Very hard to get out of bed this morning… in fact I am late up and don’t leave until gone 11am. It’s about 210 miles to The Alamo in San Antonio and then a further 35ish to Seguin where I’m planning to stop overnight before heading on to Beaumont, TX my last stop before New Orleans… am getting excited now.
Before I leave I mention the lack of coffee machine etc. to the woman on reception, (it’s the same woman as when I arrived last night), she insists that Motel 6 and others don’t provide coffee makers in the room or irons… well I say to her that I’m only telling her what it says in their advert on booking.com.. I can’t be bothered to argue about other motels not providing these things because that is absolute rubbish, even the ones with added facilities like bed-bugs do and almost every hotel/motel I have stayed in have provided at least a coffee maker, but she still seems miffed.. tough! If I can be bothered I will leave some feedback.
On my way out of town I spot a few interesting buildings etc. so stop for a photo op…
Back onto the relentless interstate, the scenery is certainly getting greener.
After yesterdays stress today is a really enjoyable ride.
As I near San Antonio there seem to be more and more bugs… swarms of them.. splattering against my bike, me and my goggles.. ugh! I stop for petrol and I can see they are actually small orangey coloured butterflies… aww I feel awful now, but there must be billions of them because they are everywhere and the number that have been wiped out by cars, lorries and me must be in the millions. What’s that about??
I arrive in San Antonio around 3pm and ride straight to The Alamo, which is situated right in the centre of the city. I was expecting it to be somewhere outside the city, in it’s own park or something, but no there it is in a small walled area slap bang in the middle.
I find a car park and get the bike in some shade, which is good. There is a parking machine and the cheapest fee is $10 for 3 hours… what! I’m only going to be here about 30 minutes tops. I’m not going to pay 10 bucks so decide to leave the bike and chance it.
I walk over to the Alamo and go in… it is a really lovely, peaceful site and I see a building in front of me that I assume is the actual Alamo, I take a couple of photos..
then I see it was built in 1936.. eh! where’s the Alamo then???
I turn a corner and there are more buildings…
These are original, mostly, but not the actual mission.
Ahhh there it is.
Clearly the newer buildings have been designed to be sympatico with the originals, which is very good really.
I enjoyed looking around and the gardens were really very shady and cool. I thought it a very well done and respectful memorial to those who sacrificed themselves for Texas’ independence.
Back to the bike quite quickly because I’m worried I’ll get a ticket. I then think I should see where the nearest Harley dealers is so I can get a pin from San Antonio. Its not far so I make my way to Cowboy’s Alamo City Harley Davidson.. quite a title don’t you think.
When I get there I am looking for some shade for the bike when one of the guys asks me if I am looking for the service department, no just some shade. It makes me think though… the bike has done over 5000 miles since I picked it up and it is due a service. I have already emailed a harley dealer in New Orleans, as I will be there for a few days, to book a service, but have not had a reply… mmm perhaps I’ll ask in here.
I have a wander around the shop then make my way to the service department. A very nice chap, whose name I can’t remember, says yep they can do it for me tomorrow. WOW!! I am so impressed.. ok that’s a date.
In the shop I go to buy my pin and get chatting with one of the shop assistants, Cat. She asks me where I am going next and when I say New Orleans she tells me she used to live there and gives me some ideas for things to do. She tells me about a plantation that is just before you arrive in NO that is a ‘must see’ but she can’t quite remember the name so she calls this guy over who turns out to be her husband, Dustin. We end up have a really good chat about NO and serving in the armed forces; Dustin is a US Marine, who says Oak Alley Plantation. He also recommends a visit to Pensacola, which is already on my proposed itinerary, there are beautiful white sandy beaches there… oh yes… and a toe dip in the Gulf of Mexico is in order so that sounds like the perfect place. Cat and Dustin recommend Marie Lavve’ Tomb.. the queen of voodoo, a swamp tour and voodoo tour, which all sound like something I am deffo going to look into, right up my alley!
I am going to see Cat tomorrow, when I come to wait for the bike to be serviced, so she says she will have a think overnight for any other sights I might enjoy.
So, where to stay… how about next door! Yep there is a Super 8 right next door; I book through booking.com and take the bike round. As I’m unpacking a pick-up pulls up and it’s the guy from the service department. He asks me if I have somewhere to stay so I say yes I’m staying here. He says he was just thinking where would I stay and if I didn’t have anywhere he would put me up. I tell you these yanks are just fantastic!
The bike is absolutely covered in dead butterflies… I can’t take if for the service like that so I go and look for a car wash. I find one pretty easily and it’s a good one.. the bike is soon squeaky clean again. I pop into Walgreens for supplies and the guy on the counter engages in conversation so I ask him about the butterflies. Apparently they come up from Mexico every year when there is a particular weather situation down there it prompts them to migrate northwards; he isn’t sure what the weather thing is exactly though. As I’m about to leave a woman, about my age, comes in and is obviously known to the staff here. She asks if that is my bike and says it is beautiful. She wants to know how long I am here but of course it is only until tomorrow, ‘that’s a shame’ she says, ‘I am part of a women’s riding group and I was going to invite you along for a ride’. I would really have loved that… damn!
Afterwards I was thinking I could have stayed another night and perhaps gone for a ride with the grrrls, but of course I didn’t get a name or contact details for the woman so the chance has passed.