We drove straight from spooky Salem to the furthest Eastern point of Massachusetts – Cape Cod. It’s famous for it’s beaches and maritime history so we thought we’d use our time there just to chill out on a beach. We booked ourselves into the Dunes Edge Campground, which was situated between the small town of Provincetown and the Cape Cod National Seashore. This was going to be our last time camping for a while as we were going to be hitting some big cities after this.
Once we’d settled into our new home for the next two days, we decided to crack on with dinner. As all the food came out, so did the wasps. It’s the one insect I’m most scared of. Having never been stung, I’m worried that if I do, I’ll go into anaphylactic shock and die. As I put the mincemeat into the frying pan, the little buggers starting buzzing all around me. I’m sure our neighbours must have thought I was a right weirdo, as every now and then I’d do the crazy bee dance as I went running away from the table screaming. Barry was doing everything he could to keep batting them away from me, but this just worried me that he would anger them and they’d come back with all their friends to attack. I’d take the flesh-biting mosquitoes over wasps any day!
Having just about managed to cook the dinner without being stung, we sat down to eat. Within a few seconds I realised I just couldn’t relax with all these creatures swarming round me so we picked up our dinner and ate in the tent. Aside from toilet breaks and to do the washing up, we remained in the tent for the rest of the night. It was safer.
The next morning we awoke to a beautifully sunny day, so our decision to spend the day on the beach was looking good. When we’d checked in we’d been given a map of the campsite, which showed there was a 2-mile trail that would take us to the beach. There were lots of other beaches we could drive to, but we thought we’d leave the car at home and walk. We figured 2 miles was going to take us less than 40 minutes, so it wouldn’t be a problem given all the long hikes we’d been doing recently. Just as we were about to leave, I got talking to a lady, Megan, who was pitched up opposite us. She asked if we were going to the beach and when I told her we were going to do the trail to get there, she said she’d heard it was quite tough going as it went over all the sand dunes. Not feeling deterred by this, we set off with our swimmers and towels, wearing our flip-flops.
The start of the trail was through some woodland. There were a number of times when we reached a fork in the path, but with no signs to tell us which way to go, we made the decision for ourselves thinking that they must all lead to the beach. Along the way we spotted a few mushrooms, but having only brought the GoPro and not the posh camera, Barry resisted the urge to stop and take pictures.
Having been walking for about 15 minutes, the woodland eventually opened up and we found ourselves out on the sand dunes. Here the path disappeared and we were meant only with previous trekkers footprints. We followed them the best we could but at times they went in all different directions and sometimes we couldn’t see any at all. Along the way, the sand had been making a gradual incline, but soon we were meant by a large dune right in front of us, that we would have to walk up. It was exhausting and the sun was beating down. There were no signs to indicate that we were heading in the right direction and we couldn’t even see the ocean, so we had no idea if we were going the right way. The sand was so tough to walk on in our flip-flops so we went barefoot for a while to make it easier. Within no time at all we were walking as if we were running over hot coals. The sun was just too intense and the sand felt like it was on fire, so the flip-flops went back on.
After walking for what felt like an eternity, we finally reached a peak where we could see the ocean in the distance. At least we knew we were headed the right way, but it still looked like we had some serious ground to cover. It was tough. There wasn’t just sand dunes we had to deal with. There were patches of trees and bushes to duck under and climb around and fields of long grass to battle through. As we continued on, we felt like we were literally in the middle of nowhere and we were seriously contemplating turning around, but we weren’t even sure we’d find our way back. We hadn’t seen a single other person since we’d left the campsite so if we did get lost, we would probably be left to die of dehydration and not be found until we were just a pile of bones.
After just over an hour of walking, we finally made it to the top of the last dune, which looked down onto the beach. I ran down that hill so fast and plunged my feet straight into the Atlantic Ocean. It was freezing, but it felt so good and immediately cooled me down. The sand reached as far as the eye could see and there was not one other person on it. We had the entire beach to ourselves.
We laid out our towels and sunbathed for a while before tucking into some lunch we’d brought with us. As we were sat there, munching on our rolls, we saw a seal pop its head up out of the sea in front of us. It went back under and swam on by. Then three others popped up in front of us and looked around. Over the next couple of hours, the seals continued to swim back and forth and would occasionally pop up to look at us. I’m convinced they were having some sort of seal-a-thon.
Over the next couple of hours, we soaked up the sun, topped up our tans and collected hundreds of crab shells to spell names with. In the three hours that we were there, we only saw two other people and they just walked straight by us and disappeared into the distance. It was so secluded, that at one point whilst I was sat by the sea, Barry came running up behind me and when I turned round I was met with his bare crutch! He was totally naked and just continued to run round me. He quickly put his shorts back on and whilst I was in fits of laughter and shock, he bet me that I wouldn’t do it. Well, not one to be out done by him, I stripped off and ran round him. Having never even been topless on a beach before, this was a first for me and it was actually quite exhilarating!
Knowing that we had quite a hike to do and a challenge to even find our way back to the campsite, we decided to leave after three hours. We didn’t want to risk getting lost and traipsing around in the dark after all. We actually managed to find our way back pretty easily and even found time for Barry to do some dune rolling.
Once we got back to base camp, we had a quick shower and not wanting to play battle of the bees, we walked into the town for some dinner. Cape Cod is known for it’s huge gay community and if you didn’t know that before you arrived, you certainly would once you got there. The rainbow flag was flying proudly everywhere you looked and their choice of pantomime looked like a treat! Barry had found us somewhere highly rated to eat – Lobster Pot, but with high ratings comes long queues. As we entered, we found we had to queue just to put our names down for a table. Once this was done, we were given a very fitting lobster shaped pager and told our wait would be about 25 minutes. We could live with that, so we sat outside and people watched for a while.
After 20 minutes, our lobster started vibrating so in we went and as we’d already checked out the menu outside, we wasted no time in ordering from the delicious sounding menu. When the food arrived it was amazing. I started with tuna sashimi and Barry had salmon gravlax. He’d been promising me we could have sushi for a while now so if this was the nearest I was going to get; I was going to have it. We followed this with lobster for Barry, which was served with a lovely bib, (they must have known he was coming!) and a seafood bouillabaisse for me. The food was amazing and probably the best meal we’ve had since being in America.
With no room for dessert, we paid our bill and waddled to the Pilgrim Monument. Unfortunately it was closed, so we made do with a couple of shots from a distance and then made our way back to the campsite. From here, we had an early night, as we had an early start in the morning for we were catching the ferry to Nantucket!