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Day 3 - Pensacola Beach to Panama City Beach - 90 mi / 145 km
Pensacola Beach to Panama City Beach

Another 5:30 AM rising and another near-freezing start to the day:

Pensacola Beach

I stuff myself with coffee, juice and bagels smothered with cream cheese and peanut butter at Day's inn attempt at a continental breakfast - where are my croissants and fruit?

Weather Channel says the wind in 18mph with gusts up to 29 mph. I backtrack into town and ease across the causeway at 6 mph, being more concerned about controlling my bike and avoiding getting knocked over by the wind into the guardrail. Then I'm back on the road, and Im happy for the bike path because the road is very busy:

Coastal Highway

Once turning east, average speed gets progressively better as the morning progresses. After 10 miles my average is 12, after 20 miles I'm up to 13 mph, and the average speed continues to climb throughout the day.

Towns are quite spaced out and the scenery is monotonous - A break from the woods brings me to Oriole Beach:

from the beach into a long stretch with forest on both sides, then back to beach, and Fort Walton:

more sand ( I would have had sand dune shots, but my sock glove obscured the lense):

And some autophotography:

Destin, Florida:


Back to forest:

and finally out to the Panama City Beach strip:

panama beach

My hotel room has a great view of the Gulf:

And judging by all the town's posters and bars, this place is really Party Central for March break - the whole neighbourhood seems designed for drunken partying. The elevator to my room ----------->

And the sign on my balcony door:

It's out of season and most of the restaurants are closed, save Hooters which was close by on a cold night. It's my first time into this restaurant chain, and staff consists of young things clad in orange hotpants and sleeveless T-shirts emblazoned with "Delightfully Tacky, yet Unrefined".

Hooters even have a VIP lounge, where a discriminating patron can pretend to have a meaningful conversation with a superficially interested Hooter employee. Hooter's is a strip club with no stripping.

Then the doors open and there's a stampede of 30-40 male Canadians (one with his wife) who have flown down to play golf in balmy Florida and are quickly and efficiently replicating yesterday's experience of playing golf in cold weather and then getting piss-drunk complaining about Florida weather rather than the Canadian variant.

Panama City Beach Sunset:


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