Getting out of Charleston through West Ashley’s bike trail has been one of the most stress free exits of any city so far during the trip. You immediately find yourself on an awesome series of bridges and piers that snake their way over marshlands – hence why they call this region the lowlands, elevation lower than sea level.
Route 17, which becomes Savannah Highway, isn’t the most scenic rides compared to some of the options cyclists have around the world, but on the East Coast USA, it seems to provide the most generous shoulder and separation of traffic-pedestrian via a narrow line of rumble strips which keeps traffic at bay, most drivers moving over a lane or even crossing the yellow line a bit to give me more room. Before heading to Beaufort though, Charleston provided a few days of rest for about the two thirds marker of the trip.
Three nights in Charleston, South Carolina, provided just enough time in the generous presence of Denise and Christian, to explore lunch at Okra Grill, dessert at the Argentinean Freddo Gelato, which I grew up frequenting on my visits to see family in Uruguay, my first breakfast at Waffle House-which I’ve been asked multiple times if I’ve visited yet, and a burger joint I was excited about visiting after Steve from Myrtle Beach’s recommendation, Poe’s Tavern at Sullivan’s Island. We drove around a bit from place to place, on some instances in Christian’s recently (just the day prior he drove down to Jacksonville to purchase) acquired 700 horsepower Ford Mustang Cobra.
Charleston is a city on the waterfront, but with access to Francis Marion National Forest to get away from the “salt life”. However, as much as the city provides a beautiful change in scenery from the beaches to the parks, the public plazas and cobbles to historical homes such as Rainbow Row, the real beauty is what makes up the city that I was able to see through the eyes of the friends that hosted me.
Denise is a family friend of ten years or so, that my family would visit in Argentina, and she moved to the U.S. and married Christian, from New Jersey. This is the beauty of life: it’s ability to find people from different parts of the world, all walks of life, with different cultural backgrounds, and bring them together.