I left the Toisa Perseus at lunch time on Wednesday at lunch time, but not by the way I thought I was going to. Myself and two other guys had a “basket” transfer across to the supply boat “Justin Callais” We then had a nine hour sail into Fourchon. We arrived in Fourchon around 10pm and had unloaded the containers that had been back-loaded from the Perseus before the driver from the ships agent arrived to take us up to New Orleans. The drive up to New Orleans didn’t take as long as I remembered it taking, but the last time I did that it was in a big bus. It took a little over an hour and a half this time, so we arrived at the hotel just before midnight. We did manage to have a couple of beers before calling it a night. I didn’t sleep too well, and when I met the other guys for breakfast I could only face a couple of cups of coffee. I don’t know if it was tiredness or if some of the seafood I’d had on the boat wasn’t sitting too well with me. I don’t mind most fish, but don’t care much for shrimp and other shell-fish. The other two guys were getting picked up at noon to be taken to the airport, so I said my goodbyes to them and got a taxi from the hotel down to the Union Station in downtown New Orleans. Once I’d got my bus ticket and itinerary sorted out, I tried to find a phone so that I could call Dazzle and tell her what time I would be arriving in Grand Rapids. I couldn’t find one that would take a credit card, and when I dialled her mobile number on a coin phone, it said “please deposit $4.18” which I didn’t have in change! I did find an internet access point that took credit cards, so I send Dazzle’s mom an email to pass on the message of when I’d be arriving. Of course in doing all this I realised afterwards that I’d told her the wrong time, and would end up waiting at the bus station for 45minutes before she’d arrive! Anyway, my bus left New Orleans at 5:25pm, and there were only about 6 or 7 people on it. The first part of the journey had quite a few stops til we got to the first layover of 40 minutes at Jackson, Mississippi. We were a bit late getting into Jackson, but I was able to find a phone there that took credit cards. I managed to call Dazzle and let her know the RIGHT time that I would be arriving. She was tired and had to be up early so we didn’t talk long, but it was so good to hear her voice. After Jackson we had another couple of hours and a couple of stops until we got to Memphis. Before I’d parted with the guys at the hotel, one of them said “I’m glad I’m not going on the bus… the ‘loony’ always sits beside me..” 😯 Well, the loony didn’t sit beside me… he sat directly behind me. 😕 After non-stop drunken rambling that was disturbing everyone on the bus (it was, after all, 1am and most people were trying to get some sleep), the driver put him off the bus at the next stop. We were a little behind schedule when we arrived at Memphis, which did have the advantage that it meant that there wasn’t too much time to kill before my next bus, only about 40 minutes, instead of an hour and a half. The bus from Memphis to Chicago was much more direct. 4 hours, one stop, 4 more hours and we were at the outskirts of Chicago. I did manage to get a little sleep on the first four hour stint, as it was still dark, but the second four hours were very restless. The bus got into the downtown station in Chicago around 1:30pm and left me with 3 hours to fill in before my final bus leg. I tried to read a little, but couldn’t concentrate too well. The last bus trip wasn’t too bad as it was only five hours with two or three stops on the way and I knew that Dazzle would be waiting to pick me up at the bus station. I know that this doesn’t really count as I wasn’t actually travelling HOME as such, but I do think that this is a new record for me, for the time taken from leaving the boat to arriving at my destination.. 58 hours.

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