Day 034 – 036 – Charleston, SC

I decided to consolidate the rest of my time in Charleston into one posting since my exploration wasn’t as deep as I had expected. I think this was mostly due to me spending a lot of time with my fellow travelers at the hostel – I was really craving camaraderie. I was also tired because I chose to sleep outside in my tent and most nights were hot and buggy. I gave meals to at least 100 insects based on the bite bump constellation on my body – yes I did use insect repellent. I saved some money, but in retrospect staying a few nights inside bug free and air conditioned would have been worth the extra money.

The Charleston area has a layout similar to New York City with Ashley River where the Hudson would be and the Cooper River where the East River would be. The main historical part of Charleston is from the tip (Financial District) stretching back to where the hostel was (Union Square) on Spring Street. Brooklyn would be in the area of Mount Pleasant with the bridge I came in on, Arthur Ravenel Jr., a much better looking standing for the Queensborough.

It doesn’t feel like a big place, but it also feels like there is a lot going on just below the surface that would have been really interesting to get access to. Part of the joy of traveling is running into the right person at the right time to get the most access in the shortest amount of time. Sadly, I didn’t find that person on this visit to Charleston.

However, I went on a walking tour on the second day and saw the battery, the sea wall where there used to be canons mounted to blast anyone coming into the harbor that got by Fort Sumter. They were also used to fire on Fort Sumter at the outbreak of the Civil War when it was still held by the North. I also learned a bit about the houses in the area and got to try a Joggling Board (pic – a long bouncy bench that also rocks back and forth). It’s good for loosening up the hips and popular with young couples that would joggle in hopes of their hips touching.

I took my tour guide, Brian (pic), to a nice bar/restaurant called Husk as a tip. We dined on boiled peanuts (love them), cured pork (really loved it) and a few other small dishes while trying a few of the bourbons out. I found the bourbon pork fat pairings to be particularly divine – peaty bourbon and salty, smoky pork fat is the bomb.

Day three I went and picked up my stove (pic-thanks for sending it Raji) and got new front tire – 200 miles after rotating them at Carolina Beach State Park the fabric under the rubber (pic) was showing through. On my way back to the hostel I picked up a sour beer called Gose made by the Westbrook brewing company. I’m not normally a flavored beer drinker, but I tried their White Thai beer yesterday with Brian and really like it. Gose is based on an old German recipe and is brewed with coriander and salt. It sounds odd and taste really odd on the first sip, but it is one of those beers that got better and better as I drank it. I think it would make a nice contrast to any meet barbecued with a sweet sauce. Their White Thai beer is brewed in the white Belgian style with fresh lemongrass, ginger root, and a dash of Sorachi Ace hops. I’m usually not a huge Belgian fan, but it was really refreshing with hints of lemon and spice, but not enough to distract from being refreshing.

Day four I rode around town and chilled in Waterfront park for a few hours. There is a fabulous water fountain (pic) that arcs huge torrents of water into the center, drowning anyone that stands in the middle. That nights I stayed up much to late talking to Sarah and my favorite Canadians Evan and Steven. Hopefully they are on a boat headed down to Key West as I am typing this. They told me on the last night that there is a possibility they could get on another ship going to Australia instead of the one going to Portugal – what an adventure. Good luck guys. Sarah was in town for a wedding and on her way to Atlanta to work for a few months before heading up to New York to live.

I haven’t made it to a plantation yet and hope to somewhere in Georgia. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that life-style so haven’t felt overly compelled to visit, but think it would be good to see.