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Published: September 12th 2010
4 star food stop (on this trip)
Most food available during the hours we were traveling came from vending machines....LOL (This place was one of the best choices we had)
I am now in New Orleans getting ready to go to bed (Saturday night September 11) after leaving Washington D.C. around midnight on Thursday evening (September 9). Since then, I have been through the southern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and the part of Louisiana that took me into New Orleans. It is quite pretty along the coast from Biloxi to Gulfport as the bus drove past the beaches, hotels and mansions by the sea in there. Furthermore, the forests and bayou in Louisiana is simply gorgeous and I unfortunately didn't get any decent photographs. It is the most beautiful scenery I could see from the bus during the whole trip so far. Louisiana gets a really bad rap............It is beautiful!!!
Furthermore, I got to stop in at virtually every little town and major city along the petered out route that we took. Some of the cities and towns in North Carolina and South Carolina are quite striking and quaint at the same time. I liked Charlotte in North Carolina (bigness and modernness but with a small southern town feel) and Greenville in South Carolina (the brick they used in constructing virtually every kind of building
My first meal in the South
This was my first meal in the South in Georgia. What a surprise!!!
you could imagine in and around the town). Unfortunately, I couldn't get any decent photos of this from the bus. But driving through these towns "all over the south" such as Mobile in Alabama, Columbus in Georgia, Durham in North Carolina and Biloxi in Mississippi helped develop a sense of individualistic identity for each of these places in my mind. It should come as no surprise, that New Orleans (my current destination) outshines them all by a mile and I haven't even really explored it yet. It just feels so alive!!!!!
All of that being said, the folks at Greyhound, with an emphasis on "gray" for everyone involved, did everything they could to try and ruin everyone's travel experience. It started with an overbooking in Washington D.C. which put me on the fateful extra bus which eventually broke down (for 6 hours) at a dead bus depot in Columbus, Georgia. After 6 hours we finally got a replacement bus (with little explanation by the driver as the drama unfolded). That bus took us to one of the most nondescript bus terminals you could imagine in Mobile, Alabama. There we learned that we had to wait another 4 plus hours
This is a typical looking bus station for North Carolina. It was all downhill from here as the bus depots elsewhere (including Atlanta) were much much older.
for a replacement driver to show up (probably because our driver had exceeded his regular pay hours (eg no desire to pay overtime) and also might legally (and in reality) be a safety hazard. To make matters worse, the food available along this route was truly abysmal. McDonald's was my best meal (by far)......and I hate going there usually.
Some highlights on my trip were some of the people I met. The best was the young but tall, slim waitress I had at Union Station in Washington D.C. who made eyes in a charming but not so subtle way. I couldn't decide from her accent if she was from (Africa or the Caribbean) but it was here eyes and manner that were full of lusty and cute pizazz. I left her a note to tell her she was charming but that was all. Next was a young Englishman of Indian heritage (the Northwestern part) who was 20 years old and on his first travel experience. We blabbed and blabbed for fun a lot but what I remember was the Punjabi word Saksriakaan (pronounced like suck, sree with sr being an indian cluster sound like sl or sw for English,
The view here is much better than reality on the ground which included traffic, a poorly organized bus station and needless sprawl everywhere. I don't like it.
a as in a day, and finally kahn like Ghengis Kahn). It means both hello and goodbye in Punjabi. There were a number of other interesting people (and very scary people) who I talked with, ran into, or witnessed (such as the crazy woman who was claiming rape before being dragged out of the station in D.C.) I have not done a good job of getting any photographs of these individuals yet. I hope to before I am done.
I am ready for a big day exploring the Big Easy in full (as I can tomorrow) starting with sunrise on the Mississippi and then a morning bike tour. There is also a seafood festival happening all weekend which I hope to partake in. And of course there is the party scene here. There are people from all over here having a good time and romping around the city in the Canal and Bourbon St District. I hope to get some jazz and see some of that tomorrow night.
It is possible I might spend a night in Austin before going to Denver if I can budget it. (They have a green hostel in Austin with solar panels, geothermal,
Our sick bus
The cause of all my troubles
etc.......I have to see it!!!!!!!!)
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