It was a very full on day today. Hectic even. Up at 6.15 am, having survived a night in Walmart’s car park. Oh dear. Once upon a time in another life, I frequented the best hotels! It seems a very distant memory. Still, it’s just somewhere to sleep. It wasn’t such a bad night, just a bit noisy. The main problem was the heat and humidity, nothing to do with the car park.
After porridge and packing up, we paid a visit to the store to buy some oil and a few groceries. On our return to the Land Rover, a couple of Irish guys were admiring her and the map of our journey. They turned out to be twins, one living in the UK, visiting the other who lives here. After a chat we proceeded to our 8.30 appointment at the Donaldson agent where we were collecting the pre-filter. This was quickly accomplished and the filter fitted and off we set for Boston.
I have to say I am not liking this part of the world very much. It is too busy. Too much traffic. 4 lane highways everywhere. It only took us an hour to get to downtown Boston and we managed to find metered parking without much difficulty. So, we had 2 hours and decided to take the Freedom Trail, a walking tour of the historic centre of the city.
We visited the Old South Meeting House, which saw the beginnings of the Boston Tea Party. (The British imposed a tax on tea. The Americans objected very strongly and dumped the tea in Boston harbour, rather than pay the tax. It became known as the Boston Tea Party). It was here that the plotting started to rid America of the British.
On to the Old State House, where the city’s first reading of The Declaration of Independence took place. Outside the Old State House, a ring of cobblestones marks the spot of the Boston Massacre, where yet another uprising fuelled the revolution. We walked through the Rose Kennedy Greenway. This is a 27 acre garden walkway with fountains and art installations and is located on the site of a former overhead highway, The road is now underground. A visit to the Paul Revere house followed. It’s the oldest clapboard house in Boston built in 1680. Paul Revere was a patriot who set out from this house to warn of the British march to Lexington and Concord.
We wandered around the market places that surround the Faneuil Hall and visited the Copp’s Hill Cemetery.
The city seems to be made up of predominantly Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants. The architecture in the older part of the city is a mixture of the original old brick and clapboard buildings, interspersed with more modern structures.
Rushing back to the Land Rover, we had noticed a lot of parking infringement notices on cars and didn’t want to get a ticket. Should we stay and have lunch. No, we decided to move on and head for Cape Cod. Back into the traffic morass. Once out of the city we took a turning off the highway and stopped in Weymouth for lunch and to refuel.
En route for Cape Cod we stopped in Plymouth “America’s Home Town”. It was here that the pilgrims first settled in1620, seeking a place where they could practice their religion without any government interference. It is a pleasant little town with a large harbour filled with a variety of craft. We called into the Tourist Office to ask if there were any campsites nearby and to find out where the Plymouth Rock – marking the spot where the pilgrims supposedly first stepped ashore, was located.
We also learned that the pilgrims were not quite the peace loving puritans we thought. They received news that they were about to come under attack by a local Indian tribe. A party, under the leadership of one, Myles Standish, went out and captured and beheaded the Indian leaders, bringing back their heads to display on poles around the settlement. The best way of deterring any attackers. We walked along the shoreline to find the famous Plymouth Rock. You couldn’t miss it as it was surrounded by a vast colonnaded structure. Totally ‘OTT’. The rock was very ordinary.
Back on the road again we quickly reached Cape Cod and headed for the campground at Scusset Beach. It was fully booked though. They had a sister camp, in Shawme-Crowell State Forest, so called them for us, to check if they had a spot available. They did and we camped among the trees. A reasonably peaceful site, but one can still hear the noise of traffic from a motorway somewhere not far away.