We were awake early and so decided to get up, get dressed, and watch the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico. We were not to be disappointed. The views were lovely and the atmosphere peaceful since we were the only campers mad enough to get up at that time of day. Having taken video and still pictures we came indoors, downloaded the photographs and sent them to family and friends whilst we still had a good internet connection.
After breakfast we set out earlier than usual thanks to the early start, our destination being the Pensacola area. The weather was glorious as we made our way along coastal road US98. Much of the time we were right against the sea, and then we’d go slightly inland and be amongst forests. At one point we passed Tate’s Hell Swamp www.tateshell.com which is a breeding ground for the deadly water moccasin, or ‘cotton mouth’ snake.
We stopped for lunch at Panama City Beach a delightful spot with a huge clean white beach, one we were in no hurry to leave, but felt that once we’d arrived and got set up at a campground in the Pensacola area we could relax and take a walk along the beach there.
Our final destination of the day was the Emerald Beach RV Park www.emeraldbeachrvpark.com where we booked in for just one night as we are only passing through enroute to New Orleans. Having parked up and connected we took a look at the beach. This was a big disappointment. We were in more of an estuary than at the Oceanside. The beach area was a bit tacky, there was no free internet connection, this was available for an additional $3 for 24 hours, and to top it all the campground rules state that only propane gas should be used for heating and not their electricity as it is expensive. Well I’ve got news for the campground owners – their campground fees are also expensive, expensive enough to cover the cost of the electricity and guess what? We’ll be using their electricity to keep warm tonight because they are forecasting a record low temperature, dipping to almost freezing. This is yet another example of campground owners treating their guests with disrespect. Campground owners should target campers who abuse the facilities, like those who go out and leave their air-conditioning units on all day just so that it’s kept nice and cold for their return.
This evening we were going to have a barbecue but unfortunately the BBQ grill played up again as the gas levels in both LPG cylinders are getting too low to give the flames some oommpphh, and so I had to transfer the food on to the skillet lying across both burners on the portable cooker. We don’t want to be paying to refill an LPG cylinder at this late stage of our trip.
This evening we’ve watched yet more TV such as it is, the problem is the weather has changed and it’s now too cold to be sitting outside in the evenings. Tomorrow we’ll be setting out for New Orleans on what is a new, tight schedule to get us back to Alvarado, Texas.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Emerald Beach RV Park, 8885 Navarre Pkwy, Navarre, FL 32566 (GPS: N30.404886 N86.851313).