Got a taxi to the airport and boarded the plane. Sat next to a nice girl on her way back to Chilli. She was doing a master in psychology for human resources. Next to her was an English girl travelling to Bolivia. On my opposite side there was a woman who looked like a zombie. I wasn't sure if it was makeup or natural but she didn't try to bit me and her English was slightly better.
Booked myself into the HI USA Miami Beach hostel while I waited for my bags to appear on the carousel then hopped in a taxi. It was 7pm and 32° and I'm still wearing jeans and my leather jacket.
Checked in, which took an age because the staff are slow and a bit clueless. Headed out to forage for food.
Every town in America by the ocean has an Ocean Drive which is usually the last road running parallel to the sea. Sadly they are never actually on the sea front but a couple of hundred meters from the sea. It's usually a tourist trap but it takes the hard workout of finding somewhere to eat. Miami is no exception.
The steps up to the restaurant had red strip lighting and many other tourists found this to be a photo opportunity: I've seen strip lighting before so didn't bother photographing it.
The Greek salad I ordered turned into a ceaser salad and the beer never turned up. When it did, instead of tasting like local beer it just tasted of Desorado with orange in it. I was too knacked to argue with them so paid and left. Had an Pale Ale from the pub under the hostel. I miss English beer already.
Managed to stay up until 1, but when I got to my room there was a pissed old bloke sleeping in my bed. I turfed him out, got new bedding then listened to him snoring all night.
Went down to free breakfast, which is one of the worst hostel breakfasts I've had in a while. Scrambled egg - Mexican style. Half a tray of spicy scrambled egg with chilli and thousand island goo on top, and no drink. I got some water to wash it down with. Yuk!
I had to go to the airport so queued for up at reception again to ask about that. The receptionist kept telling me the only way to get to the airport was by a taxi organised by them and would cost $40. By this point I had run out of patience and started to get stroppy with them and that's when they told me about the $2.65 bus I could get around the corner. While I was on a winner I asked about tours. The receptionist telephoned ahead and got me a place on the next Duck tour. She said I had to hurry, so nipped back to room, packed, showered and brought my bedding back to reception for checkout. Unfortunately the receptionist was fannying about so I sat there for 20 minutes waiting for my turn. After checking out she said I'd better hurry - really!
The duck tour was pretty good. Mostly on water in Bisque Bay pointing out American celebs' homes and a "famous" house used in 8 episodes of Miami Vice, then a drive down Ocean Avenue. The majority of Miami is Art Deco in design and after you get used to it, it looks alright. Even the modern high rises have Art Deco features keeping it inline with the surrounding architecture.
After the Duck tour it was time to head for the airport. The receptionist instructions on how to find the bus to the airport were absolutely useless. So I went to the general area and while trying to illicit help from another person the 150 bus drove past. So I hooffed it down the road after the bus carrying all my gear in oven temperatures. Finally catching it up when it stopped at a bus stop with absolutely no markings on it. I had found this bus stop before but dismissed it as my bus stop because there was no signs hinting that it might go to the airport and all the people at the bus stop only spoke Spanish.
All in all, I wasn't very impressed with Miami or the people of Miami or the International Youth hostel. I don't think I'll be back anytime soon.
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