Thursday, 19 May 2011

Plymouth, Massachusetts - Greyhound racing

Plane travel usually whisks you from one place on the planet to another without any gentle transitions but my first flight on this trip deposited me in Miami, a subtle bridge between South and North America – there was tropical heat, tall palms swaying in a sweltering breeze and most conversations were still conducted in Spanish. But there were also supermarkets and Starbucks! I have to confess to being spoiled rotten in Miami as I was hosted by Richard and Stuart (relatives of Lesley and Chris, my cycle heroes from Haddington) in the gorgeous suburb of Coral Gables with its wide avenues of overha
nging mangrove trees and quaint canals.

There was one problem with Miami – it was a long way from Boston where I was meeting my friend Graham to start our trans-America cycle. To minimise the number of flights but maximise the number of adventures, I decided to travel up through America by Greyhound bus, ticking off another little dream into the bargain!

My Greyhound raced north through night and day, pausing only briefing to change drivers or feed passengers. As we crossed state line after state line we put behind us Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York and Connecticut before arriving in Massachusetts. I loved the drivers who all reminded me of Whoopi Goldberg – black women with a slick patter and a quick put-down for any passengers who didn’t tow the line! 39 hours and two nights after setting out into a hot, sticky Miami evening, I was delivered into a cold, grey, wet Boston morning. Maybe I’m strange but I slept well curled up under my duvet jacket across a double seat and really enjoyed the journey!

On a cold, grey, wet day I met Graham off his flight from the UK. We spent a couple of cold, grey, wet days pottering around Boston then cycled south on another cold, grey, wet day to Plymouth, our starting point for the east-west cycle and landing place in 1620 of the Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers. We cycled to Plymouth Rock and the National Monument of the Forefathers that commemorate the landing – yes, on another cold, grey, wet day!

If ever the rain goes off, I’ll take some photos of America to show you!

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