Saturday, 29 April 2006

Hell hath no fury like Washington's streets ...

24 April - Woke up and was out of the Arthaus Hostel before 9 - didn’t see anybody at all in the morning - some guy had left his stuff on one of the bunks but I never saw him and the manager of the hostel wasn’t to be seen when I left so I skipped out with little trouble. Stopped at 'Granny's Kitchen' for a southern styled breakfast - not as friendly as they were down in Lousiana, despite laying on the aussie charm all the locals seem to be view out of towners with a bit of suspicion. The drive towards Washington was a bit longer than expected. I don’t know what route times I was looking at when I planned the route but it took the best part of the day and when I actually arrived in Washington that was when the nighmare started. I got off at a rest stop to try to book a hostel - the one I’d planned on staying at had apparently closed down and the other one I found was completely booked and I had to take a very expensive private room - also the guy at the desk had no idea how to direct me to the place and none of maps covered the area where the hostel was at. Absolute hell is the only was I can describe driving into Washington. The sun was glaringstraight into my eyes for most of the time, the visitors centre was closed (i couldn’t actually get to it anyway) and it was peak hour. I occasionally got directions from people which sent me in he complete wrong direction it seemed and I started screaming myself hoarse to relieve the stress of my predicament (if you're doing this kind of particular stress relief it helps to ensure that you've closed your windows). On more than one occasion in the 15 hours I spent wandering I decided I would just skip Washington altogether but the hours were getting later and I had my wanderings had made it impossible to find the exit to get out of the city. Admittedly, I did get a brief view of some of the highlights on my drive through the core so i could calim to have seen the white house even if I did get out of the city on that night. However, after almost losing my voice and my nerves eventually I turned a corner and found myself right out front of the hilltop hostel. Checked in and found that someone else had arrived who also wanted the final room available there so ... They charged us both dorm rates and everything worked out okay after all and rather than sharing a dorm with a dozen people i'm only sharing it with one.
Very nice group of people at the hostel - and a very sociable atmoshpere - ended up playing texas hold em (no money unfortunattly???) with a couple of germans, a new yorker, a very swet finnish girl, a couple of guys from las vegas and a smatterinof others who came and went as they pleased.

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