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Round the World 2007 USA

Ocean Drive and Cliff Walk

Had breakfast in the hostel, then moved my stuff down to “The Cave”, aka the cellar. I also packed up a lot of stuff too.

I went to the library at 10am and spent an hour on the internet. I then came back to the hostel and borrowed one of the bikes to do the Scenic Ocean Drive. It wasn’t that fantastic (and my arse was still sore after Martha’s Vineyard), but at least I could see the coastline without all the boats! Got quite a waft of salty sea air too!

The ride took about 1 1/2 hours, and I went to a cafe for lunch after. I returned the bike, had a coffee in the hostel, then headed out on foot to do the Cliff Walk. First Beach was OK, but looked better at the far end. The walk itself was quite pleasant, but as usual when something gets talked up, it was a bit of a let-down. The mansions were grand. Beyond grand in fact. I didn’t go in because it was getting late and apparently you should allow an hour in each.

I went down to the Coffee Grinder and hung out there for a while. Saw a dog in a life-jacket. Got a gelato on the way back. I spent the evening chatting to Paul, then showered and watched Legally Blonde, Along came Polly, and Cat Ballou, until I decided it was time for sleep.

Round the World 2007 USA

Well Do You Have A Flag?

OK, so if you don’t know anything about Newport…Firstly, it’s not the one from The OC. It is the home of the America’s Cup when America win and they host it over here. It therefore has a lot of boats. Hundreds of boats. It also has a lot of mansions. Old money billionaires built extravagant homes here. You can visit them too, and go on tours.

The title of this post is a reference to an Eddie Izzard sketch about the British taking over the world with the cunning use of flags. I only bring it up because there are a lot of houses with flags outside. Imagine driving along Ruthin Road and seeing a Welsh flag outside every other home, and that’s pretty close. That whole “pledging allegiance to the flag” in school stays with them!

But today, I was going round some of the historical sights. I started with the Old Stone Mill in Touro Park. No one knows who built it, why, when, or even what it is. Then I went to the Redwood Library, the oldest public library in the US. I then walked down to Trinity Church, which wasn’t as special as I expected it to be. Then I found Washington Square, where I got a coffee and bagel in a cafe.

I did a bit of shopping in a second hand shop, then wandered around Brick Market Place and Thames (pronounced Taymz) St on my way back to the hostel to drop stuff off. Heading back out, I went over to Goat Island, which you reach via the causeway. It has possibly the smallest lighthouse I’ve seen. And the views back to Newport were obscured by all the boats.

I came back over to Newport and sat in Coffee Grinder for a while. I then did some more shopping on the way back to the hostel, then headed up to the library to take advantage of the free internet.

I headed out for supper around 8.45pm. Stupid idea with it being a Monday. The pizza place I wanted to go to was already closed and I couldn’t find anywhere else reasonable and with something other than seafood, so I ended up with ice cream. I got chatting to one of the other guests who was a teacher over in California. Scary stuff: they’re taking geography off the state school curriculum, and they only learn American history.

Round the World 2007 USA

Martha’s Vineyard to Newport

There is a snoring guy in our dorm. I think he managed to wake everyone up. So I got out of bed earlier than planned and straightened my hair. I left the hostel around 7.30am, and caught the bus to Vineyard Haven, in plenty of time to get the 9.30am ferry back to Woods Hole.

I didn’t think I’d get out of Woods Hole until around midday, but one of the Peter Pan bus drivers got me onto his bus, and told me to get the bus to Providence, then get the RIPTA local bus to Newport. I reached the Providence terminal by 12.30pm, and had to wait until 1pm for a connection to Providence Kennedy Plaza. There was a direct bus to Newport at 1.45pm, but I decided to trust them.

I got to Kennedy Plaza and found my stop, but had to wait until 2pm (currently 1.20pm) for the next bus, and it takes about an hour to get to Newport. By the time I reached Newport, there was a Peter Pan bus there…

I then had to walk about 20 blocks to the guesthouse, and just caught Merrilee, the owner, as she was heading out. After checking in I went for a wander into town. It is the last day of the boat show, so it’s quite busy. I got a coffee and ice cream in an Italian cafe, walked around a bit more, then got a hot chocolate and muffin at Coffee Grinder on Bannister Wharf.

I headed back to the guesthouse and met the other guests, and also met Paul who is looking after the place for a week while Merrilee goes away, and was also in the hostel on Martha’s Vineyard.