America – the Atlantic Ocean at last

Leaving Panama City I am very conscious of the fact that this is the last long drive, Im determined to enjoy every minute of it. I stop for gas, I’m calling it gas now, and am also used to the system – you don’t fill up and then pay here, you use your credit card at the pump… only I have not been able to do this as it wants a five digit ZIP code as well. I have to trot into the cashier, prepay, and then out to fill up. The little car has been incredibly economical, and of course fuel is much cheaper here along with many other things – cigarette’s for example – the Americans are amazed that we pay almost $20 a packet for Marlboro, varied here between about 5 to 6 dollars depending on which state I was in!

Coffee to go, and we are off north on Route 231 heading for Tallahassee. I’m looking to pick up Route 84 north of Tallahassee to take me straight to Savannah, and it should be a mere six hours!

On the road pictures…… I’m passing through a lot of cotton fields now, many of them have already been harvested but there are still plenty waiting.

Dusty road, trailer homes along it... think I might have missed my highway!

Dusty red dirt road, trailer homes along it… think I might have missed my highway!

Cotton waiting to be harvested

Cotton waiting to be harvested

The other thing I see a lot of is pecan plantations

Lots of pecan businesses down here... buy, sell, crack, preserve.. each one seems to offer everything you could possibly do with a pecan!

Lots of pecan businesses down here… buy, sell, crack, preserve.. each one seems to offer everything you could possibly do with a pecan!

I’m still ahead of the weather and it is a lovely day, the window’s down, and the stereo is cranking! Here in the deep south there are so many churches and congregations, lots of Baptists and Methodists, and at least six radio stations playing nothing but Christian music.

I reach Valdosta before stopping for lunch, it’s a pretty little town, and again a lot of the architecture is reminding me of Queensland…

IMAG1131

Southern Georgia - pretty little country towns

Southern Georgia – pretty little country towns, gently undulating fields and woods, lovely countryside.

I make it into Savannah, check in to my motel, and then drive the last eighteen miles east to reach the Atlantic at Tybee Island. So pleased with myself, even though the water is much colder than the Pacific or the Gulf, I have to have a little paddle in it on a wide and deserted beach with no one but an oystercatcher for company. What a thrill… and I also completed the trip on the same highway I started the journey on in San Diego two weeks ago. Screeched to a halt for this sign at the end of Tybee Island!

Came to a screaming halt for this sign!

Came to a screaming halt for this sign!

Cold... but so exciting, and only an oystercatcher to share it with me. Wonderful!

The extremely peaceful Atlantic ocean. Cold… but so exciting, and only an oystercatcher to share it with me. Wonderful!

Tybee Island is obviously a popular holiday destination and I imagine a welcome cool break from the heat and humidity of a Georgian summer. Lots of accommodation, and a lot of retiree’s, some spectacular architectural new homes in amongst older cottages along the waterfront and the one street. I drive back through the township and divert to visit the fortifications and lighthouse briefly before heading back into Savannah before it is dark. Georgia kindly throws on a beautiful sunset for me on the way across grassy swamplands on the landward side of the island, the road is built on a raised causeway but has frequent signs warning that it may be flooded at high tide (not remotely surprised at that!)

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