Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Atlantic shores

We're moving so fast that our blog is about 400 miles behind us! We've made it to Atlanta, Georgia now, the end of the car-driving part of this memorable journey (what lies ahead is a train trip to New York). And yet this blog posting comes from Tybee Island, about 18 miles east of Savannah, Georgia, right on the Atlantic Ocean coast. Gulliver wanted to celebrate the occasion, so here he is, preparing to get his feet wet.

"Hi everyone, Gulliver here: we've made it to the East Coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Woohoo! I know my mate Benno back in Sydney would like a surf report, and Benno, it's as flat as a tack here. Not a patch on Cronulla's break."

Thanks for that, Gulliver. As well as Gulliver contributing to this blog posting, all three of us will be writing something this time. Pammy takes a lot of the photos you see with each posting, but she also wants to say a few words later on down the page about a special spot we chanced upon here on Tybee. But before then, even driving over to Tybee Island was interesting. The whole coastal area from Savannah up to Charleston in South Carolina is flat, swampy and full of low islands, sinuous waterways and reed banks stretching away in the distance. To get to their boats, home owners on slightly higher ground have built long, long jetties out over the reed banks to little covered landings where their boats are suspended over the more open waterways.

Once you get to Tybee the low, coastal scrub continues all the way to the beach, but the plentiful walkways here protect the dunes and make it easy to get down to the shore.

There's an historic lighthouse out on the point, the third to be built here (the earlier two versions were both blown down by hurricanes until this sturdy, handsome one was built in the late 18th century).

Tybee Island itself is now one of those long beach resorts with houses and apartments stretching for miles along the straight stretch of beach. It's the tourist off-season now that it's Fall, but the place was lively enough, the many restaurants and bars still had customers, and people sunned themselves on the beach.

As mentioned earlier, though, Tybee does have a problem with Atlantic hurricanes, and the Fall season is the hurricane season around here. (My superb research prior to our trip missed out on that minor detail.) This storm surge pole down by the beach gives you some idea of how high the seas rise when a hurricane blows in. So, while it was a lovely place to be on the warm, sunny, calm day we visited, the island does have its moments.

However, as lovely as peaceful little Tybee was to visit, it was a quirky local restaurant and bar called Huc-a-Poo's (pictured below) that we chanced upon that was the real highlight of our day, and which has inspired Pammy to say a few words here.

Hi everyone, Pam here, as many of you will know I suddenly lost my twin brother Gary in a car accident in August 2010. It's because of that tragic event Jamie and I decided to take this holiday we had talked about for so long, as life is just too short and you need to do these things while you can. Every day we have been travelling there has been something along the way that has reminded me of Gary but when we walked into Huc-a-Poo's it just struck me immediately how much he would have loved the place and would have felt right at home.

To me it was "Gary Horsnell Heaven" and I know that somehow he will find this place as it has everything he would enjoy. It's near the water, the bar was very casual with friendly locals standing around chatting, there was an area where you could smoke, the TV on the wall was continuously tuned to the Sports channel and the food was pretty good too! But it was the ambience of the place and the ramshackle way the bar and restaurant were decorated with all manner of old, rare and interesting paraphernalia that I think he would really love.

As you can see from Jamie's photos, not only were the walls covered in stuff but the ceiling was completely plastered with old record album covers. I can just see Gary standing at the bar, having a drink and smoke with some of the locals, and discussing the music that was once housed inside the many record covers on display. So Gary, I really hope you have found this place too and have settled in for a very long enjoyable stay.

Pammy and I (pictured here on a swing seat at Tybee Beach) have had an incredible run with the weather all through this long drive from Las Vegas to here, with barely a drop of rain until we hit Macon, Georgia (and even then the rain gave our dusty car such a good heavenly overnight car wash that it sparkled like new the next morning).

So far we have notched up over 3000 miles on the road, and while we have already made it to our final stop on the road trip, Atlanta, we simply have to tell you in our next blog posting about the great city we visited as our final coastal stop: Charleston, South Carolina (just 100 miles up the road from Tybee).


Judy said...

Hi Pam and Jamie,
Loving your blog and your special dedication to Gary on this blog. I have some of those album covers myself. Continue to enjoy and safe travelling.

Bennn0 said...

Thanks for the heads up Gullo! I'll wait for a hurricane surge before I go there for a surf.

Hanna at Orchid Care said...

Oh, you and Pammy look ever so comfy on that swing seat at Tybee Beach and your happy smiles prove that I’m right. :-)