Our last day in the Deep South , a lot of preparation had gone into the packing which meant I had to ride the 35 miles back to the Harley shop in shorts and T shirt, generally a real no no for me, and I learned why…….my shins were sand blasted and a real sense of vulnerability…..don’t do it kids!!
The bikes returned we headed for Downtown Disney, where we intended buying gifts and stuff. We went to Planet Hollywood and drank beer because it was so hot….sorry peeps!
A lengthy overnight flight where we took advantage of Virgins gratis hospitality and we were back at Gatwick, tired and going our separate ways. Plenty of this to mull over about this trip…..maybe for a later blog, but southern hospitality is great , being away with your Mate riding motorbike is great. Melted cheese not so great.
Till the next time..
Yesterday’s blog described how hot it was, today multiply that by 2.
Rod prepared himself for the heat by covering his face with what looked like toothpaste and then put sunglasses on, he looked like the ill prepared member of the Blue Man Group! Our destination was Orlando so that we can take in a few theme parks and teach Harry Potter a trick or two (see what I did there).
Riding across northern Florida is like running the deer crash gauntlet, just waiting for the time when one jumps in front of the bike, when we stopped in a small town diner for our second breakfast we soon realised why none had……they all had they’re heads mounted on the wall, the other customers were all camouflaged up with crossbow paraphernalia hanging off them ….. Strangely though there was no venison on the menu, so we had something covered in cheese again.
After a sweltering day we landed in the outskirts of Orlando and intend visiting Universal tomorrow, Rod has only brought boots pullovers and jeans and its 36 …..he’ll need more toothpaste on his face tomorrow.
We’ve noticed that we’ve started to pick up the local lingo, we’re using words like y’all and bad ass, I even called someone pilgrim today…….funny place America.
It was about 25C as we left Pensacola this morning. Rather than our normal routine of breakfast in the hotel, we rode to a nearby diner and were served a heart attack on a plate.
Our aim was to get to Tallahasse, only 200 miles away along the Gulf coast. A relatively easy day until you take the heat and humidity into account. It was like driving through a fan assisted oven whilst wearing a duvet.
The coast road took us through a load of small towns each full of traffic lights which, more often than not, jumped to red as we approached. A 1,700cc Harley sure gives off some heat when it is stuck in traffic.
On the plus side, i think I have sweated out at least half the weight that I have put on recently.
Having arrived in Tallahassee, we are only about 240 miles from Orlando. We aim to ride there tomorrow which will then leave us a couple of days to explore the various theme parks. I hear the mice are as big as men.
A quick update…… A mix of Irish pale complexion, open faced helmet and Florida sun has made Rod resemble a swan vesta!!
Today we left Louisiana crossed Mississippi, Alabama and arrived in Florida.
It was a day of duelling banjos , Dukes of Hazard and lizard Lick all in one day, but back to the start. A Few nights ago as Rod explained in a previous blog we met a Mississippi boat captain, he and his wonderful hospitality booked us into a lovely Holiday inn in New Orleans at a 50% discount courtesy of his company.
We arrived at the hotel at the same time as him and he offered to take us on a city tour in his car. I found myself sitting in the back and Rod in the front which kinda impies that I’m the girl!!!!!!! I wasn’t overly happy with this but when we discovered that the good captain chewed tobacco and needs to spit the disgusting brown mess out rather regularly in a cup on Rods lap I was rather pleased to be in the back.
He dropped us at Bourbon street where we noticed that entertainment for any taste was available. We went and partook in our particular taste in entertainment and got back to the hotel late.
Breakfast was a quiet affair, a mix of hangover and not too sure what to say!!! Anyway we saddled up and set off. The southern heat was intense so we needed to keep moving to keep cool. Eventually hunger took its toll and we agreed we’d stop in the next town for lunch. When we got to the next town there was a series of traffic lights and we became very competitive and raced between each set, before you could say “y’all on a turkey shoot ” we realised we’d races through the town and hadn’t stopped for lunch. We did eventually stop at an Alabama cafe and had cheese in cheese on cheese burgers.
This part of the world is very swampy which means they build elevated roads with stunning views, as we approached a bridge Pelicans were diving into the water for fish it was fantastic (by the way road kill count update, many armadillo, possum, deer, dog, raccoons and stuff the vultures have eaten too much of)
We arrived in Pensicola exhausted and checked into the Crown Plaza which is very swish. We’ve eaten cheese, drank wine and sorted the plan for the next few days.
The morning after the night before brought both headaches and a vague recollection that we had been invited to meet Captain Wheeler at the control station that organises the maritime traffic on the Mississippi river.
A couple of breakfasts and nurofen later we headed down to the river and found the good Cpt. Through a combination of GPS, cameras on bridges and blind luck he steers some massive ships through some pretty narrow bridges. They didnt seem to be any real chance of an imminent crash so we soon got bored and left.
Our destination for the day was New Orleans in Louisana. A city steeped in old money (from questionable industries) and the destination of choice for stag weekends and care in the community day trips.
After a quick cultural (!) tour of the old part of the city and the part which Hurricane Katrina devasted a few years back, we headed to the aptly named Bourbon Street.
We had a few drinks alongside the weirdest collection of people I have ever set eyes on. The entire street smelled of a conbination of body odour and sick. It does wonders to quench the appetite and resulted in us having the smallest dinner yet (albeit it still included melted cheese). If they could bottle that smell, i reckon it would take the diet market by storm – you would never want to eat again.
Rod arrived at breakfast worse for wear from a pollen attack…..seriously our bikes had turned yellow with the pollen, I’ve never seen anything like it. Rods eyes we’re streaming and he was wheezing. After a pep talk from me he stopped whinging we found a pharmacy and all was good!
We headed off down the 61 into Mississippi and stopped for a coffee and a pulled pork roll. The other customers all seemed to be wearing Stetsons and Spurs …..quite cool…but not as good as my tescos T shirt.
3 days ago we ride the dragons tail (313 bend in 11 miles) today we rode 200 miles with no bends, traversing prairie and swamp. We’ve ended up in Vicksburg, home to bottles coca cola and casinos.
A swift 2 litre bottle of merlot and Mexican grub later and we are invited to open the tidal gates of the Mississippi tomorrow. A rendezvous of 9:00 has been arranged.
Many drinks tonight!!!!