The town of the Hippie
Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
84Trip End Jul 06, 2011
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Where I stayed
Couchsurfed with Nati
It takes about 20 minutes to walk to Nati's house, I heard she lives with 7 other people so not really sure what to expect? When I arrive, there are some hippie type people in the garden. I call Nati as no-one answers the door, within a few minutes she cycles around the corner and lets me in. The house is large, there is a living room and kitchen on the ground floor and a front room that has a mattress on the floor for me. A large guy wearing an all in one Indian style dress is baking a cake and says hello to me. I'm introduced to two more people who are tending to ducks and chickens in the garden before Nati has to go back to work.
I quickly get changed into my shorts and sandals and head out back to downtown Burlington.
I walk down through Church street, the pedestrianized zone and make my way to the Waterfront. Burlington is situated next to Lake Champlain, and I am a very lucky gingerman that today is a very hot day. It's mid afternoon, so I opt for a late lunch and early dinner, I find a place to eat on the boathouse and waterfront park. I only have a burger, but I also opt for a tasty local beer. I also call my pops, it's his birthday, so from a sunburning boathouse, I chat to him for a little bit, the first time I've spoken to him in my travels. It was good to speak to him, it won't be long before I'll be seeing him and the rest of my family. The view from the boathouse is fantastic, the sea is sparkling and reflective, the sky is blue and cloudless and the sun is radiant. A perfect day in a perfect location.
After I down my beer, very slowly, I spend the rest of the afternoon walking around waterfront park and battery park. I find a comfy bench and watch the world go by.
The area is very relaxed, people are cycling, lounging in the grass of the park, eating ice creams and walking their dogs. I am falling in love with this part of the world. The feel to Burlington is very laid back, but also up market as well. Quality foods and drinks can be found around the city.
I wander my way back into the city centre and find myself using wifi at a Barnes and Noble and on the way back to Nati's, I grab a tasty 'make your own ice cream' from Ben and Jerrys. When I return to Natis house, there is a communal dinner underway. I say hello to everyone, I am offered some food but decline as I have already eaten. There are roughly ten people in the kitchen having dinner, I am introduced to all of them, but struggle to remember all their names.
One by one, they migrate to the lounge where I was hanging out and we sit there for 3 or 4 hours discussing films, sports, things to do in Burlington, a few of my stories before most of them depart.
Nati is on an Internet date chat with some guy she met on OK cupid, but she takes a two hour break to go into town for a few beers. We hit a local spot with one of her friends, but he is still in pain from busting his knee a few days ago, so leaves me and Nati to drink in the bar. Nati is awesome. She is from Colombia and studying and working in Burlington. She talks a hundred miles an hour and talks more than I do. She has a big heart and a little sense of hopelessness when it comes to dating. She is very proud to be Colombian and we spend a couple of hours talking about all sorts of stuff. The last 30 minutes in the bar, we bump into a guy who works on political campaigns and discuss some corrupt Mayor, Nati gets very passionate about this and her love for Burlington.
We return to the house pretty late, she still has an online date with this guy so I finally go to bed. There is no bedding, so I sleep on some clothes for a cushion and use my coat as a duvet. Burlington is hot so not many covers are needed but there is so many mosquito's that I need to cover every bare patch of skin.
Miles walked 3.62
Day 170 June 22 - I wake up and the weather is not as great. One of the guys I was talking to last night is busy checking for tickets on stub hub for the Red sox. The stadium is only a 3 hour drive away, so him and his girlfriend set off after 9am (but eventually endure a 6 hour game affected by rain delays, and the sox lost). I chat a little to the people who are up before I wander into town to grab breakfast at a place recommended by one of the girls in the house last night. The place is called Penny Cluse Cafe. I order my typical American style breakfast of poached eggs, wheat toast, hash browns, sausages, refill coffee and orange juice. I eat at the breakfast bar and thoroughly enjoy my first American breakfast for a long time.
Sadly, the heavens opened and it rained for the rest of the day. I killed time in Barnes and Noble, researching future trips and catching up on emails. I eventually decide to go watch a movie and see Super 8. There were only 5 people in the cinema and one old guy talked to himself throughout the whole movie.........such as 'oh my god, that's awesome', 'oh no, don't go in there'.....and so on, very confusing and frustrating. The film was not good, lack of plot and poor characters.
I leave the cinema, grab another coffee and make my way back to Nati's as she is cooking dinner.
She has cooked some sort of Colombian Stew/soup thing. One meat dish and one vegan one. The food is OK but the chicken was very tough to eat. Sat opposite, the guy who hurt his knee made a very strange noise every time he ate, not sure if her was aware he was doing this, but I was very aware.
I spent a few hours chatting to the group at the dinner table before departing to bed. I have an early flight and an even earlier taxi ride to the airport. The buses aren't running at 4am and for a 6am flight the only taxi I can get is at 415 am! Crap! I have one of those sleeps where I constantly looking at my watch.
Miles walked: 2.1
Day 171 June 23 - I wake early, and my taxi is on time. On the way to the airport, the taxi driver has an in depth knowledge of beer, I tell him I'm off to Lewes, DE and he recommends the Dog Fish brewery, apparently one of the beers is 18% proof.
I board my flight on time and am off to DC.