Saturday, 24 May 2014

American Road Trip - Myrtle Beach and a gorilla - part 9

Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort (Owner's Units), Myrtle Beach
from this.......



to this - and everything in between!
Myrtle Beach  Wax Museum
including a huge King Kong, who's the front man for a new wax museum.  (Don't ask!)  "The Great Ape of Myrtle Beach" can be found on the corner of US 17 bypass and 21st Avenue North - he is big!

We're going to stay at Myrtle Beach.  Not on the beach you understand, but with hosts Ariel and Mark.  The GPS takes us to an apartment block in one of those suburban communities that we have found very common near big towns.  Not a huge block, just a 4 apartment block.  Get it right though, should be calling them condos!  So now we know where we will sleep, we take the road for the beach. We'd been told that Myrtle Beach was a must-see, a cross between Blackpool and Southend.  Well, there's no Blackpool Tower.  But there are miles of holiday homes, hotels, bars are eating places.  We can't see the water, but like the Outer Banks, the shoreline has been built on, so you know that the water is just behind the hotels and eateries.  Perhaps it's a bit like Benidorm, in Spain - not that we have ever been, although we've seen plenty of pictures.  What is the same as all the holiday spots mentioned, is the number of bare arms, backs and bellies with that lovely red glow that means it will hurt for days afterwards!  What we did see were Harley Davidsons in their hundreds, polished to within an inch of their lives, gleaming chrome and leather.  And with the exception of I think 2 riders, everyone of them mounted by people in Tshirts and shorts!  What, no leathers?  no spine protectors? no helmets?  Nope!  Just cruisin' and meeting - in groups, singly, in ones and twos - for it is Bike Week at Myrtle Beach.  We spot signs saying "Myrtle Beach Welcomes Bikers!", and I am sure they do, the revenue that must be created this one week early in the season just must be enormous.

And just to remind you how big it actually is, From North Myrtle Beach down to Murrell's Inlet, all one enormous strip of holiday good times, is thirty seven miles.  Let me say that again.  37 miles.  Enough.  This is not our kind of holiday, but it had to be seen;  so, leaving it to the bikers we make our way inland a couple of miles and back to our room for the night.  We arrive back to the spot the GPS directed us to.  No answer at the door.  Perhaps they are late home from work?  Using the throwaway phone I ring.  Yes, they are home, and we are obviously not at the right address!  We check the address and the GPS who is still saying "You have arrived at your destination" in that particularly cool, calm English way even though we have not!  With Ariel on the phone giving directions, I get out of the car and run walk as fast as I can to the end of the street, where I find that I am not on Ariel's street at all, and we need to drive a bit further.  Not far though - around 150 yards maximum and when we drive past the right building, there are Ariel and Mark waving from their upstairs porch so that we can find them!  So we go into their lovely condo, cool and calm after the heat outside and the GPS's error and have a chat and a cup of tea.  Soon they are off out for a pizza, and we are left to our own devices, charging up the ultrabook so that we can get in touch with folk, and reading emails etc.  Everyone we meet is so trusting and so gracious, it's a pleasure to travel this way.