I’m sorry for the delay! i’ve had a couple of long, pretty cold, days behind me with no possiblity to update my blog. in the meantime, I’m past Boston already and almost in New-York already. Hereby I present you my story of the last week. Some pictures take ages to load, by the way. Hope it’s a temporary issue.
In the morning, Douglas gave me a sightseeing tour through Portland and he showed me the most beautiful parts of the city. Portland is the biggest city of Maine and the biggest city that I’ve been to so far. It is the first city that’s actually alive despite the winter season, in my opinion. In a bicycle shop, I bought new tubes, because I had another flat tire (again, just before arriving at my destination). After fixing my tube, it was time to say goodbye.
After 70 kilometers, I had another flat tire…. Extremely frustrating. I didn’t feel like fixing it on the side of the road, so I decided to go inside the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (what a mouthful). Over here, I fixed my fourth flat tire. After I just finished, a women arrived in the park for a quick hike, Janssen. It’s a common last name in the Netherlands, but she wasn’t Dutch. She gave me two frozen vegetarian burgers to prepare tonight. Nice! When I went to the public toilet of the park, I noticed how big and clean it was. I decided to sleep over there. It saves me a lot of time: pitching up and breaking down the tent. I felt like a criminal, as the park closes when it’s dark. Luckily, the park was so deserted that nobody spotted me. To reach the toilet, you had to walk through a thick layer of snow, so it wasn’t very surprising to stay unnoticed. Two vega-burgers and some energy bars completed my nutritious dinner.
With a refreshed mind, I started the next day full of energy (and with a new tube). I began my journey towards Salisbury, where I was about to sleep one night at Matthew’s place. After only one hour, I had flat tire number 5. This doesn’t make any sense. I decided to replace both the tube and the tire itself, should’ve done that 3 tubes earlier. The weather and view were astonishing, so that was a good compromise for my technical issues. I was looking for a shop to buy some postcards of Maine when I realized that I wasn’t in Maine anymore. Within 30 kilometers, I cycled via New Hampshire towards Masschusetts.
At the end of the afternoon, I met Matthew in Salisbury. He lives in a small but very cosy apartment near the beach. He introduced me to his girlfriend Monica and her son Ian, they both live in another apartment one floor below Matt. Matt took me out for dinner, together with Monica and Ian. The restaurant was very nice. When we returned at his apartment, a snowstorm started that was even heavier than the one I had a couple of days before. ‘We got another nor’easter coming’, is what they told me. During the night and day, it snowed and stormed heavily. About 1,5 foot of snow came down. Impossible to cycle in. I could stay as long as I wanted, said Matt. Because of the weather, we had a lazy day. A kind of Sunday or a kind of day when you’re sick. School had called Ian, he didn’t need to go to school. Despite the lazy day, we enjoyed ourselves with some games and a short walk on the beach. At the beach, you could see how high the pile of snow was:
Matt, Monica, Ian and I could get along with each other very well and there was still a lot of snow the next day. 1+1 = 2. I stayed another day. I arranged accommodation in Boston today and we went out with the dogs again. I don’t know how Matt and Monica did it, but within the 3 days I know them, they really made me feel at home. I was really sad when I had to leave again, but it was time to move on.
The route from Salisbury to Boston was not very comfortable, because I had to stop in front of 10000 traffic lights. The 75 kilometers consisted of connected towns. Salisbury, the place I stayed the last couple of days, is considered to be Northern Boston. As if the place I live(d) in the Netherlands, Schagen, is considered to be Northern Amsterdam. Unimaginable! The coming nights, I slept in Cambridge, west of downtown Boston. At my first address, I met Grace. She took me to Harvard University, because I really wanted to visit it. It was deserted because if the spring break. It’s cool to have been there, but it was (in my opnion) not very special. It was a collection of beautiful brick buildings, but nothing more than that. Mainly the output of the university is impressive.
The next day, I met Scott, another address of the warmshower community. I really like the concept of warmshowers, because it is more about sharing rather than your individual possessions. I took Scott out for dinner and we talked about his bicycle tour through the US. Interesting to hear how he experiences some things. In the afternoon, I went to the MIT museum, the Boston tea party boats and just walked the entire day through the city center.
On Saturday, on St. Patricks’ day, I went to the city center early. Throughout the city, people were wearing green clothes because of this holiday. Michel from the Netherlands recommended me to walk the Freedom trail, so that’s what I’ve done. I had booked a guided tour. A guide told us enthusiastically about the history of the city with a lot of information about the American revolution. Very interesting. After the tour, I met Scott again in the city. We were about to go to the USS constitution, but eventually went to the Buner Hill Monument, where we walked all 300 steps to the top to get a nice view over the city.
The coming days, it’s gonna be pretty cold with yet another nor’easter coming. I hope to arrive in New York on the 22nd of March. I’ll probably cheat the last part, as it’s much more convenient to do this by train. Forgive me!