Monday, 11 July 2016

Tubing on the Saco River, New Hampshire

Leaving at 8:30am, Sophie drove us three hours to Saco River just outside of North Conway in New Hampshire. It was where I’d been wishing I could if I had a car! But Sophie, the most amazing host that she is, drove me there herself instead. Otherwise there’s no way I could have afforded to go bless her golden heart.

Along the way, the views were just completely gorgeous! We ended up picking up a hitchhiker. We had discussed this the day previously, about how we always wish we could pick people up who are standing at bus stops etc. but fear being seen as weird – least hitchhikers are there with the purpose of being picked up! So, as we drove past we assessed how creepy he looked and decided he was probably fine. And that he was! Honestly he didn’t say a word the entire drive. Just as we were dropping him off we learnt a tiny bit about him – he was from Maine, just hitchhiking during the summer, and was 20 years old. He was harmless enough.

Anyway, it cost $20 each for the tube rental from here. We chose the 3-mile trip which had ‘3 sections of small rapids as well as beaches and rope swings, approximately 3-4 hours’. Honestly, in hind sight this was slightly too long – while the first few hours were super enjoyable, by the end we just wanted to get off but it seemed like forever away!



It was the most relaxing and peaceful thing ever though, and honestly with the sun shining so strong, a wonderful cocktail canned drink in my hand, and such a chilled atmosphere, I just couldn’t help but wonder if life ever gets better than this! Half-way through though we realized the sun was super strong and maybe we ought to put some sun screen on… turns out it was a bit too late. Luckily I was nowhere near as burnt as Thailand, but Sophie was pretty damn red.

After the tubing had ended, we stopped at McDonalds for some lunch/ dinner. It was the coolest McDonalds I’ve been to, it was completely New Hampshire themed - the booth we sat in was an old gondola and had skis attached to the outside of it. For some reason though, I don’t know whether it was the sudden intake of salt combined with how dehydrated I was, but my stomach suddenly felt like I was dying and I had to get Sophie to pull over so I could wretch/ lie on the floor in a ball while my body had a mini-break down. There’s definitely something terribly wrong with me… but time will tell! Anyway, after drinking a bottle of water I felt a tiny bit better so laid down in the back of the car and we set off again.

  

We came across this trail called Ripley Falls, and not knowing what to expect other than knowing it was a 20 minute hike, we set off into the woods and climbed up a bit. Much to our surprise the waterfall was pretty damn big! It was beautiful and really peaceful because we were the only people there. If you read my blog religiously, you’ll know I basically rate places on how empty they are as I find having tons of other people around really detracts from the beauty of a place as part of it is time to reflect and the tranquility I feel staring at a place.

 

On the way home we detoured so I could actually look at Montpelier briefly. It’s the nation’s smallest capital and it comes as no surprise when you visit the place. It was honestly about the size of my home-village Capel St Mary. The Capitol building was nothing like the one in Austin Texas for example. I don’t know why they often put the capitals in such odd locations, but I’m slowly making my way around them!

 
When we finally got back home (it felt like it took forever), I just had sandwiches for dinner and Josh, Sophie, Meghan and I decided to venture to get ice creams. I got a maple syrup creamie from a shack in front of the lake. In the UK we definitely need to get on that maple syrup hype! It’s great! Anyway, the others caught some Pokémon, and I got frustrated because I couldn’t, as my server wasn’t loading! Boohooooo, so Meghan kindly let me use hers – yay! Honestly in the 10 minute walk there, we saw about 100 people playing the game, it’s sweeping the nation at an astounding rate, can’t imagine what it’ll be like when it finally reaches the UK! That said… most desperate people like myself just made a US or AUS itunes account in order to download the game anyway.

Overall, a top day with magnificent people :).

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