Day 75: Who’s Scruffy Lookin’?

16.03.09:

A day on the Greyhound first to Miami and then down to the Florida Keys. What would incur the wrath of the bastard bus driver this time? Would somebody – heaven forbid! – put their bag on the seat next to them? Would somebody be chewing gum too loudly? Would somebody be wearing the wrong coloured hat?
Oh no – this time I got a dressing down from yet another of this weird stockpile of autocratic, misanthropic, idiotic Nazis that they get to drive these damn machines. Why? Because I was TOO SCRUFFY LOOKIN’ to get on the bus. This is the thirty year old bus that is so dirty you can’t see out of the windows. A bus that STINKS of effluent because the toilet is never cleaned. And I was too scruffy????!!

My jaw almost hit the ground.

Where do they find these guys? Seriously – they are a breed apart. I explained that the reason I was looking so unkempt was that I had slept on a FILTHY GREYHOUND BUS last night from Orlando to Miami. The horrible little man with his horrible pencil moustache (is that company uniform?) had no choice but to let me board. What, as the Americans say, an ass.

The Florida Keys are a string of islands that run down from the southern tip of mainland Florida. They’re connected by a long series of causeways (one is seven miles long) and they seemed like the best bet for getting a boat to Cuba. Key West, the most southerly you can get to by road, is just 90 miles away from Cuba.
Anyway, I got off at Sugarloaf Key (well, actually 2 miles beyond Sugarloaf Key as the idiotic bus driver didn’t know where Sugarloaf Key is even though he drives through the damn thing twice a day) and walked to The Mariposa Retreat (another Mariposa! I’m being followed!) where I met Tom and Midge, two wonderful people who put their couch up for surfing. They live in a house on stilts (it floods around here) right out in the back of beyond. It’s great.

They made a scrummy din-dins of shimp pasta (YUM!) and that night I put on my Hemingway beard and went night fishing with Mike, a young lad (who’s in a New York Ska band) who was also staying with Tom and Midge. We didn’t catch anything, but I still had fun.

However, still no word from the US Treasury about me travelling to Cuba.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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