Day 43: Cape Cod

Published: August 24th 2011
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This morning I borrowed Mike's road bike and decided to explore the Shining Sea Bikeway, a 17km bike path along a disused railway which runs from Woods Hole to North Falmouth through some beautiful scenery. Unfortunately we couldn't get the seat to go down, so I just had to make do with stretching my legs a little bit with each pedal. This started out fine, but after 4hrs was getting a bit painful. In North Falmouth I decided to take a 5km detour off the path to Old Silver Beach. When I got there there were cars queuing for ages to get into the car park, so I very smugly cycled past. The beach was horribly crowded though, with barely enough room to sit, so after a quick Oreos ice cream I hopped back on my bike and returned to the bike path.

Back in Woods Hole I stopped for a quick water break and then tried to work out the best route back to Mike's House. At this point I realised that my free cartoonised map wasn't going to be very helpful, especially since the cross which Mike had drawn to mark his house was in a different place on the zoomed-in map. Great. So I ended up cycling all the way back to Falmouth, this time by road, because I missed the turning. Eventually I found a pedestrian who pointed me in the right direction, and after a few more circles I arrived back at the house: sore, dehydrated and exhausted. I decided to spend the afternoon indoors.

In the evening Mike and I drove back into Woods Hole to watch a film showing being put on my the Marine Biology Lab (MBL). The film was "Awakenings", which is based on a true story written by the neurologist Oliver Sachs in the late 1960s. Whilst working in an institution in the Bronx he comes across a select group of patients who he realises are suffering from post-encephalitic catatonia and not, in fact, demented. By using L-Dopa, a new drug developed for Parkinson's Disease, he is able to 'wake' the patients from their frozen state. Unfortunately, after a miraculous few months of freedom, all the patients begin to experience both drug tolerance and L-Dopa-induced dyskinesias, eventually returning to the catatonic state. Afterwards we had an interesting discussion led by the retired chair of neurology at Columbia. Most of the audience then headed to the Captain Kidd pub down the road and ate pizza and chatted. The other people there were all really interesting - some of them were doing a summer course at MBL for university professors, on techniques for teaching neuroscience, so we talked about how to make it engaging for undergrads etc.

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