Aint Got the Blues…

Galveston (Texas) Bike Rally 2014

After another week of riding and rough camping, I’ve stumped up for a proper paid-for campsite tonight – the appeal of a shower now just too great to ignore. It’s a far cry from yesterday morning’s experience of waking up on the beach in Galveston Texas.

Waking up on a south-facing beach is a lovely way to start the day.

Texas seemed nice, although I didn’t see very much of it as I’ve been trying to follow the Gulf coast roads, hanging on to the last remnants of warm weather for as long as possible. I first set eyes on the Gulf just north of Brownsville Texas (I didn’t get to see it in Mexico) and it was a surprisingly emotional moment. Knowing that the body of water I was staring out at was the incubator of the Atlantic currents that keep England warm(ish) really made me feel that I was indeed riding around the world, and that I was getting closer to home with each day, rather than further from it. In fact, I must be due another time zone jump soon?

The road tyres are now on the bike (after a gruelling and thankless maintenance session) and I’m about to do the final oil change of the trip. Fingers crossed, the bike will now get me all the way back to Leamington Spa in its current configuration.

Galveston, Texas. Haha. What a hoot. While changing the tyres (near Victoria, Texas) I caught the attention of a couple of passing bikers. “Come to Galveston”, they said. “Massive bike rally for the entire weekend”.

“Erm, OK. Will I be allowed? I am riding a Yamaha, not a Harley”.

“Yeah. You should be fine.”

There must have been at least 2,000 Harley Davidsons there, with a smattering of Suzukis and Kawasakis, but my dirty little Yammy stood tall, proud and unique. Definitely the only bike with GB plates too! 🙂

The event was quite the spectacle, and these people had obviously spent serious time, effort, and/or money to ‘pimp their bikes’. It looked like these machines only existed to be shown off at events, perhaps riding for only 200 miles per year. Each to their own, I guess.

Louisiana seems nice so far – the folk here are much more willing to talk to travellers than those in Texas were. It’s been suggested that the deep south is a relaxed and welcoming place, so I’m assuming the ride from here to Georgia’s Atlantic coast will be pleasant.

After crossing the mighty Mississippi river and lunching in New Orleans tomorrow, I’ll be taking the coast road towards the state of Mississippi and then I’ll turn inland a bit. It looks like Alabama and Georgia have some nice wiggly roads away from the coast. The Louisiana coast is very industrial (petrochemicals, I guess), and where the land has been left wild, it really is wild – swampland, marshes and alligators. None of these are very good for wild camping.

My guess is that I’ll be in South Carolina at some point this weekend, or early next week, and then we’ll see if the Appalachians are still good for riding or if it’s too cold already. Hopefully I’ve still got some uppy/downy/wiggly mountain roads to ride between here and New Hampshire!

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