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Wanderlust cured’s Travel Diary

Friday, 16 Oct 2009

Location: Somewhere on the Pacific Hwy, USA

MapThen it rained...

So the camping ended up being the Wal-Mart car park – although I must say it was the nicest Wal-Mart car park I had come to stay in since this trip. A classy dinner at a local diner last night was all that and more than I expected from a classic U.S diner. The waitress was wearing a t-shirt which had the image of a nicer shirt printed onto it. The cups and jugs were all plastic. All you can eat ribs and J’s coke was the size of a small aircraft. She knew all the other customers by name and the pink fluorescent light made Lester look purple outside. I had a bud beer, just cause I was now in the U.S and I discussed that for the price of the meal we could eat for 30 days on tinned goods for dinner. Although it would save money I don’t think my body could take eating baked beans for the next 30 days.

Then rain trickled a little last night, it poured overnight and continued well into today. I went shopping in the 24 hr Wal-Mart and bought some fluffy pyjama pants and some road trip snacks as I thought we weren’t going to be doing a huge amount of sightseeing with the rain. It’s unfortunate to hit rain right now as we begin the Pacific Hwy – one of the most famous drives in the world.

We stopped at Starbucks for a drink and the use of their wonderful free internet (saviour when you’re travelling and you can count on them being everywhere!) for some research on the next part of the trip. It still amazes me that you can be on your merry way in life, contained somewhat in a kind of bubble and someone comes into your life to change it a little or even change it dramatically. The gentleman served us at Starbucks with a big smile and as we asked about internet connection in the U.S – I assumed it would be similar to Canada, he gave his personal log in to save the trouble of signing up. He guessed the accents to be from Australia or NZ and seemed to know huge amounts of information about Australia. He knew both Hobart and Launceston in Tasmania! A large number of people I have met in Canada and the U.S think that Tasmania is its own country – but alas, 500,000 people I doubt could support a decent economy. He continued to help us with the internet and chat to us about places that we should visit, places he had been and they all sounded wonderful – exactly the kinds of places I would like to see in the U.S. He came out on his break and chatted more, we swapped emails and I said he should definitely come to Australia – and it definitely sounds like he plans too. He even came back later to offer to take us to a special place with amazing trees on his day off the next day! Unfortunately we couldn’t stay much longer as J had found a car show on in Vegas that we would need to keep on our schedule for. If only life allowed you infinite amounts of time, but I doubt it would remain as precious. Most of the time we spent researching another older gentleman sat with us talking to us about all sorts of things and helped us out on places to go and see, he has his PhD in psychology and I think he was interested in asking lots of questions. The people here are so willing to show you the amazing parts of their country and its so lovely considering the stereotype sometimes associated with Americans – I have found this to be just not true at all. The younger guy sat behind me on his next break and discussed where he had travelled and why he was in Aberdeen, what he currently does and we discussed local politics as he worked for a Senator. I left Starbucks feeling refreshed and ready for life, although I knew we were going to see some wonderful sights the rest of the day – I already knew this chance encounter was to make my day. I hope that he does travel to Australia with his friend when his friend returns from Iraq and I hope to backpack a part of their journey with them.

We are currently heading towards the Pacific Highway along a smaller countryside route (I love taking these roads) as the rain continues to belt down. I have seen lots of mole holes in people’s front yards and sadly, a couple of dead moles beside the roads. Im excited to see what the rest of the day has in store.