My Route

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Saturday, 30 June. Destination: Bar Harbor Hostel, Acadia National Park, Maine

My taxi glided through quiet 5am streets of Boston to the clean, modern bus station where a queue for the Bangor bus was already growing. I wanted to get some breakfast but didn’t want to loose my place: the next bus was not till lunchtime. When the bus arrived it was already half full, coming in from somewhere else. I didn’t expect that. Despite the resulting mild panic (I hate uncertainty on days that depend on schedules going to plan) I got a place - and somewhere on the road we even pulled in for breakfast. A few hours later arriving at Bangor, the Bar Harbor Shuttle Bus was already full and ready to go: fortunately, you could book that bus in advance and so the lady driver was waiting for me, with one spare space beside her. By coincidence, she turned out to be a keen cyclist who's also cycled across America, on the Transamerica Trail. She's currently planning Lands End to John O'Groats, so we spent the short journey from Bangor comparing notes and enthusing about bicycles.

So, I've arrived in Bar Harbor and all is well. The place is lovely - coastal Maine as I imagined it: all white-painted ship lapped houses and lobster shacks, with boats bobbing on the bay. The sea is sparkling and the sky is blue. First official meal of the trip: clam chowder, naturally. And, more importantly, there's a good bike shop to help me out with last-minute stuff. I'm currently sitting in a cool, shady internet cafe drinking a mango smoothie while listening to a precocious kid - 10 year old? - playing Mozart on the piano (quite well, actually). Edward and Ewa arrive tomorrow. I think I'll spend the rest of the afternoon down by the bay, gazing out to sea.