Day 51 – A Change of Plan

I studied the map and my calendar last night and after much deliberation have almost decided to go home early. There are several reasons not least of which is my partners poor health, this is compounded by my tiredness and impending lack of money.

I am about 900 miles from the bike drop off point in New Jersey, add in the detour to Bayside HD in Portsmouth VA for the final valuation and it’s probably just 1000 miles left to go.

Once I have been to Savannah and Charleston today the plan is to go to Kitty Hawk, where the Wright brothers made the first flight, then up the coast to New Jersey via Atlantic City, that isn’t going to take 2 weeks. I looked at the map to see where else I could visit, but to be perfectly honest I think I’ve had enough.  I still enjoy the riding, however am pretty fed up with hotels and fast food, I’m also a bit homesick and although I obviously like my own company, 2 months is pushing it a bit.

I have checked out flights and it would be cheaper to change my flight date than pay for hotels, food, fuel etc. for the extra week, so I am probably going to return on the 1/2 Oct rather than the 7/8.  I have emailed the shipping agent to enquire about dropping the bike early and await his reply before making the final decision.

So, there we are…  I don’t rush to leave again this morning as I now know I have got plenty of time.  I’m not one to indulge in regrets, well not about stuff like this… ok now I look back I could have spent an extra night to see the Grand Canyon or the Hollywood Sign.  Or I could have gone all the way along PCH1 to San Francisco as I originally wanted, but as far as I am concerned it’s been amazing, I have done what I wanted to do and I have no regrets at all.  I’ve still got a week of adventures to go so let’s get going….

I am traveling on the interstate today; have had enough of the slower coastal roads for the time being and before I realise it I have crossed into Georgia, so farewell Florida and Good Morning Georgia…

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I see a dealership ahead and turn off the interstate to stop for a pin.

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I decide to aim for the Atlantic again to get back on the coast road… but I can’t find it and the road loops me back to the interstate so I rejoin, but not before I see a sign for a Plantation and take a quick detour to have a look.

I don’t go in as I’m not interested in touring the house, I just wanted to have a look at it.  Unfortunately yet again there is a charge to go into the grounds so I just grab a couple of photos and then get back on the road.

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I pass through Darien and arrive at Savannah Harley Davidson.

Pin secured, I then debate whether to actually enter Savannah or not.  I begin to think that I might stop here and go into Savannah itself tomorrow; I even check out hotels nearby.  I do find one, but I am torn between booking it and carrying on to Charleston.  It is now 5.30 and Charleston is 2 hours away so it is doable, but again do I want to push on???

After much ummming and ahhing I decide to carry on to Charleston and then promptly change my mind once I am back on the interstate… I decide to turn off and have a quick butchers at Savannah, the Garden City.  I thought it would just be a couple of miles into the city but it is more like 10…. oh well never mind I am almost there now.

It doesn’t disappoint, it is exactly what I was expecting… antebellum architecture and huge trees dripping with moss…

In some ways it is quite similar to New Orleans,

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although I don’t see any streets full of bars and drunken people, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any, just that I only see a small section of the old town.

A little bit of history too..

and a bell tower that catches my attention. I stop and have a look at it…

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It’s a memorial for lost firefighters, which isn’t surprising as there is a huge fire station just to the left of this.

Ok so better get going to Charleston.  Savannah is on the state line with South Carolina and as I cross over an enormous bridge I arrive in SC so Goodbye Georgia, short but sweet… and Hello to the first of the Carolinas

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Its another 110 miles to Charleston and I think that I will find somewhere to stay about 30 or 40 miles from there so I can arrive in daylight.

I start out on the interstate 95, but then turn off onto Highway 17 all the way into Charleston.  Find a room, Ha! no chance… the 17 to Charleston is empty, nothing, nada, not a hotel, motel, smotel in sight; nothing but trees, more trees and the occasional petrol station. As the sun goes down so does the temperature and for the first time in weeks I stop to put my leather jacket on.

As I arrive into the outskirts of Charleston it is dark and raining so I stop to check out the hotel situation here.  OMG it’s so expensive, over $80 for a bog standard motel that I have been paying $50-60 for.  I did see a motel just a mile back so I turn round to see if they have a vacancy… they do, but wish I had just booked via booking.com as it is virtually the same price, but the quality is awful.  The bath has cigarette burn marks on it, the coffee machine is filthy and the lamps around the room are all rusty.  What’s worse is the smell of damp.. ugh!

I unpack the bike and the humidity must be almost 100%, everything is just damp; that probably accounts for the damp odour in the room.  I hope the sun will counteract some of the humidity tomorrow.

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