Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 10 - Tuesday November 13th - St. Augustine


It’s dark here at my campsite though it’s not yet 5.  There are still just a few tents and me but the authorities were thoughtful enough to make sure we are decently spaced. 

I explored the old city today.  First stop was Castillo de San Marcos – a fortress the Spaniards built in the 1700’s to protect the city though it was occupied and used by subsequent conquerors over the years. 

These cannon have a 3.5 mile range


Yesterday I mentioned that forts are not my favorite NP sites.  There are some exceptions, like Fort Sumter, and Castillo de San Marcos is another.  It’s a fascinating place.  The structure is an engineering marvel; all the walls are built with coquina, a substance composed of inumerable tiny seashells.

Can you see the composition from this small patch of wall?  Mindboggling.
Coquina was mined from a quarry just down the road here in the campground.  When freshly cut it resembles a soft cheese.    

I noticed that coquina is a common building material all over the old town area. 

Imagine these fragile specimens that, eons later, gave strength to this fortress.  A fort that was never destroyed or damaged in all its existence.  (The closest call was in the 1930’s when a developer wanted to tear it down and build a golf course).  Ironically, it was never taken by force but changed hands many times through political agreements. 

After touring the monument, I strolled the streets of the city.  It is tourist-oriented, of course, and that usually means 2 things: outrageous prices and some great opportunities to totally pig-out.   

So this historic city was host to another historic event – my first empanada.  It was wonderful!  Ground beef nicely seasoned, with a flaky center crust but crunchy on the outside. 


I’d like to go back and sample one of everything.  A couple of locals assured me that all the items on the menu are good. 



And who could resist this sign?  Of course I had to stop. 


French Fry Angel?


It was a tough decision but I went with the French Quarter fries with remoulade.  OMG!  It was french fry heaven!  The spicy heat was complemented by the creaminess of the sauce.   

I placed the cone in the umbrella hole of a nearby table.  I was still able to make a mess. 

I leave tomorrow and make my way toward Cumberland Island National Seashore.  I’m learning not to leave chores until departure day so I filled the gas tank, emptied the other tanks, aired up the tires, and after all that work, a little more beach time was in order. 

 So I say goodbye to Anastasia State Park.    






7 comments:

  1. I loved Anastasia SP and St. Aug. Didn't spend enough time there to do it justice, so I want to get back there one day! I've not been to the Georgia islands, so looking forward to your post about Cumberland!

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  2. Sea Camp on Cumberland Island is one of my favorite places to camp in the entire US! Be on the lookout for the "white deer." There are supposedly 3 of them on the island. I have seen them each time up by the maritime forest. Ghostly beautiful!

    Oh, how I love that island! I camped there every year while I was living in GA. Miss it!!

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  3. I have not been to Cumberland Island in many a year but have fond memories of kayaking to the top and tent camping there.

    Camped a Crooked River State Park, close by on the mainland, and saw baby alligators.
    You are dragging up many memories for me. It's time to visit coastal GA.
    Have fun!

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  4. I've never had an empanada either, and I surely would have had to stop in French Fry Heaven too. :)

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  5. Fun day, and great food. That shell building material is really interesting. In the olden times they used what they had, and sometimes it's better than what we use today. I wonder if it's withstood any hurricanes?

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  6. What a great place! I agree that forts can be a little grim - but the beach and palm trees soften the impact of this one - the coquina is quite interesting too. Around here (Pacific NW), the coastal forts are all concrete and rusting iron.

    The food made me hungry - empanadas are so versatile!

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  7. what fun! and aren't you cute! hahaaaaa.. us and our food... but rats! you don't get fat... not fair... ;)

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