Friday, 23 July 2010

Holiday snaps part 3 - Cape Cod

Finally!  The last leg of the mega-holiday, including such highlights as "Boiling in Provincetown", "Lobster II" and "Nantucket - The Spraining."  Bet you're glad you looked in, aren't you?

We drove back from New Hampshire, past Boston, taking in some of the famous Afternoon Traffic Queue On The Way To The Cape, which was a nice ambition realised.  Our friend was delighted to see us, which, considering we were going to be eating her out of house and home for a fortnight, was remarkably nice of her. 

The weather took a turn for the unfeasibly hot while we were on the Cape, temperatures of 30-plus degrees day after day, which meant that we lived in shorts and t-shirts, and all the clothes we'd packed for "cool evenings" were left mouldering sadly in our cases.  I had packed a selection of shawls, pashminas, scarves and even a cardigan. None of them were used once.

My joy at being back on the Cape was slightly tempered by the headlines in the local paper, all about how Great White Sharks were back, swimming around just off Nauset Beach chasing seals into the shallow water.  The sharks were spreading joy and excitement among the marine biologists, but also buggering up my plans to swim off Nauset Beach, and possibly get up close to the seals. 

To compensate for this mighty blow, we went out for another lobster dinner. 

There was some sort of salty old sea-dog band entertaining the diners with sea shanties and accordian music, and later in the evening, a solitary guitarist who wandered between the tables, playing mournful songs.  What made it even sadder was his tips bag, strapped to his waist.  If you wanted to tip him, you had to get up really close and drop the money in, a horribly intimate thing; he had the bag strapped to his belt, so you'd have been groping about in his trouser area.  Brrrrrrrrr.

We champed through our lobsters and sweetcorn, trying not to notice the minstrel and his trouser bag of woe. 

Also paid a visit to my arch enemy Dr Gravity's Kite Shop. 

He sells kites.  Including a kite shaped like a horse.  Can you imagine how terrifying it would be, seeing that bearing down on you from the sky? 

Plenty of other, less fearsome, kites too, though, as well as whirly things you hang in the garden.  We bought one with a lighthouse on it, and will adorn one of the many, many WithaY sheds with it. 

There's a lot of Nature on the Cape.  We went and looked at some of it up close.  There are several families of Osprey living in nest boxes in the marshes, and you can walk close enough to them to take a really blurry picture with a zoom lens.  Well, I was happy just to see them, to be honest.  One day when we were at the beach (not Nauset though, not with the fucking sharks, oh no matey, no thank you) we saw one flying along, looking for fish.  They're surprisingly large, and the big hooked beak looks like it could eviscerate you no trouble at all.  So don't piss off an Osprey, is my advice.

We also went to a beach with the most amazing boardwalk.  This was the latter part of the holiday after I'd sprained my ankle so I gimpily hopped along the first few yards, then gave up and sat on a bench while the others went all the way to the end. 

To infinity and beyond!  Our friend had very resourcefully found me an old broom handle to lean on as I walked, so I amused myself by waving it at them and saying "Fly, you fools! Fly!" as they went off to explore the far-away end of the boardwalk.  They, probably wisely, ignored me. 
The view from the invalid's bench was pretty nice too.

Look, here's me and Mr WithaY on the boardwalk.  You can't see my Staff of Leaning. 

And of course, there was the ill-fated, disaster-laden trip to Nantucket.  What a day.  On the high speed ferry out from Hyannis, my eye was caught by this advert in the free newspaper. 

I had no idea that Lung in Vomit was a Nantucket speciality.  Things went, quite literally, downhill from there, thanks to this...the Pothole of DOOM.  Yes, DOOM. Possibly even DOOOOOOOOOOM.

