So I messed up with North Carolina and still kicking myself for it!!
I left Virginia and headed to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, this is a lovely beach resort, it's a stretch of land that is a string of islands only connected back to mainland by 2 ferries at the bottom. So I stayed the first night in a town called Kill Devil Hills which sounded menacing but was a beach town with not much going on so I ended up going to the local cinema to watch the new Hunger Games.
So the temperature here keeps changing so much, one day its sunny and I'm walking round in a t-shirt and the next day is just a few degrees, high winds and just freezing! So I wake up and its blowing a gale and it's freezing, so my visions of going for an autumn walk along the beaches soon vanishes as it's just too windy, bringing with it such a cold temperature.
So I head the 70 odd miles along the coast, thinking I can view the scenery from the car, which I did, it was lovely, only one road that runs the whole way down the outer Banks and the wind was so strong it was blowing the dunes onto the roads and there were diggers fighting a losing battle of getting the sand off the road. It felt like I was driving on a beach sometimes, I worried if Reg would be able to cope, but he did me proud! So I made it to Hatteras for the 1pm ferry across to Ocracoke island. It took 40 minutes and you sit in your car the whole way and it was choppy as anything, waves came over the side of the boat and were splashing my car!
So I made it in one piece and headed across Ocracoke island to get the 2nd ferry to the main land so that I could carry on south to my hotel, however I got to the ferry terminal and it was closed due to high winds and the only way back was to head the way I had come. So I drove back to the first ferry to only find out that the next one was at 4! So I had a 2 hour wait and it was sooooo cold, so I didn't dare venture too far from the car. Finally made it back to Hatteras and had to go back the 70 odd miles to the next road and then 200 miles south to my hostel!! So I spent the next 5 hours driving through North Carolina in the dark! So the state that I wanted to spend some time in, turned out to be a night drive and I wish I had headed inland a bit more which I originally thought of doing, but oh well, it's just an excuse to come back at some point in the future for a holiday and it was a great adventure of random driving and lots of sand!!
So the next day I again I have a 6 hour drive to Charleston in South Carolina. This was a nice drive, the south is lovely to drive through, all the trees still have their leaves and more and more palm trees are popping up. I arrive into Charleston and hit the weird one way system again and end up looping around a lot till I get to the hostel which is in an awesome house. I can't check in till 5pm, so I decide to head into Charleston and wander around. Charleston is a lovely city, which beautiful architecture and old fashioned dress, the bow tie seemed popular here.
I head back to the hostel before I gets too dark due to the fact that the area the hostel in is a little bit out of the main area and check in. The place is massive but pretty much empty! But I make a friend!! I've been alone a lot, especially with staying in motel's I've not spoken to many people over the past week, so it was lovely to meet Sabine who is travelling the US for a few months, we end up chatting all night and she decided to change her plans and stay an extra night so that she could drive down to Savannah with me where she could get the bus to Jacksonville.
So the next day we head out together and wander the streets and go and see the indoor market, the weather is really warm again, almost stormy warm, and low and behold it starts to absolutely chuck it down with rain. Luckily it's so warm that I didn't mind getting soaked through, we split up for a while so that I could do a mini bus tour of the area, which was great fun considering the roads were getting slightly flooded in areas. The tour also included a plantation house and an audio tour around it, which involved me running for cover a lot of the time out of the rain. After the tour I met up with Sabine again and we decided to try out one of the free street trolley's to get back to the area the hostel was in. Well the man drove like a crazy person and the thunder and lightening started and the rain kept going, that was an experience to try out the trolley car and maybe wonder if I was driving around cities in the wrong way, weaving in between traffic erratically seemed the way to go!!
So me and Sabine decided to try another Man Vs Food recommendation that was not far from the hostel, it was called Hominy Grill. This was a great choice, we had some really awesome food, shrimp and grits and a chicken in bread crumbs in between a biscuit with sausage gravy, also pies for dessert. We were thoroughly stuffed and decided to grab a bottle of wine to sit on the porch and watch the rain and drink in the humid evening. Lovely end to Charleston experience and then off to Georgia tomorrow. That can be in my next blog! Ciao