Portland Maine Wednesday 22nd-Friday 24th July by Helen

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.

Salty Acres

Good Things

  1. 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.
  2. Number one applies even more in Maine. As you cross the border from New Hampshire, you notice this immediately.
  3. Maine is instantly likeable. There is a funky vibe.
  4. There are lots of bars and pubs in Maine.
  5. 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.
  6. The Wholefoods supermarket in Portland actually is heaven.
  7. You can grind your own peanut butter from real peanuts in Wholefoods and buy 5 different sorts of kale.
  8. On the turnpike (toll motorway) you can ride at 75mph.
  9. Everything is very convenient here.
  10. Beer is very cold.

Bad things

  1. 55 miles per hour is very slow.
  2. All houses in New England are clapboard style. This is really quaint initially but gets very boring after a few days.
  3. We saw no bars or pubs in New Hampshire.
  4. New Hampshire should change its motto to Live Free and Die of Boredom.
  5. There are lots of out of town shopping malls. They all look the same.
  6. How much demand for drive in donuts can there possibly be?
  7. Walmart is horrible. I mean really horrible. I won’t be going there again…ever.
  8. There is a lot of food…everywhere.

Things that Surprised Us

  1. Across New England there is lots of interesting 19th century architecture, including massive mills much bigger than the ones in the north of England.
  2. A tube of Sensodyne whitening toothpaste costs $8.49!
  3. All campsites allow fires and sell firewood.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Drivers don`t like it when you filter on the motorbike. One guy called Dave an asshole.

Supermarkets in Order of Preference

  1. Wholefoods
  2. Market Basket
  3. Stop and Shop
  4. Walmart

2 thoughts on “Portland Maine Wednesday 22nd-Friday 24th July by Helen

  1. 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?

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