Maine Course

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So here we are in the United States of America again, this time at Bar Harbor, Maine. Bar Harbor is a cute little village on Mount Desert Island - an odd name for an island that looks remarkably unlike a desert. Mount Desert Island is mostly taken up with the Acadia National Park and a large mountain called Mount Cadillac. As the CAT ferry approached the shore it was quite impressive to see Mount Cadillac rising sharply out of the misty shoreline.

Once in the village we did the usual ritual of checking out a few hotels to find somewhere reasonable to stay the night. I cringe every time I convert the prices back to Australian dollars, but I guess that’s just the price of travelling in another country. Accommodation costs are not cheap, especially when you really only want a place to lay your head for the night, and will not be in the room much anyway, but there’s little that can be done about it so we just accept it and will worry about it later. Ce la rue.

Bar Harbor was nice, but almost seemed a little pretentious. There are only so many souvenir shops, T-shirt shops and outdoor bar and grill places needed in a small village, so perhaps after seeing an endless stream of such places over the last couple of weeks it all started to look just a little overdone. Or maybe it really was overdone, in ways that only Americans seem to be able to overdo. Either way, it was a nice place but there was not a lot there to convince us to stay beyond the next morning. We took a drove up to the National Park gates, but decided not to pay the entry fee to go in so we hit the road for the drive south.

Steve from PEI had suggested a few places to see as we traveled south through Maine, and we tried to stop in to look at a few of them as we moved down the Maine coastline. It was a pretty drive but traffic along the coast road was ridiculous, crawling along through the towns and villages, so eventually we got back onto the main highway and just wanted to get through to Boston for the night. We did take a small detour through to Old Orchard Beach, a small beachside town that reminded me of what Surfers Paradise looked like 40 years ago. Kate was really keen to go for a swim at the beach, but we decided to press on. Parking was difficult and expensive, and although we parked illegally in a hotel carpark for a quick walk down to the water, we didn’t want to come back to find our car had been towed away. We really don’t realise how lucky we are in Australia to have our beautiful beaches and the freedom to enjoy them... The beach at Old Orchard Beach was ok I guess, but made us realise just how spoilt for beaches we are back home.

The other exception to our run to Boston was to visit Kittery, a town known for virtually nothing except the fact that it has dozens and dozens of outlet stores. Lots of big name clothing and footwear stores have outlets here, selling their wares at “discounted” prices. There was probably a few bargains to be had, but mostly I didn’t think things were particularly cheap, although the girls enjoyed the thrill of the chase and spent a good couple of hours on the hunt for a bargain.

We eventually kicked on, travelling though New Hampshire briefly before entering Massachusetts and aiming for the heart of Boston.

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