Thu 6 Jun - Falmouth, MA

A fabulous dawn as our neighbours moved out at 5.30am with much door and car boot slamming - so we were awake. Di opted for an extra hour in bed with a cup of tea and Hans went for a wander after his tea. Falmouth Heights beach was quiet and looked good. Today, we are staying local in Falmouth.

A few pics from early morning Falmouth Heights...

The Tides Motel, or as we called it, the High Tides Flood Motel is barely a metre above sea level. They must get regular flooding during storms as the motel is facing the Atlantic Ocean!

The local bunnies are very tame and quite cute. This guy was little more than 1 meter away from Hans and couldn't care less.

Today we are on our bikes... literally. We hired very nice bikes from Holiday Cycles, which is just down the road from our hotel, and set off to explore the Shining Sea Bikeway. This Bikeway was rated the number 1 thing to do in all of Cape Cod (of 218 possible things to do) and is one created out of one of those disused railway tracks.

Before we headed off we did a quick bike check and decided the bikes were fabulous. They were of a brand that we don't know called Jamis - with a Citizen 1 hybrid 21 speed for Di and an Explorer 1 for Hans, also with 21 speeds. The lack of knowledge may have more to do with ignorance than anything else. Anyway, Hans could happily have taken his home to Oz he was so wrapped with how well it rode. Pics will follow.

The Shining Sea Bikeway started about 3km from our hotel but the ride to get to it is easy going and pleasant along the surf beach front. The Bikeway is 10.7 miles long one way (about 17km) and is a reclaimed rail line (always great bike paths). It runs roughly in a north south direction and ends at Woods Hole in the south.

The name of the path came from a line in the song "America the Beautiful" with lyrics written by a Falmouth local lady.
We made a quick stop to admire the view at surf beach before riding along the road to join the Bikeway.
Hans was still pleased with his bike...

Now Di is not the most confident bike rider (perhaps an understatement after a few incidents on previous holidays) but she did ok with a dedicated bike path which was pretty flat and also quiet. You can see Di riding on the Bikeway below.

We headed first south to Woods Hole, a further 5 to 6 kilometers down the path.
The path follows the beach then moves into a lovely wooded coastal area.

We enjoyed our ride to Woods Hole, where the Bikeway ends at the ferry terminal. We rode further around Woods Hole, sticking to the coastal edge. You can see the ferry terminal in this photo, with a big white car ferry pulled in for loading.

This is THE Woods Hole. To us it just seemed like a nice bay and beach (which is largely private and inaccessible). In fact signs even said "no bicycles".

After a bit more exploration we headed back to the town of Woods Hole and returned to Pie in the Sky cafe, where we knew we could get a good coffee. We sat outside under shade and it was all very pleasant.

You can see this place was very popular with bike riders - 2 bikes per rack slot. We were not sure how they coped with a nice Saturday or Sunday. Bikes are probably strewn everywhere.

Back on the Bikeway heading north around 11.30am.

Look no hands!

Back where we started on the Bikeway and Di's lack of practice starts to show - some knee soreness and sore bum. So around 12 noon she leaves Hans and heads gradually back to Falmouth. Bye Di.

Well, Hans keeps going... And going... To the end of the line. Literally.

In summary, Shining Sea Bikeway is fantastic and truly deserves all the praise it is given. The path goes from Woods Hole to North Falmouth. To paraphrase Wikipedia, the northern half of the Bikeway is particularly beautiful, running through extensive salt marsh, cranberry bog, and farmland in use since the 18th century at the historic 1775 Bourne Farm. No photos, they were saved for the return trip.

Hans stopped at the very end for lunch part 1. There was a bench there where he sat and had his breadroll. This is how it looked one way...

And this is the other way. Up here, it looked like there were still some rail tracks in use although perhaps not too frequently.

These two areas were very interesting and beautiful.

First, the cranberry farm. These plains apparently get flooded during harvest with the cranberries floating to the top and then get scooped up by the farmhands. Would have been interesting to see.

Around the old Bourne Farm, there were 7 different cattle tunnels under the old railway. Here is one of them.

Over to the "animal" section. The next three photos all have to do with animals...

This particular sign could be found all along the Shining Sea Bikeway away from the water. There must be a lot of turtles in the area. Or maybe not...?

This is... Art...? This dog sat next to the path and from a distance it looked absolutely real. Question is... why?

Finally a real animal. Suddenly on the path was this cute little snake, pointed out to Hans by an Indian couple, soon to be joined by a Columbian couple. Of course, Hans nor any of the other tourists had any idea what kind of snake it was or whether caution is required.

Afterwards Hans checked out the snake online, it turns out to be an Eastern Milk Snake, one of the more common snakes in Cape Cod. Not dangerous at all and mostly found inside barns looking for mice. This particular one was also a smaller sized snake than the norm for that breed of 2-3 feet.

And yes, we did a rescue operation and moved him away from the path into the adjacent vegetation.

The Shining Sea Bikeway passes through Sippewissitt Marsh land. Quite extensive and very beautiful. Hans liked the lonely house in the middle at the horizon. Looked very isolated.

And this is Little Sippewissitt Marsh a bit further south.

Now we are almost back at the sea again. This piece of water is called Salt Pond and the Atlantic Ocean is just behind the greenery in the centre.

Where the Shining Sea Bikeway crosses Surf Road which is next to the beaches, Hans cycles off the Bikeway to return home. This is how it looks along Surf Road towards the east.

This scaffolding is waiting for a shack to be stacked on top.

Beach view. We would love to have one of those places.

Meanwhile back at Falmouth Heights, Di returned her bike, quite pleased with her 20km ride, and headed back to the hotel for a nice cooling swim then lunch. Nice.

Then some housekeeping - yep laundry is a weekly task.

Hans returned about 2 hours later having completed the whole Shining Sea Bikeway, there and back and a total of almost 50km of cycling. The stats are as follow:

Good achievement and definitely worth a cooling swim and some relaxing in the sun...

A couple of Mayflower IPA for Hans and a Margarita or two for Di saw us through the afternoon.

We decided to finish off our stay in Falmouth with a return visit to BBC (British Beer Company) were we had dinner last Sunday, our first night here. Equally good, Hans had another Fish and Chips and Di tried the coconut shrimp and Stout (French) onion soup, also all good.

An early night, as we are tired and the nice meal and drinks have had their effect. Yet another excellent day. Good night.


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