Sunday, 23 November 2008

Pendleton - Greenville (November 22)

Day 69

I only had 40 odd miles to cover today, so visited some friends of Eliza & Colin round the corner. They proved that Americans can actually put one foot in front of the other repeatedly to perform a motion known as 'walking'! Yes, we actually walked a couple of blocks! Not only that, but Aidan, the three year old, had taken a shine to me and he offered me his hand. Both he and Molly were adorable. Neil & Sue had moved from England 10 or so years ago and also taught at the local university in Clemson. They introduced me to a game called Bananagrams, which is actually a similar version of the 'Pick up two' game I played in Salt Lake City. All the lettered tiles are turned over, each player takes 21 and tries to form a crossword grid of words. It's all about speed and once again Eliza illustrated her incredible gift for obscure words. Later she made me an 'omelette baguette' and I hit the road. Again in the 30s, although Neil had said it was unseasonably cold and could well reach the 70s any time soon.

Journeyed east to Greenville, the downtown area of which seemed pretty nice, although the outlying districts were the usual chain outlets and urban decay stuff that America does so well and ubiquitously. Tonight was special because I was meeting my brother, Anthony, and his fiancée, Rachel, and we would be staying in a motel together. Anthony & Rachel lived in Boston, where they worked as a chemist and sign language interpreter respectively. Anthony would be riding with me to Charleston and Rachel would be driving to each motel they had booked along our route. This part of America was as weird to them as America was to me generally, as The South is so far removed from the North East. They were disappointed that they had driven a thousand miles south in 24 hours (with a night's rest in Pennsylvania) and it was just as cold here as it had been in Boston. It was great to see them, talk about my experiences (candidly) and their forthcoming wedding. We dined at a nearby restaurant called The Flat Rock Grille, where I had a tasty tuna salad. Anthony and I didn't play Scrabble, as by the time we got back to the motel it was nearly 11 pm and we had a long day in the saddle ahead of us.

In the morning there was the most fantastic free breakfast in the lobby (pancakes, French toast, eggs, muffins, fruit, cereal, yogurt, coffee, orange juice, bagels, etc, etc) and I went to town.

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