We took the 5h25 commuter train and arrived in DC just before 8h. We were lucky as there was a storage facility at the station so we dumped our backpacks, grabbed a Starbucks coffee (SA just doesn’t have the market to get the turnover these small outlets must be generating: there must have been 12 staff members operating behind the counter in a 75sq meter store and the store was abuzz. Kim and Linda, I wish you could see it!).
We walked to Capitol Hill and had it all to ourselves for a few minutes before groups started arriving.
Then we walked down the National Mall to the end (Lincoln Memorial), via World War 2 Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial.
There were so many runners in the area I ALMOST felt like a run.
We will go back tomorrow to visit some of the museums – Trevor will probably do a war theme schedule and I will go to the National Gallery.
From here we walked to get to a phone shop to sort out phone issues, then to a cellular provider to sort out pay as you go connectivity issues, then to the REI (outdoor shop) to get new sleeping mats (ours have worn too thin by now) and then back to the station from where we caught a Metro to the end of the Metro line where Glen (ATC volunteer) picked us up and drove us to our hotel 1km away from the show. He is – as all the people we meet on and around the trail, just a very special man. He did his thru-hike in 1979, nowadays he is a runner (with a wife who runs too and he doesn’t mind to tell you she runs better than him 😀)
We walked to the show and will walk back tonight (it is not far) but by now we have already walked 28 000 steps. So there is no way this is a zero day!
There was a lack of communication (Or system failure) between Booking.Com and the Sheraton (where we are staying) so we had to wait for 30mins to get it sorted out. As you know Ria would have become very agitated but Jozi…. she just patiently sat and let them get on with it. To compensate for the inconvenience they upgraded us to the top floor with a view onto the lake and included free breakfast to our stay.
The contrast is stark. Last night we were in a solid but small 1820 built “boutique stay” in a historic town, tonight we are staying in a big room with luxurious white towels in a modern district, and tomorrow night we will be in our sleeping bags in a tent in the middle of a forest. Tonight we will have a few beers and a restaurant meal, tomorrow night will be energy bars or two minute noodles.
At the concert now.