High Springs to Gainesville, FL
Unfortunately, I (Greg) have definitely come down with a bit of a cold. Last night I slept restlessly due to a sore throat and sinus congestion. Hopefully I will get over the cold quickly and Dani will be spared. Adding to the restless sleep was a big thunderstorm during the middle of the night. There was quite a bit of thunder, but the rain came down like crazy for quite some time. We are so happy that we had a nice dry place to stay inside.
When we woke up this morning, the sky was actually clearing up and the sun was starting to come out. We were surprised, because the forecast called for rain all day. We checked the weather, and found that there was a five hour window without much chance of rain at all. We decided we had better take this opportunity to make our way on to the next place.
Before we left, we talked more with Jeff and Dave, and even snapped some photos of them with their bikes. These guys were so much fun to talk to. They have so many stories from so many different places, they could have kept us entertained all day long. Jeff showed us the weld on his bike where the tube cracked almost all of the way around. Amazingly, the weld has held and the bike is still working. Both Jeff and Dave told us about all of the tires and rims they have gone through on their trips. The sheer number of miles they have both ridden is almost incomprehensible. We couldn't believe it. They have done things that we have only read about. Getting to meet these two was pretty special. We are glad we caught up to them on our trip.
Our ride to Gainesville, the next town, was pretty easy and without much of anything noteworthy. The weather mostly held off, but we did have a few rain showers that only lasted for a minute or two. At one point, we had a huge gale of a wind come up on our side. Luckily we turned and had a huge tail wind that pushed us right into Gainesville. We stopped for some lunch and groceries at a nice store on the outskirts of town. We then rode downtown on roads that had pretty nice bike lanes or shoulders. We navigated to the Gainesville hostel and checked it out from the outside, but we called a nearby hotel to compare prices. We ended up settling on the hotel as it was hardly more expensive and seemed to be kept up a bit better.
We relaxed, took showers, watched some TV, and then found a close place to eat supper. We decided on a Jamaican restaurant called the Reggae Shack Cafe. Turns out, the food here is absolutely amazing. Dani had curried palm hearts with rice, cabbage and fried plantains. I had Spicy Tempeh with rice and fried plantains. It definitely deserved the name spicy. It was the spiciest meal I have had on this whole trip, but it also had incredible flavor. For dessert we had some rum spiced pound cake. It was an amazing meal. If you ever get the chance to eat Jamaican, you should.