The fly net helped, but the buggers still pecked away at my feet. They must know that your feet are the body parts at the furthest swatting distance. I had some bites the size of quarters and they itched bad. Apart from that, I’d been pretty comfortable, happy to be out in the forest after so many Walmart and car park camps.
I enjoyed a shower and had a good clean up of the van, doing my best to get rid of the dog hair that had spread throughout the living room. I was also happy to find I could stash away my heavy doona without much trouble. Should have thought of that earlier! I was off on the dirt roads that took me out of the Wildlife Management Area a little after 9am.
I had a couple of goals for today. To get to Panama City post office and collect my mail, then drive into Alabama where I hoped to catch an evening Marti Gras parade. I drove along the coast the whole way and the roads were beautiful, right next to the shining ocean. After a pretty morning tea stop at the beach of Carabelle, I drove past a highschool with a billboard out the front that read “No School on President’s Day”. Shit. Today was a public holiday, the post office would of course be closed. I kicked myself for not knowing that sooner, I could have done some riding in Apalachicola to kill some time. Oh well, not meant to be. For kicks, once I got into Panama City, I went to the post office, on the off chance that for some reason it would be open. I was even half-convinced it was when I saw a delivery van on the streets and a few cars parked in fromt of the PO. It was all false hope, of course the place was closed.
With nothing to do but wait around until tomorrow, I went to the library to while away the afternoon. I managed to fill my time well. With the increase in Tesla stock prices I did a good few hours research about selling my stock and what it would mean for me tax-wise. I also managed to update some blogs, work on a few videos and listen to some good music.
As the sun went down outside, I noticed that at some point I’d crossed a time line, my iPhone telling me it was 5:30pm instead of 6:30pm. That explained why I was so bloody hungry. Thoroughly happy with my productive afternoon, I left to see if I could catch sunset at the beach.
The sun was already making the clouds glow orange when I was on the road. By the time I’d driven past the miniature theme parks and got lost amongst the huge hotel complexes trying to find public beach access, my toes eventually hit the white sands long after the sun had dipped below the horizon. It was a pretty beach, but the never ending line of multi-storey buildings affected the mood. Walking with my feet dipped in the receding tide and looking out towards the fading light, you could almost forget that there was a huge metropolis at your back. I walked the shores up and down a little, snacking on some chips since I was really starving for dinner. It would have been nice to sit and have dinner on the beach, but there was no where really to park thanks to the nature of all the hotels, so I could only afford a short visit.
Back to my old habits, I camped up in another Walmart and not a very good one for privacy. I was parked close to a main road, but it will be alright as long as I don’t get disturbed. I have my fingers crossed that all will be well at the post office tomorrow and I can move on to the West.