Posted by: robinson2000 | July 26, 2012

Mainly in Maine

25th – 26th July

Waking up after your first night in a tent for a while is always an interesting experience. Your back mimics the contours of the ground, and in this case it was full of pot holes from the sharp stones beneath the tent. By 8.30am we had packed up the tent and were 2 miles down the road in Camden for a breakfast that consisted of pancakes, syrup and a cream cheese bagel, all washed down with 2 cups of wake-me-up-shake-me-up coffee. Camden is an absolute beautiful town and it was shame that we had to move on so soon as the harbour area looked fantastic at that time of morning.

The sun was absolutely beating down as we left Camden and wound our way back onto Highway 1. For the next 2.5 hours, the route weaved on and off Highway 1, sometimes taking us on some short scenic routes. We’d covered about 30 miles by lunchtime and took a shady break under a tree next to a run-down convenience store. As I swotted the flies off what was meant to be a sandwich, I enquired if we could fill up our water bottles from a tap as we’d guzzled all of our water under the intense heat of the morning. The lady replied, with a scorn, “that the water here was undrinkable and I shouldn’t trust it”, to which i  asked sceptically, “we are in North America right?”.  The rest of the afternoon dragged on a bit as the hills got increasingly difficult like moving through the levels of some cruel computer game and our average speed dropped down to about 10 mph. Still the scenery was great and I was already developing a serious suntan under the scorching sun. After 63 miles we rolled in Thomas Point Campsite near the town of Brunswick about 5pm feeling very drained from the days exertions and was given a nice sandy spot next to the toilets (which became very useful later on). A shower and sitdown restored a sense of normality into our bodies, which had been through the wringer the last couple of days. That evening we found a Pizza Hut close by and I enjoyed a large pizza and wings. Unfortunately for Chris, he rapidly went from feeling a little sun stroke to feeling very unwell and we were forced to box up his pizza and return to the campsite. On the way back, his body decided to do something nasty and he had to make a mad dash into the nearest woods in order to save his underwear!

The following day everything was fine and we both felt a lot better. Breakfast was a painful affair with really poor service which didn’t deserve a tip. The days ride was much more pleasant as the temperature had dropped and the terrain was much flatter. Most of the towns we passed through such a Freeport were lovely, but one area felt like an Eminem music video with lots of tattooed white guys in baggy white t-shirts standing around their suped-up cars with the stereo blaring. We arrived in Kennebunk at 3.30pm, after 59 good miles. A couple of street signs made me smile. One said “slow, raised table” next to a speed bump and another said “stop when stopped bus”. Three days riding down and many more to go.

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  1. I wrote a poem about Brunswick, Maine, which appeared in the TLS a few years back. Never been there in person though. Some random info for ya!

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