So we left our lovely campsite at Harold Parker State Park and headed for Salty Acres Campground Maine via New Hampshire. Observations of New Hampshire and Maine so far.
- There is a lot of space in New England. They have a lot of land and it must be cheap as houses are big with big gardens and everything spreads out.
- Number one applies even more in Maine. As you cross the border from New Hampshire, you notice this immediately.
- Maine is instantly likeable. There is a funky vibe.
- There are lots of bars and pubs in Maine.
- Portland, Maine is a cool, low-rise city with a working port and a red brick downtown area full of funky cafes and new age shops.
- The Wholefoods supermarket in Portland actually is heaven.
- You can grind your own peanut butter from real peanuts in Wholefoods and buy 5 different sorts of kale.
- On the turnpike (toll motorway) you can ride at 75mph.
- Everything is very convenient here.
- Beer is very cold.
- 55 miles per hour is very slow.
- All houses in New England are clapboard style. This is really quaint initially but gets very boring after a few days.
- We saw no bars or pubs in New Hampshire.
- New Hampshire should change its motto to Live Free and Die of Boredom.
- There are lots of out of town shopping malls. They all look the same.
- How much demand for drive in donuts can there possibly be?
- Walmart is horrible. I mean really horrible. I won’t be going there again…ever.
- There is a lot of food…everywhere.
Things that Surprised Us
- Across New England there is lots of interesting 19th century architecture, including massive mills much bigger than the ones in the north of England.
- A tube of Sensodyne whitening toothpaste costs $8.49!
- All campsites allow fires and sell firewood.
- Road signs do not rely on symbols but give verbose written instructions. It is hard to determine the speed limit as it is written in black in a white square, usually with accompanying messages.
- 85% of motorcycles are Harleys. 50% of people wear no helmets. No one wears a jacket. Some ride on the motorway in only shorts and trainers (no shirt).
- It is still cool in North America to dress like a badass biker, especially if you are an accountant from Quebec. A bandana and a Harley Davidson T shirt are de rigeur.
- Drivers don`t like it when you filter on the motorbike. One guy called Dave an asshole.
Supermarkets in Order of Preference
- Market Basket
- Stop and Shop
Probably a bit late for this, but The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a great cafe/breakfast place. I have been there quite a few times my friend from NH (who happens to be vegan ) and was never disappointed. Massive portions too. I think they also have one in Cambridge now too?
I think we went to the one in Cambridge last night.