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Published: February 6th 2009
Dave and Nick walking the beach at Bahia Honda.
Bahia Honda State Park is on it's own key in the Florida Keys. This island is truly a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. There are camping facilities for RV's and tents, a marina and docking for boaters and campers, two lovely beaches and an historic old railroad bridge as a beautiful backdrop to everything thing you do here.
Walking every morning provides awesome scenery and wild-life viewing. We have seen sharks, turtles, dolphins and birds and fish of all descriptions. After first arriving, we walked the beach with our friends, Nick and Sandra from England. Every year we meet up the usual group of suspects that we hung around with the years before. Paul and Corinne, Dick and Jane, Tom and Nancy, Don and Carol, Jack and Rosie, Diane and Rick, Bill and Ellen, Bill and Lucy, Karl and Judy, and on and on. It is like old home week here and every year we meet a few new friends.
One morning on our walk over by the cabins, in the old quarry, we saw a school of over 1000 fish who did a choreographed dance for us in the water. Half of the school swam in a spiral to
the right and then merged back into the other group who mulled around in a circle. They were so close to the surface and in the early morning sunlight, it was like watching the National Geographic Channel.
Fishing this year has been awesome, although we mostly are catching grunts. White Grunts are very good eating, but the amount of meat per fish is small, so we need to catch a dozen or so to make a meal. We have caught a few other fish, but weren't quite sure what they were so we threw them back. Florida is very strict in their regulations and enforcement of their fishing laws. One day when we were fishing, we caught well over a dozen in just a few minutes. Every time we baited our hooks, we had a catch before the sinker hit the bottom. That was the day that while we were bottom-fishing two huge groupers swam by our boat on the surface within arms reach. I should have grabbed the net.
The sunsets at Bahia Honda are magnificent. One can watch the sunset from the beaches, from the railroad bridge or from the campgrounds. My favorite spot is watching
the sun set over the ocean, in between the opening in the railroad bridge, from the beach. There is a palm tree there that really adds to the ambiance. Another favorite thing to do this year in the afternoon, is to attend "Happy Hour" at the local watering holes with our com padres. Two places which are a must are "Crazy Fish" and "Boondocks". Crazy Fish has hamburgers on Monday nights for $2.00 and they have Tacos on Thursdays for $1.00. Boondocks has the best fried appetizers (calamari, shrimp, wings, onion rings and chicken fingers), very reasonably priced, that are oh so good but oh so bad for you. On Fridays they have BBQ pulled-pork and all the beer you can drink for $10.00.
We had a little bit of a dilemma with the camper when the septic system was plugged. Don came by and he and Dave figured out what was wrong with it. The elbow in the pipe leading to the tank was what was clogged and Dave needed to bring the hose inside to flush the pipe clean. (Do not use strong 2-ply paper in your camper toilet.)
Key West is still there, I am
glad to report. Every year we drive down for a day to check on it. The acts on the pier every night at sunset are entertaining and the sunset is almost always stunning and the margaritas are scrumptious. This year Dave and I both were asked to help with one of the acts. A Houdini type person was wrapped in chains (partially by Dave) and I timed how long it took him to get out.
Big Pine Key has an excellent flea market, where you can get just about anything you might need. Every weekend we manage to go and spend some money there. Dave bought his yearly supply of shorts and I finally bought myself an Hawaiian Shirt. I feel so Islandy now.
After two wonderful weeks at this great park we are moving on to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo for two weeks.
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