7 June 2008

Eugene



I managed to get 11 hours sleep last night despite what was all in all a crappy hotel. The Americans have a great expression, "Nickel and Dimed" meaning when someone screws you on the small things and is trying to squeeze cash out of you. There have been a few places on this trip where I have felt I have been screwed, be it a restaurant in the middle of nowhere asking for $5 to use their wireless when I had already spent $20 on a meal or a shopkeeper asking for a dollar just to fill up with tap water. Last night, I got a room with no heater, rubbish bed lined, and no tv or wifi which was directly above the bar so I had a load of drunken noise coming from there until after 11. This wouldn't be a terrible thing but I got the impression that the slightly high room price was made up on the spot when I arrived and the owner calculated the price that a cold and wet cyclist would pay for a dry room! This kind of slyness is a real shame and hopefully in the long run does them no favours as cyclists along the route recommend hotels and campsites to each other and equally will warn each other off these bad places.

That aside, I set off mid morning into a clear blue sky which soon enough saw me coming and switched to clouds and rain but I notched up 15 miles and got some breakfast down the road which filled me nicely. 15 miles later along a pretty busy and scary 126 highway (I took this rather than the more circuitous route by mistake)and I was into Eugene an hour too late to catch the "Global Naked Bike Ride" that was in town apparently!

I chilled in town for a while before heading to an internet cafe to begin uploading my photos from the trip that haven't made it on yet, then took a break to get a hotel and look around town. Eugene is the biggest stop on the route at about 130,000 population and it appears to be a mecca for the 'alternative community'. Town was filled with tattoos, piercings and general scabby looking folk in need of showers but it did give the place a relaxed hippy kind of vibe. The photos up top were in the middle of the town where some kind of bongo and flute playing improv session was going on with a pretty strong whiff of dope!

I finished uploading my photos so we should have a full set from Day One of the trip now. I realised that I could just switch my memory card from the first camera into the second to get those photos before I went home and it did the job so enjoy!
I am 78 miles from the coast and will probably head over there tomorrow depending on how this evening goes as there are some bands on in the town centre that I might go and catch but I it is nice to have time on my side for a change!

Also, if you haven't got around to donating to the NACC, then please do go to www.justgiving.com/transamerica as they are a great cause and could use all the help they can get!

1 comment:

miles archer said...

I think you're missing the crux of the meaning of "nickel and dime". It means to add small charges/fees to many things. Just being expensive isn't what it's about.

By the way, charging for water? What a crock!