morning walk along the beach. Didn’t see any dolphins.
Breakfast at Sanibel Cafe, which was perfect. I had banana and pecan pancakes (a stack of them, because you cannot order a single pancake in America). Drank lots of coffee. Left feeling contented and fat.
I went for another walk (I think the males slept). I didn’t see a dolphin.
We drove to Estero Island, which is almost like a miniature Florida Keys (not very like, to be honest, but it is a string of little islands). We stopped in a wildlife park, and as we walked to the beach we saw two tortoises, chasing each other and heard the ‘crack’ as the back one (am guessing the male) banged into the front one’s shell. They darted across our path (well, okay, they were tortoises, it was quite slow, but if they had been lizards they’d have ‘darted’) into the undergrowth and out of sight. What fun! I have never seen tortoises in the wild before.
There were two rather sad signs in the carpark. One said: “Check behind your wheels for tortoises before driving away.” The other said: “Tortoises cannot swim.” They told a rather sad story I felt.
Thank you for reading. Hope you find what you’re looking for today.
If you enjoyed this, you will love my new book: The Sarcastic Mother’s Holiday Diary.
I have always written a diary on holiday, so last Christmas, I decided to find all my old diaries and blogs, and make a book for my children. However, several other people also asked for a copy, so I have written a public version – it’s available on Amazon and has been described as “The Durrells meet Bill Bryson”!
Why not buy a copy today? I think it will make you laugh.
The US link is here:
The India link is here:
The UK link is here: