Published: June 21st 2012June 21st 2012
I had come in from Montréal, QC by greyhound bus on an 8 hour overnight trip and arrived at the Boston south station in pooring rain.The forecast didn't look promising; For that Monday till Wednesday that I had my rental car booked for it was supposed to be cloudy and raining :( I took the T (silver line) to Logan airport, and hauled my bags to the rental car desk where I was told to deposit myself in the free bus that would take me to the parking lot. Upon arrival, I was first asked if I wouldn't want to consider changing my choice of car and my attention was pointed at a supersized, bling-bling, American style, tjizzle-my-nizzle-on-the-televizzle-kinda car that would fit in a driveway in LA... I kindly refused and kept my European sized vehicle :) My patience was then put to the test during a Q&A of more than half an hour... I was offered package after package of insurances, safety features, luxuries etc. etc. which I all refused except for the GPS. Although I hadn't booked it initially to make it as cheap as possible, once there I felt it was an unmissable item that would help me
greatly navigating the road to Cape Cod, but even more so, getting out and back into the city of Boston.
Happy I could finally leave, I deposited my bags in various cavities of the (European sized) car and started the engine... Now, I had told myself upfront, having the experience of driving an automatic in New Zealand, I WASN'T going to forget that an automatic vehicle only has two foot pedals; a break and an accelerator. However, what I HAD forgotten is that for that reason you only need to use one foot. So there I was, driving out of the parking lot, stopping and accelarating continuously because my feet were fighting over whose turn it was to perform which action.... Thanks to the mighty fine lady in the booth, I remembered to let my left foot hang loose while performing all other footwork with just my right. I wish I would have also listened when she said 'turn left out of the parking lot', so I wouldn't have had to (embarrasingly) turn around at the dead-end street after turning right out of the parking lot and then pass her again with her waiving goodbye's at me.... (duh!)
Thanks to my talking GPS companion, I managed to safely drive through the sumner tunnel and onto Highway 3 south. With my windscreen wipers on full and not haven driven a car for over a year, I did feel a bit anxious. At one point, as I was passing a slow moving truck, there was a depression in the road in which water had accumulated. The huge amount of water that splashed over my windscreen while driving over it made the fact that I felt the car drifting on the huge amount of water even scarier. Nothing like driving next to a big truck while losing control over your car... Thankfully, it was just a matter of seconds and I survived but it did made me pull over at the next available rest stop and have a smoke.
In all, with lots of little stops and playing the One Direction CD 3 times, it took me nearly 4 hours to get to Provincetown, at the northern tip of Cape Cod. The clouds were still looming heavily over the town and its beaches, so theRe wasn't much to do except for a stroll through town and a bite to eat
in the form of a local delicacy; lobster roll. Not much to see in town, so I checked out the local hostel and found it was closed for the season... sleeping in the car it was going to be :) The afternoon I spent driving north, past the little airport where cessna's land from Boston, to the beach and local forest trails. Exhausted from the night on the bus, at some stage I fell asleep in the car listening to the raindrops falling on the cars exterior. (holiday!!!) I drove back east along highway 6 a bit, checked out the beaches there and back into town along the shore rd (6A).
For dinner I placed myself on a chair in the lobster pot, prominently right at the pier overlooking the water. I stuffed myself with clam chowder and fish'n chips (am I in the USA?) while a spectacular red sunset dropped down over Cape Cod Bay, wishing I had gone to dinner a little later so I would have had good pictures. Not knowing what else to do, I made myself comfortable on the backseat of my car watching a movie. I fell asleep pretty easily actually after that
previous sleepless night on the bus. At around 1 a.m. I woke up for some reason and decided to get out for a smoke, As I am putting on my shoes I notice light behind my car... police! Damn, I thought, now I'm gonna have to move. "Gudeevnin' officer" I greeted as I climbed out of the backseat, cigarette dangling from the corner of my mouth, my sweatpants tucked into my white socks for warmth, wearing black leather boots that I hadn't yet zipped up and a hoody over my head... -if I was possibly aleep- the officer asked me. I decided it was best to be honest and replied that indeed I was. After handing over my passport and answering a few of his questions, the friendly officer wished me good night and drove off!! (So there are good cops in the US....!)
Obviously I woke up early, at the crack of dawn (around 6 a.m.), but to an amazing sunrise with only a touch of cloud in the sky. Slightly cold but happy with the unexpected good weather, I decided it was getting dressed time. And so I did, half in and half out of the car,
looking around if anybody was near at the moment I was changing into clean boxershorts in the frontseat (sorry, unnamed rental car agency). I went for a lovely stroll over the pier from which -in season- ferries leave to Boston, observing the fishermen preparing their boats for the days fishing. A lovely little coffeeshop had opened early so got a hot brew and did some stuff on my ipad, including checking on the opening times of the Pilgrim Monument
. When I made my way over at the given time however, I was told the climb up the 116 steps was still closed but I was welcome in the museum for the same steep price of $10. Bummer!!! I had really looked forward to the view from up there and taking some great photos of the lie of the island etc. Oh well, nothing I could do about it...
So the rest of the day I spent driving down Cape Cod through Truro, Wellfleet and into Eastham counties visiting beaches along the way. Although it was windy the sun had a lot of strength so when I found a 'dune pan' I took off my top and had a
lovely sunbathing nap while sheltered from the wind. For lunch I drove into Eastham town to find a supermarket. What I found was one of those gigantic American superstores. I bought a salad at a self service salad bar including croutons, feta cheese, chicken breast, you name it. I also bought potato wedges, mashed potato and absolutely fantastic beef brisket. I brought it with me to a picnic spot overlooking the Atlantic and sat in the grass eating while a group of huge seagulls were pestering me. I made a number of walks over forest trails and along the beaches around the Nauset bay and beach area. A great, relaxing day.
As I had to return the car fairly early the next morning, I planned to drive towards the direction of Boston so I wouldn't risk getting stuck in traffic that Wednesday and having to pay a fine. Therefore I left the eastern part of Cape Cod late afternoon and drove back along route 6. As I came near the Sagamore bridge crossing the Cape Cod canal
I parked my car in front of it on a parking lot next to a windmill and walked my way
over to the top of the arch on foot. Although allowed, I don't think Americans are used seeing people on foot or something according to the many drivers beeping their klaxons. The 28 km long canal divides the cape in half, shortening the travel distance for boats from Boston to New York by 62 miles. It was on the north side of the canal where I parked my car again after walking down from the bridge and cleaned out the car of rubbish and prepared myself for the next morning return. I took a nap while the sun set behind the Sagamore bridge and dubious amount of fast cars acumulated over time. Very quickly I got the impression the parking lot was used by drug dealers of some kind and so I decided to move on.
I drove further north until about 30 miles south of Boston where I parked my car at a huge fast food chain. As I had had a nap earlier, I spent the early hours of the night here having a burger and shake and using the free wifi. A few more hours on the backseat of the car in the parking lot and
it was really time to return the vehicle -:(- Not before getting donuts and a coffee however! As expected the traffic getting back into the city was pretty heavy and the last 10 miles I stood in a traffic jam. I had really enjoyed the little trip, reminding me of my year in New Zealand where I had a van and just drove and camped wherever I liked. Who knows, one day I might come back and do a massive roadtrip through north America (When the RMB is even to the Dollar ha ha). Happy to have my talking GPS friend, I first found my hostel I was going to stay at that night before returning the car.Of course I forgot to fill up the tank first, so had to get back out the lot to do so. No problems upon returning it so pretty happy with that. I had another 1.5 days in the city of Boston before flying out, more on that in my next blog!
There are more photos below