Day 56 – Just a Pip!

Well today is the last riding day and I’m a bit sad about that.  The time has gone so quickly, but it does seem eons ago since I left Bayside HD to begin the tour.

This morning I take the opportunity to have a quick walk along the boardwalk..

Culture.. says it all really

I suppose I shouldn’t expect much, but to be honest another disappointment.  The bit where I join the boardwalk is very seedy and run down.

I don’t know if that is true of the whole thing, but I suspect it is.  Atlantic City is really the poor cousin to Las Vegas, nowhere near as glitzy or attractive; indeed it is quite the opposite.

The only reference to the popular TV series Broadwalk Empire is this delapidated hoarding.. to my mind a very strange item, there’s no reference or explanation it’s just there..

It is peeling in places so not even looked after…

The only buildings that were slightly interesting for the architechture…

are spoilt by tacky signage.. a shame really.

I don’t have much time as I have booked the Greyhound bus for 4.25pm so I need to get to Kearny in New Jersey asap.  I also want to dive in to the Harley dealer here for a pin.

It was sunny when I went for my walk but now on the bike it is really quite cold and again very grey and overcast.

I take Highway 9 – Garden State Parkway and pay at least 3 tolls amounting to about $4 altogether.  It isn’t the cost it’s the stopping, turning off the bike, taking off the gloves, dragging the wallet out, finding the money, getting the change, putting the wallet away, putting on the gloves, starting the bike…. you get the picture… it’s just a complete pain in the butt.

I change on to the Jersey Turnpike and stop for a coffee.. then about 30 miles on the petrol warning light comes on.. I don’t know how far it is to the next fuel stop so I decide to go off at the next exit to find a petrol station.  Round and round and round until at last I find one.  Now I’m used to self-service, I can’t remember the last time I was expected to allow someone else to fill the bike… oh yes I do, it was years ago in france or somewhere like that and the guy allowed the petrol to overflow all over the bike and I said I would never let someone else fill my tank again.  Well…. apparently New Jersey doesn’t have self-serve at all, it is all assisted, but I still insist on putting the petrol in myself.  I only need about 3 bucks worth as I’m only 30 miles away from my destination and I need to leave as little petrol as possible in the tank.

Back onto the GSP and am soon entering Newark.. the iPhone won’t route to the actual address, quell surprise!.. it only goes to the middle of the road so when I arrive I have to ride up and down to try to find the shipping agents.  It is in the docks so not easy to find but eventually I do.  I’m not allowed into the compound and have to wait for someone to come and escort me.  After about 10 minutes a guy comes along and takes me to a warehouse where they will store the bike until it’s shipped.

I fill out some paperwork and sort my stuff out.. I casually ask the guy how I can get to Penn station to catch the Greyhound… he makes a call and they organise a cab to come and get me for $25 cash, which seems a lot, but beggars and all that, he says it’ll be here in about 20 minutes.

Not long after I am all sorted the cab arrives and the driver says we have to pick up someone else on the way.. fine with me.. they are also going to Penn station.  So double bubble for her as its $25 each!

Unfortunately it’s now 4.15 and with the traffic I miss my bus!  I go in and talk to the bloke on the customer service desk who says I can get you on a bus leaving now, but you’ll have to change in Philly; it’s an extra $20 cash, (oh yea… I feel a kick back coming on), which he insists is Greyhounds’ policy, cash only on ticket changes… mmmm??? I ask what time is the next bus because I am absolutely starving and the journey is over 4 hours.  The next bus is at 6.20 and I have to change in New York, but that’s ok as the place where I am staying is a keyless code entry so I can arrive anytime, which is just as well as I am probably not going to arrive until about 1.30am.

I go and get a slice of pizza and have a good look around Penn Station


It is actually rather lovely..

am back at 6.15 ready to get on the bus… it’s delayed and doesn’t arrive until almost 7pm.  The buses are very good; plenty of leg room, comfortable seats, power points and wi-fi so am well impressed.

We arrive in New York and I am absolutely delighted to see I have just over an hour… I quickly find my way out of the Port Authority Station and find I am slap bang in the middle of Times Square, how fab is that… I was thinking about maybe having a day in New York, but in the end decided against it, so I am really very pleased to get even a wee look at it… (just a pip of the big apple), and some great photos too I think.

and a bit of video too…

I think the seeing Times Square at night is probably the best time…  I can see the Empire State building in the distance.  I would really have liked to visit the World Trade Centre memorial park, not to be this time.

Am back in the bus station ready to catch the bus that leaves at 8.30pm.  There’s quite a queue so looks like it’s going to be crowded.  I get on and find a window seat right at the back of the bus next to a small boy whose parents are sitting across the aisle.

I try to get some shots of the city from the bus.. not very successfully..

What a bad choice this seat is!  The little boy fidgets constantly, screams, shouts, jumps in and out of the seat, but what the worst thing is he keeps taking his trainers on and off and his shoes/feet stink.. I mean enough to make me feel queasy.  I just pray they get off before DC.  I am thinking of asking the parents to stop him taking his shoes off, but I don’t want a row.  I would move but the bus is pretty full…. fume, fume!  He eventually settles down and goes to sleep, what a relief.. at around 11.45 we arrive in Baltimore and quite a few people disembark so I very carefully step over the little sleeping boy and find another seat.

Now it is gone midnight and technically into Day 57, so you’ll have to go to the next day to see if I have any other adventures tonight.. I’ve still got to get from the bus station in DC to the place where I’m staying… mmm recipe for disaster if you ask me!



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