I arrived in chilly New York early evening on Tuesday 29th April and got a shuttle bus to Hostelling International way up on 103rd street. Decent place - my 6-bed dorm was full and friendly - there was a fella from Dublin I got on well with in the bunk below me, an Italian cyclist, and an Algerian guy who prayed a lot, including 5am in the morning! The area wasn't the best, I ate at a chinese place on my first night after walking past a couple of dingy pizza places.
On Wednesday in spring sunshine I got the subway early morning into Times Square and found an excellent deli for breafast, then walked down Broadway to see the Statue of Liberty and then went on towards Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge. I then walked the 3 hours back to 103rd street and met Kevin Flynn (a friend from TACA days) and we had a top evening out at the ESPN Sports Bar and Hard Rock Cafe.
Following day I did even more walking in an effort to improve my fitness (it didnt really work as I struggled badly at my first circuit training class on my return!) I walked from the Hostel to the Statten Island Ferry. The ride over was chilly but took you closer to the Statue of Liberty however there isnt a lot to see there and the people looked a bit rough so I just went into a small baseball stadium and saw the 9/11 monument before walking back to the hostel.
I woke on my last day to very grey skies and a chilly breeze and just had a walk around Central Park in the morning, it was a bit maze-like in there as they were getting ready for an event over the weekend. I got back to the hostel for a quick lunch then waited half an hour for my shuttle bus to JFK airport. The traffic was awful and we were all getting a bit edgy about being late but thanks to the driver disregarding certain traffic regulations we made it. My flight home left an hour late and arrived about 8.45am on Saturday and it was great to see Mum and Dad waiting in arrivals.
Thats that then. I have had a great time, it certainly wasn't all fun and sunshine but I've been to places and done some activities I never thought I would so its been the adventure I hoped it would be. I wish I could have told myself that when I left feeling more nervous than I let on six months ago about travelling to such foreign places on my own. I havent found that too much of a problem, I met plenty of people to chat too (particulary when the cricket was on) and met some friends from home. I would love to do something like this again someday! Thanks to everyone whose read this and stayed in contact, and gave there help and support in so many ways.