Sun 2 Jun - Falmouth, MA

Today we check out from North Dartmouth, as we move eastwards into Cape Cod for the next few days where Falmouth will be our base.

We feel that to truly appreciate Cape Cod we need to go to the very end, Providencetown, so our day includes quite a bit of driving as it is 2 hours journey from North Dartmouth. As you can see on the map below, Providencetown is at the very "pointy end".

To get there from where we were you have to drive north east, then east, then south east, then due north then north west. It's quite a trip.

On much of the drive you don't see much as the road goes between the coastlines and either side has shrubs and small trees growing in the dunes. As soon as the Cape narrows you are basically on a sand spit and there are beaches either side as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore (National Park). You can see these by turning off the main road called route 6, but we first want to see the end of the line so we continue.

However, we have a first stop for a cuppa at Wellfleet Harbour. On the map it is the first "hook" towards the west about halfway up the sand spit.

Wellfleet Harbour felt like a quiet fishing village, not much is developed and it was quite empty at 11am on a Sunday morning. We stopped at Mac's Seafood which is located nicely right between the beach and the pier (grey building to the right on the picture below).

It might have been empty here at Wellfleet Harbour as there was a stiff breeze coming in from the south, which is the direction the harbour faces.

The fishing fleet is small and looks old and tired. Not the same profitable business that we saw in New Beford yesterday.
The catch seemed to focus on clams and oysters - the type of seafood found in a bay rather than deep ocean.
Some teenagers had braved the wind and water temperature (about 14 degrees) to do a bit of sailing.

We liked Wellfleet - it had a very relaxed and local feel. Nothing posh here. Kind of... Normal.

After a cuppa, we head further north into the National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore. We were going to investigate whether it was possible to walk out onto the very end of the hook.

When we reached the end of the line called Province Lands Road, we found out that you had to pay a daily park entrance car fee of $15. And we were still not sure whether and how it would be possible to reach the end.

So, we thought that $15 parking fee was a bit steep so we continued to Race Point Beach which is the furthest northwest beach, only to find a $15 parking fee there as well. OK, we get the picture. We bite the bullet, pay up and park the car among the sand dunes. We just had to check it out.

Time to go barefoot and also try out the water...brrr...the older gentlemen swimming behind Di sounded Polish and had dived in quickly but were soon out of the water again. We applauded them.

Race Point Beach is a lovely long expanse and the water looked really clean and clear. If it was 5 degrees warmer we would have got in, but we've been told that it takes another 6 weeks for it to warm up.
Yep, Hans got numb feet. It did not take long...

We walked westwards along the beach to a section where 4WD were allowed and as expected our fellow beach goers were sitting right near their cars. Today we's very windy. You can probably guess the direction of the wind based on how the cars are parked.

No fish? Heading home...

We kept wandering up the beach and feel we got a pedicure scrub as we walked as the sand is quite rough. As we got closer to the end it got even windier...

We liked that we found a part of the USA coast that has been left natural and was not full of people. It may be different in late July.

We thought we would have a late lunch in Providencetown and so drove into town, only to find we hated it. Provincetown was crowded and cutesy (with shops like Disneyland, you know fancy kids clothing, ice cream, overpriced craft...) and parking costs at least $3 an hour. We were surprised as we expected that at this distance from other larger towns Provincetown would have a frontier feel like Wellfleet.
We drove around for a while, didn't even bother to get out of the car before we decide to head back to Wellfleet, to Mac's Seafood again, for a pleasant burger lunch on the beach. It's windy so you have to hold on tight to your burger but otherwise it is more our style. Laid back, Oz style.
A Visitor Information service lady we spoke to earlier suggested that we drive a slightly different way on our return - via route 6A - which takes us past Dennis and Brewster. We went this way but did not see much of the water so we turned off to see Dennis Harbour and Cold Storage beach.
Cold Storage Beach was nice enough but they don't want you there if you are not a resident. Parking anywhere near the beach was permitted with resident permit only. We find this "private" element of Cape Cod a bit off-putting. We understand this place must be a nightmare for locals in July and August but it does make us feel excluded.
At 5pm we reach our hotel in Falmouth, the Falmouth Heights Motor Lodge. This hotel has been well rated by TripAdvisor and at $79 plus tax per night is one of the "cheaper" accommodation options on Cape Cod. don't get much for $79 a night on the Cape.
The room was really small, it was hard to work out where to fit our bags and when we first checked in it the room had no lamps, just one small roof mounted light to cover the whole room. Hans went to ask about this at the front desk and the lady said "that's odd, there should be 2 lamps". The lady helpfully went to find some and comes back with an eclectic mix of lamps that look like they came from a garage sale. They were too big for our tiny 20cm squared bedside stands. She persisted in finding a solution for us and helpfully found a floor standing lamp that we plugged in on one side of the bed.
We chose one of these for our "dressing table". That's better but still not brilliant. We discarded the lamp to the right.

For dinner we got a recommendation of BBC (that is British Beer Company) for good value food and drinks, with the added advantage that it is within 5 minutes walk from our motel and across the beach.

We really liked BBC. It is a local chain but well done and it did feel a little like a British pub (with more space).

The dining area can be seen in the photo below but they also had a nice bar.

We sat near the front windows with a view towards the beach and took our time reading the extensive beer menu. First up for Hans was a pint of Mayflower IPA from Plymouth, MA. The verdict... Pretty damn good, but not as good as Sweetwater IPA from Georgia.

Di had an Angry Orchard cider which was also good.

We ordered British pub food - Fish and chips for Hans and bangers and mash (actually bubble and squeak) for Di. The portions were large and the food was excellent.

In fact, Hans voted his fish and chips as "the best he has eaten in years". Nice cod with a great crispy batter, home made fat chips (not fries) and real homemade tartare sauce. Quality as well as quantity, because the serivng was huge. That's a serious compliment because fish and chips is a favourite dish for him.

The drinks go down well so we order more - this time a Cape Cod Blonde for Hans. Not a Hans favourite. Di orders an Irish Maiden coffee (with Baileys and Irish whiskey). It packed a punch but was delicious.

All good value too - $55 plus tip. We could definitely eat here again.

We wander home around 9pm, in the lovely evening light and watch the storm clouds approaching. It's a nice view across the bay towards Martha's Vineyard and this strip of beach and the nearby "Casino" restaurant are lovely. We even spot local rabbits (no, it was not the alcohol...they really were there!). In fact, you can see one rabbit in the picture below.

A few minutes of strolling and we are back at our hotel. It doesn't take long for the storm to arrive and the rain settled in for the night. So did we. Good night.

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