Scotts, Greeks, and a thief…
I don’t have many stories to tell about my experience in Tarpon Springs and Dunedin, however they were the closest vibe I’ve gotten so far to traveling overseas so I had to include them. Dunedin is an upscale Scottish town with a booming nightlife. Main street offers tons of bars and restaurants to hangout at and at the end of the strip is a boat dock overlooking an ever expanding ocean. It is nicknamed honeymoon village.
Tarpon Springs had a much more laid back style. It was saturated with small shops selling eco-friendly products and sponges collected at the docks. Here I learned that there is a seriously wide variety of sponges to be found in the ocean, and while I’m usually against plucking nature out of its home it turns out its actually helping the sponge communities to thrive by skimming out the population. There were a few restaurants and bars in the downtown area however unlike Dunedin most of the attractions here were shops. The outskirts of town are lined with small parks and beaches.
Dunedin did grant me one fulfilling story to tell. I had been searching for a gift to send back home to my brother when I came across a small table set up on the sidewalk out front of a bar on Main Street. The table was filled with hand painted guitar picks that had been recycled into jewelry. I learned from the three ladies chatting behind the table that this was their first night trying to sell their product, and they had not had much luck. They were good sports about it, drinking down wine and laughing about how they are gonna have to bite the bullet and admit to their husbands that their idea failed. Knowing well that my brother wouldn’t wear a necklace in a million years, I couldn’t help but purchase it for him anyways… he plays guitar and could find some other decorative purpose for it. The ladies were so excited to have made their first sale that they asked a passerby to take a picture of them with me and excitably gave me drunken hugs. Five dollars well spent.
Oh and did I mention I woke up to someone attempting to break into the van on the way into Tarpon Springs? How could I forget. With permission from a store manager at a local Cracker Barrel I settled down for the night just about twenty minutes north of my destination for the next day. I laid down the back seat to a bed, changed into some comfy clothes, and got dinner started. Looking out the windows here and there to see what the ruckus was about I began to get an odd feeling about where I was staying, it seemed a lot of drunk people stumbled through this parking lot and into a nearby alleyway. But I was exhausted and decided to wait it out until morning. Luckily I wasn’t tired enough to sleep through someone lightly knocking on my van door investigating to see if anyone was home. I pulled up my hood (hoping to make it harder to discern it was a young girl traveling alone) and kicked the passenger door before ripping down the privacy screen to see who was lurking. I must have startled the intruder as I heard a clambering of what sounded like tools and by the time the privacy screen was dropped and I reached the handle to open the door the lady was halfway across the parking lot and disappearing into the alleyway. I took shelter at a laundry mat until sunrise when I could get into a forest to make breakfast and take a catnap.