Day Thirteen – Orlando to Miami
We checked out at 10 A.M. and caught a cab to the Amtrak Rail Station in Orlando. Our train does not leave until 12:50 but I am hoping we can check our bags and have a quick look around the city of Orlando. Unfortunately the station is not centalised like Southern Cross and there is little around to explore. We have an hour and a half wait for the train. Time to grab something to eat, 2 hot dogs and ketchup, one chilli dog (guess who that is for) and three sodas for $10. We left Orlando right on time and settled in for the just over 5 hour journey. You get plenty of leg room and you can also charge your electronics. I like train journeys. They give you a chance to look at the landscape. There is something comforting about the clickity clack and the rocking motion. The continual blast of the trains horn as we approach level crossings tells you that the train is the boss over the motor car. Get out of my way I have the right of way here.

The journey flew by and before we knew it we were in a cab and on our way to the historic (1906) Miami River Hotel located downtown. A journey time of only 20 minutes.Our cab driver is a Pakistani who has been in Miami for 25 plus years. He knows we are Australian and congratulated us on our World Cup win. I asked if he had watched the games and he had. He told us that he was well acquianted with the M.C.G, the S.C.G and the Adelaide ovel. I said maybe one day you will get to see the M.C.G. He said he had and in fact played a few tests for Pakistan and also played to County Cricket in the U.K. Told us that he had faced the greats, Dennis Lillie and Jeff Thompson. His name is Nadeem Mohammed. A real nice guy who chatted about his past life and also gave Kate advice about respecting your mother. He could not have been more accommodating and we have got his cell number so we can call him when we need a cab to get us to Miami airport in a few days.

Our hotel is located in the old Cuban section of Miami. A short 10 minute walk to downtown. We unloaded our cases with the time being  around 7:30 and headed over the bridge that spans the Miami river. There are many fishing trawlers moored along the bank. The area is safe to walk around but pretty grotty. I was taken by the number of homeless that are bedding down in their makeshift cardboard homes for the night. None of them give any trouble. I thought New Orleans had a fair number of homeless but nowhere near as many as this part of town.

Kate is still crook and not that hungry. We found a clean looking restauarant that advertised ‘east meets fresh organic food. ‘Buddahs Belly’ sort of burritos meets sushi. I had the beefy korean – garlic beef, kimcher, cucumber pickles, organic field greens, scallions with black bean sauce. It looked like a burrito, very thick but it was made with the traditional seaweed casing. Very nice and a totally new taste sensation. We also shared some Thai Donuts – hot mini dognuts topped with icing sugar and warmed sweet condensed milk. Kate miracously found her appetite!

Tommorow we have a full day ahead, exploring Miaimi’s south beach and also a night basketball game with the Miami Heat taking on the Chicago Bulls.

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South Miami Beach

Rob Rowe

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