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.    


  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!

  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!!

  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!

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

  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?

  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!

  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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