Inspired to return to the road we decided to get back on the bikes once again and continue our adventure. Leaving Fort Myers we were headed south of Naples of the Isles of Capri to visit my Aunt Debbie and Uncle John. We parted ways with Nicole and Sean, but it was not time for goodbye as they would be driving down to join us.
Close to our destination with time to spare we visited the Rookery Bay Preserve. The boardwalk led us through several of the native biomes which provided great opportunity to see the birds. The Pine Warblers were out and enjoying the beautiful weather with us.
Turning onto the Isles of Capri was a step back in time. We followed the windy, peaceful road to my Aunt Debbie and Uncle John’s condo; nestled on the Gulf Coast we were immediately spoiled by the blowing palms, gorgeous views, and of course the warm embrace of loving family.
Nicole and Sean arrived shortly after the sun set and we retired into the house for a lively game of Cards Against Humanity with drinks served by Bartender Nicole.
Lessons never learned, many of us woke up with headaches from Nicole’s mixing of alcohols in her heavy handed serving. A tropical fruit heavy breakfast and salt air breezes quickly swept away our pains and we all moved outside.
John, the ardent fisherman, set Sean up with a heavy pole and mullet as bait for catching a possible Tarpon. John and I took the cast net and the Jeep and went to catch more bait fish. Successfully catching several larger rocks, but no mullet we retired the cast net and returned to the fishing pier by the condo.
The women went for a walk around the point in search of dolphins and other marine life. The dolphins were shy, however the pelicans and other sea birds were out in full force.
Back from their walk everyone congregated to the pier were John handed off a pole to me to pull up my first catch! John was excited to have a bucket of bait shrimp at the ready and a pole in everyone’s hand. It was a great experience to have such a competent and enthusiastic teacher. Quickly both Amanda and Nicole were pulling sheephead and other fish that were just below the minimum length to keep. Boo!!!
Nicole and Sean packed their things and returned to the normal life (work, homes, caring for animals) while we stayed behind with John and Debbie.
Tired from a full day of sun and fishing (while sipping on beers) Amanda and I went in search of the local isles coffee fix. Our wandering around the isles yielded no coffee, instead we found ourselves at the Island Gypsy Cafe enjoying mixed drinks with a fried grouper sandwich. Quite different from the coffee we were aiming for but delicious!
We had plans to meet friends of John and Debbie so a quick walk back to the condo and change into the other set of clothes we own and we were on our way. Ron and Ali entertained us with stories of living on a boat, in the Bahamas, free-diving and sling fishing for Goliath Grouper, and hunting exotic animals in far off places. Their stories and musings were inspirational towards our own nomadic life and encouraging the possibility of catching ones food with simple tools.
To date we have not had much luck with farmers markets, due to the time of the year the northern states markets are not in season; however we also seem to miss the few that are still open. Today was our lucky day. Marco Island farmers market peculiarly is held Wednesdays mornings! We biked the few miles to Marco island excited about the market, bringing with us a box to mail back home.
Stopping at the post office for the second time has lightened our load by another 6+ lbs. Slowly we are honing our gear to only what we need and not extra unnecessary stuff.
The market supplied us with a burly loaf of German rye bread, some organic greens, but no local Gulf Pink shrimp. We road around Marco Island to find the second choice of shrimp, along with some expensive ice cream. Ain’t no Capogiro! Using the greens and shrimp we bought, Debbie and Amanda made a delicious shrimp scampi dinner. John and I knew best to stay out of their way and watch the magic happen.