Wednesday dawns and suddenly we're no longer set on driving to New Orleans as I had thought. So it is that we go to the local Internet cafe and start the search for alternatives once more. After twenty minutes or so of browsing various sites, me for buses, Dave for flights, we have hatched a new plan. We were to catch a Greyhound bus from Medford to Portland and then fly to New Orleans from there courtesy of America West airlines who run a service that doesn't break the bank.
The only trouble with our revised itinerary was timing. We needed to go back to the motel and pack instantly. Then there was the small issue of the car to get back to the airport in time to avoid an extra days rental charge. It was tight, but we bade farewell to Jon and made the rental desk with at least thirty seconds to spare. Yet another taxi ride saw us back at the motel via a sports store where I purchased a new bag, my old one having become rather dirty and not a little hole ridden during the course of the four weeks riding. Jon was a little surprised to see us again so soon, and we discovered that he'd been moved into a room looking something like a pimps bedroom, all filled with mirrors and glittery things. Was it on request I wonder?
Now I confess to being a little easily stressed when I'm travelling on public transport so I like to make sure that I'm everywhere in good time in order to make connections etc. Thus I once again had to prod Dave into moving as he was by now comfortable on another bed and I didn't think we had time to be lounging about. When we got to the bus station, we bought tickets and went next door for a bite to eat at a noodle/sushi bar. It was this lunch that was nearly our undoing! I ventured back into the station to discover that the bus had already been called, loaded and gone. Fortunately for us the demand was such that a second bus had been laid on for the Medford-Portland route that day, so we rushed ourselves onto that one instead.
We passed through several small towns most of which were nothing to write home about. The one place that looked quite appealing was Eugene, a university town of reasonable size that had proper buildings, tree lined streets, shops that were actually open, all the good things... I thought it might have been a nice place to spend a little time, but we were just passing through. We arrived in Portland at about 9pm, a place which also looked quite interesting. After making a few enquiries about where to catch the Max tram ( they like to call it a light train) we made our way to the stop and asked a couple of police officers where would be best to get off for cheap accommodation close to the airport. It turns out that there is no cheap accommodation really close to the airport, which should come as no surprise I suppose. Anyway, they directed us to a station about two thirds of the way along the line and we got off the tram there. Handily, the motels were literally outside the station entrance and we picked the most likely looking candidate, where we were greeted by one of Dave's countrymen. I can't remember where in Wales he had come from, but he was another in a seemingly long line of expatriate British people we had met on the trip. A swift trip to the local pizza house (staffed by an exceptionally miserable oriental chap, no wonder the place was empty) and some TV viewing took us to days end and sleep