Upon the advent of any holiday I have traditionally thrown myself into the mix with all the stops out, seeking to submerge myself in whatever is to be had. Given the historical shortness of my holidays it is a forgivable compulsion. Though I haven’t the same excuse on this occasion (we are here for the season) I nonetheless succumbed to the overwhelming urge to go bicycling today. Perhaps it was the hangover from two and a half days of traveling to get here by automobile, sitting for seven hours for each of the first two days and four hours the next. My aging carcass was more than a bit rigid from the prolonged inactivity and I pined for some exercise in hopes of loosening the fibres and awakening my numbed sensibilities.
Earlier this morning I had taken the car to get it filled with gasoline (at a station which accepts Canadian credit cards) and then went to Harris Teeter to collect some further provisions. I was back at the condominium shortly after noon and we then tucked into a succinct though satisfactory lunch. By 2:00 p.m. we were at the bike racks fumbling with the locks and getting set to take off. Before ten o’clock this morning it had been lightly raining, but the skies had cleared considerably and the pavement was generally dry except for the occasional puddle of water. I was pleased not to have been forced to confine myself to barracks today. Bicycling is very much the essence of our stay here and the enactment of the ritual is imperative to fulfill the objective.
Our unhurried and leisurely cycle took us first towards Turtle Lane (where we had spent three weeks last year) to see the new beachfront development adjacent the Marriott Hotel. We agreed it would be a respectable place for a seaside lunch sometime in the future. We then continued along the familiar Sea Pines paths to Coligny Beach where we caught a gander of the Ocean and paused for a Cappuccino coffee. From there we headed along Pope Avenue to the west end of Sea Pines then down to Calibogue Club Place where we’ll be staying in a couple of weeks for the duration of most of our visit here. Having assured ourselves that the place still exists we directed ourselves to South Beach where we currently hang our respective hats. We timed the distance between the two places because we must arrange to relocate the bikes when we change accommodations. It took us about 35 minutes to travel the distance. The Island is of course at sea level and the paths are generally flat. Our rental bikes, having only one gear, are quite unsuited to an incline of any degree. The traffic along the paths was about what it normally is at this time of year; that is, not at all congested. There were about as many people walking as there were bicycling. There weren’t many children, mostly people who looked as though they might qualify for retirement. The exception was the gaggle of young Japanese tourists who announced their presence by their distinct language.
We arrived back at Beachside Tennis around 4:30 p.m. I confess my joints felt the effort of the previous two hours bicycling. Before taking the elevator to the fifth floor we wandered into the back of the property where we saw a deer casually meandering about. We were drawn momentarily to the beach where we stood upon a wooden deck and stared at the water. I have yet to take myself to the beach for a detailed view of it. I will leave that for a sunnier day.