See that pedestrian crossing on the right?  I was walking across it, minding my own business, looking at the traffic (safety first!) when I must have put my foot in the hole, turned my ankle over and went down like a 5'10" sack of shite, not to put too fine a point on it.  I hit the tarmac, and once the initial "What the FUCK?" moment passed, realised I was:

(a) on the ground 
(b) in the middle of the road
(c) the centre of an alarmed crowd
(d) injured and bleeding.  Maimed, in fact. 

A kind lady was fussing over me, I was muttering "fucking hell" under my breath, the traffic was held up as there was a body in the road (mine), and the local police/community support/Scouts were mobilising into action.  It was like a scene from a disaster movie, but without the volcano. 

My day in Nantucket, therefore, consisted of hopping painfully between places, then sitting with my foot up, taking ibuprofin and whining loudly.  Here's me in a coffee shop that had free WiFi access, drinking an iced latte.

It's a rubbish quality picture because I took it on my phone and have no idea how to embiggen it without making it blurry.  You get the idea, though.

But, the main reason for the trip was the Whaling Museum.  And it was absolutely marvellous.  Here it is from the bench I sat on outside.

They have about a million exhibits, most of them made of bits of whale, some of them just wonderful.

I liked the huge Mobile Of Many Whales they have hanging in the front of the building.

They also have, in case you somehow manage to miss the whole whale-related theme, a skeleton of a whale that was washed up on the shores a few years ago.  It's HUGE and looks like a dinosaur.

The day in Provincetown was HOT, baby, damn hot.  I think it may have been the hottest day of the entire holiday, and we were out at sea, whalewatching for a chunk of it, thankfully.  My whale pictures are rubbish, but take my word for it, it was thrilling.

Here we are on the whaewatch boat.

And here's a whale, chilling out.

Once off the boat, we found a place to eat and sat panting in their airconditioned room, surrounded by very loud, very gay men, all having a fine old time.  I saw this as we walked through the town.

We did a sunset dune buggy tour, ending at a beach where we watched the sun go down (there was a clue on the name of the tour, really).  The dunes are unearthly, I liked them very much. 

Parts of them look like how I imagine the Veldt looks. 

Parts of them don't.

That teeny black speck on the upper right?  That's a seal.  Honest. 

Ok, I can sense that people are probably losing the will to live now with all the "what I did on my holidays" stuff, but to be fair, that's all that this blog has ever been about.  I reserve the right to post more photos as and when I feel like it though, I took loads.  LOADS. 

So, a picture I took out of the window of the plane as we flew home.  I might use it as an album cover when I get my arse in gear and become a successful professional musician*. 

Hello sky, hello clouds. 

I saw a crop circle from the air too, which was lovely, somewhere between Cardiff and Bath I think, but I was too slow and the clouds were too numerous to get a picture of it.

Other news:  I am off to the doctor to get my ankle checked out as it is still BLOODY painful and I can't walk any kind of distance, which is tiresome and slightly worrying.  I don't think it's fractured, but it's hard to tell, so I will feel better once it's been poked by a professional.  Ooh matron.

Also, went to Fat Club this week, and despite the lobster, butter, ice cream, fried clams, Reeses' peanut butter cups, nachos, cocktails and eggs benedict diet I followed, have lost 2 pounds while I was away.  So yay me.   

Oh, and to end, this was the sign outside Harwich library, where I borrowed their pcs a couple of times.  I think they just thought of random words that children would like and slapped them on a noticeboard.  I hope it worked. 

*Never. But in my head, one day. 


badgerdaddy said...

I'm impressed by the potential of the Four Horsekites of the Apocalypse. I'd have had to buy four, see.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog...I like it as I too like photos of anything & everything & I like your sense of may just have inspired me enough to put some on my (not used much these days) the meantime I hope your foot is better soon
Karol...with a K from the beautiful Hunter Valley in Oz

livesbythewoods said...

Badgerdaddy, that is BRILLIANT. God, I wish I'd thought of that at the time.

Karol, hello! And thank you, the foot is buggered but the rest of me is fine thanks. Send me a linky thing to the blog....