With the annoying beeping of my alarm ringing in my ear at 6am, we got out of the tent and packed everything up. By 6:45am we were on the road and making the hour-long journey to the Hyannis ferry dock in Cape Cod. We arrived as instructed an hour before the ferry was due to leave at 9am. We purchased our tickets and waited with the rest of the Nantucketteers for the ferry to Nantucket!
Nantucket is only a small island, just 15 miles long and 3 miles wide, so after sailing on the ferry for 2½ hours we went straight to a bike rental shop. We didn’t bring the car onto the island as it would have cost us $200 to bring it over. We were only going for the day so it really wasn’t worth it. Once we were kitted out with a bike, helmet and a map of the island, we made our way to a lighthouse. The girl at the bike shop had told us it was a 16 mile round trip to get there so would be pretty tough going. Barry didn’t seem phased by this so I guess I wasn’t supposed to be either!
We started on our way through the town where a lot of the streets were cobbled which wasn’t any good for your bum on a bike, but once we got onto the main stretch of road, there was a nice smooth cycle path to ride on. When we’d been on the ferry, the skies had really clouded over but no sooner had we gotten on the bikes, when the skies cleared and the sun began to shine down on us again. It was hot and to couple that with cycling 8 miles to our destination, I was tired. Barry kept nagging at me to go faster, but I was only prepared to go at a steady speed so that I could pace myself. Although the people shouting ‘on your left’ everytime they bypassed me on their bikes was quite annoying. It looked like everyone in Nantucket rode a bike, they were everywhere.
Once we eventually reached the end of the island, we just had a short street to ride down along the coast to reach the Sankaty Head lighthouse. Nantucket is a place for the rich to have their holiday homes and this street definitely confirmed that. The houses were amazing. All were detached mansions overlooking the ocean with rooftop terraces and expensive cars in the drive. Every time we’d thought we’d seen the best one, another one popped up. At the end of the road was the lighthouse and boy was I glad to have finally made it. We’d been cycling for an hour and a half! As I jumped off the bike, my legs felt like jelly. All the walking we’d been doing lately did nothing to prepare me for this ride.
We took a wonder round the lighthouse and took a few snaps. Whilst here we also saw what was perhaps the most dangerous playground ever. Right on the cliff edge was a rusty old swing set and roundabout. I certainly wouldn’t let my nephew play there!
With nothing else to see or do around the lighthouse, we got back on the bikes and headed back to the town. There was a different route we could take to get back so we headed down this one. It started off fine, but after a while it started to weave up and down, up and down. It was exhausting, but I wasn’t going to give in and walk the bike (as I’ve been known to do in the past) so I powered on through the pain. The route back was much more scenic though. The roads were quieter and there were less cyclists on this track, which was great because my ears couldn’t take the ‘on your left’ warnings anymore.
As we cycled on, we came across a little pond. Never one to miss a photo op, Barry jumped off his bike to take a picture and I followed. As we got to the edge of the pond, we noticed some huge flat fish just lying on the bottom. Some had been stripped of their flesh right down to their bones. We were busy looking at them, when something grabbed one of the fish and started pulling it around. It was a turtle and it was chomping on the flesh. We’d never seen anything like it in the wild. It was so bizarre!
After lots more ups and downs, we finally made it back to the town where it was time to hand back the bikes. With sore bums and aching legs we looked for somewhere to eat and settled on The Rose and Crown.
After replenishing all the calories we’d burned on our epic bike ride, we took a wander round the dock which had an abundance of plush yachts and checked out the cobbled lanes filled with posh designer shops, before heading back to the ferry.