Day 3. We left behind the beautiful, rainy city of Charleston bound for Raleigh today. Today being Memorial Day (a US bank holiday) the roads were pretty busy in places and the Interstates were a 50mph traffic jam.
OK - I'll admit. This weather is getting me down. I'm finding it hard to be enthused enough to take much in the way of photographs, or even write about it, with this endlessly dreary grey, soft light and torrential rain. We've followed Alberto up the coast since leaving Florida and the forecasts show little sign of it relenting until the weekend.
The humidity is impressive though. Just look at my lens after standing in the rain for 5 minutes waiting to take a shot. It wouldn't unfog. In the end, I used my phone.
Georgetown. This town was about an hour into our trip and saw a slight break in the rain to the point where it was only spitting, not torrenting. On first approach from the South I thought this was just a poor, industrial town characterised by two heavy industries. Steel and Paper.
However, on closer inspection there was an historic centre to the town which was quite delightfully charming where we stopped for a bite of lunch. This shot (taken with my phone as my lens wouldn't unfog) I thought was quite atmospheric and is pointed toward the historic old town.
There was even enough of a break in the rain that I was able to get the drone up for 5 minutes and have a look around.
This flight was over the historic old town looking towards the South and the heavy industry here. By US standards it's quite an old town and is noted as the 3rd oldest in SC.
Our quest northward continued up Highway 17, through Myrtle Beach. I'd characterise this place as the Blackpool of the East Coast. Our guide book had a particularly eloquent passage to describe it.
The towering sky wheel spins fantastically beside the coast in downtown Myrtle Beach, anchoring a 60 mile swathe of sun beached excess. Love it or hate it, Myrtle Beach means summer vacation, American style. Bikers take advantage of the lack of helmet laws to let their greying pony tails fly in the wind, bikini clad teenagers play video games and eat hot dogs in smokey arcades, and whole families roast like chickens on the white sands.
The torrential rain continued and so did our drive. We crossed the border into NC and discovered the agricultural plains of NC were almost exactly like driving across Norfolk. Sadly the rain was too persistent to capture much of this with the drone but there were really moments where my sub-concious thought I was back on the A11 in Norfolk. Really surreal! Also, a bit boring to drive through though so when Raleigh came onto the signs with 40 miles to go I was quite glad.
Driving in such weather conditions is treacherous. We saw half a dozen cars which had spun off the road into ditches and were in various states of recovery. Even our big honking SUV didn't feel all that planted at times. The 70mph speed limits were more like a guideline, 50ish felt just about OK.
We rolled into Raleigh around 5pm and found our Airbnb for the night without any hassle. It's a cosy room above someone's garage. Nice little earner I'd suspect as it looks to have an almost 100% occupancy on the calendar.
Somewhere along the way between Georgetown and Raleigh the accents changed from incomprehensible Southern drawl to a beautifully sweet, lilting, melodic one.
Given that the rain was still hammering down we decided to go and watch a film in the cinema. We saw the new Avengers (Infinity War) which was quite entertaining! We picked an interesting cinema, it is a 'dine-in' cinema.
Waitress service at your seat throughout the movie. GAME CHANGER. I mean, this wouldn't be a good pick for some super serious emotional movie as people are wandering around the screen the entire time but for an Avengers type film? Perfection. Dinner and a movie in one. Who couldn't love a bottomless soda magically refilling without getting out of your seat?!
Tomorrow, we'll go and explore Raleigh and see what this place has to offer.