Thursday, April 7, 2016



As we left Universal Studios, the navigator told us to turn right. When we arrived at the traffic light it than told us to turn left. To late... As the navigator recalculated, the new direction had us heading east on I-4 to I-95 north. With this unexpected change we made the best of it and spend two days exploring the eastern seaboard of Florida where we got the chance to visit four National Parks that was not even on our itinerary. Florida gave us oranges, we make orange juice!


No RV parking spaces, so we parked on the road leading in/out of the park and had no issues. There is no enterance fee or ferry fee. Everything is FREE. Fort Matanzas is on the island across the river with a few minute free ferry ride from the National Park service.  With only one ferry running and more than normal number of visitors today we had to wait two hours for the assigned ticket ride. To pass the time we ate lunch, climbed some trees, walked the beach and took a nap.

There was a French colony close to Fort Matanzas. When the French tried to attack they took all their soldiers on a ship that wrecked. With no supplies the French tried to return to their fort but had to pass Fort Matanzas. Most of the French troops who surrendered was slaughtered. The Spanish word "Matanza" translate to "slaughter" in English. So, I guess you call all it Fort Slaughter! 

Final, our time came and we hoped on the ferry to the island. We had 30 minutes to explore before our group had to get back on the ferry to return to the visitor center. The 30 minutes is more than enough time to see everything. The only bottle neck area was climbing to the top lookout deck. There is only one small narrow ladder and as long as the people on top can wait until everyone is up before coming down there is no problem. However, our tour group people wanted to come down while there was a line for people to go up. We worked it out and still had plenty of time.

Officer Quarters
Enlisted Quarters


Again, this NM does not have RV parking. It's a park n' pay and there is an entrance fee. I think is $8 a person, but our NP Pass did the trick to get in for free. Because the town is famous for it's Historical Sites we found an over size, Bus & RV parking lot and it was free to park. Except if you want to stay over night it's $35. Only a half mile to the NM it was a no brainier to park and walk. Only downside was the parking spots are not pull through. Once again we had to unhook the car and dolly.

With the walls standing 30 feet high and surround by a molt on three corners and the ocean on the other the fort never surrender in battle in over it's 300 years of existence.  The only time the fort changed hands was because of signing a treaty between the two Nations.

As a tour bus pulled up to the traffic light as we were crossing the drive said the stone used to build the fort came the the ocean shore and took 3 years for large stone to dry while the smaller stone only took one year to dry before it could be used. Maybe, that's why it took 23 years to build Castillo de San Marcos.
 The heating stove where the canon ball would be placed to get hot so when the canon ball was fired at a wooden structure (more than likely a ship) it would catch on fire.

We got lucky to see the demonstration of the firing of a canon. They were a blank round, but still made a lots of noise. Hiromi tried to take a photo, while I was to recorded it on my GoPro.(Hope to add the video soon). 


Once again there was no RV parking spots. We parked on the road leading in/out of the park and had no problems. There is no fee to this N MEM. We got a two for one deal when we arrived. We thought this was only Fort Caroline N MEM, but the park is also part of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.

There is not much remaining of Fort Caroline except for the large entrance arch and doors. From the drawing we saw in the visitor center the locals lived in huts outside the Fort. There was no video theater in the visitor center so I really can't be sure, only my opinions. I guess you have to come to Fort Caroline and see it for yourself.


Exploring Georgia! Stone Wall Jackson, Hank Aaron, MLK JR and State Capitol Building.

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