We stopped in Tacoma in Washington for a night through airbnb again. It was a fancy house overlooking a golf resort complete with an ensuite bathroom spacious room. The retired gentleman who lived there helped me cook some pasta, which was slightly weird but he was fatherly and loved cooking. His English was not super but it felt like we reminded him of his daughter and son-in-law living in Seattle, mainly because she was Asian and recently married a white fellow.
We drove to Snoqualmie Falls early the next morning with a half tank of gas/petrol. In New Orleans, almost four weeks back, we’d paid to give the car back empty and my God were we going to try and drive every last drop of gas out of it! The falls were beautiful and accompanied by a hydroplant, firsts of its kind.
Miss Brazil 2015
A short but steep hike later we were ready to drive the final 30 miles to Seattle ending our road trip. It was an emotional drive thankfully slowed down by some light traffic giving us more time with Betzy, but with a slight added stressness of our dash telling us that we were empty.
Seattle hosted our first proper hostel and it seemed good. Totally different lifestyle though, which gave us a taste of what we would be living for the next 6 months. We cooked some instant noodles in the hostel to save money after the splurge of our budget of food and drink overload in Portland. We went to the historic site of first Starbucks ever and then walked around Pike Place Market. Ollie sampled all the free goodies that the market offered.
First Ever Starbucks. Not my favorite coffee but it has kept us awake a few times on this road trip!
Ollie trying to hide his excitement:
Pike Place Market
It was great to meet viral Viral, Arpit and Meha (Hari’s friends). Not only were they last set of familiar faces we were going to see till New Zealand but also reminding me of my brother, making me a little home sick. Over local beers at a dive bar I realized that my ‘baby’ brother was officially an adult and in the real world just like these guys. Of course I knew that but I was delaying embracing him and them being all grown up. We got dinner but none of us ate much and continued on the drinking train.
Meha & her cool new Apple Watch. Ollie was trying to justify its need for the world trip. He failed.
Of course we woke up with a hangover making it more difficult to bid farewell to our companion of 4 weeks. The car, just like us, had seen a lot – from slippery snowy mountains to hot deserts and Americas stunning national parks over 5113 miles. We drove Betzy, who was running on an empty tank, to Virals apartment to drop off our camping gear and then downtown to the rental company. The car was barely getting up the hills at this stage. We wondered if we should’ve just been a little less cheap and put a few dollars gas in it to ease the stress. No! We were sticking to our guns, our budget minds and we’d plenty of faith in our little motor. Get up them steps Betzy! We arrived to Hertz expecting balloons and a welcome wagon from the company. They checked us through and didn’t even comment on our mammoth journey. Way to ruin our moment Hertz. Back to the car for some selfies before we headed out with a slight tear in our eyes and a massive sense of self achievement.
After an unreasonably expensive lunch we napped and then went out to see the space needle.
We walked up the Capitol Hill area which is literally a hill and were glad to see cultural side of Seattle, which was otherwise turning into a generic city. Till then it looked like it only had the pike market going for it, which is pretty much just a tourist attraction.
We had a very satisfying dinner at a Nepalese place with Viral. The spices in the meal were different as we went for the staple Nepalese dishes. We packed our belongings the next morning and had to get rid of the snacks and miscellaneous stuff that Betzy was carrying. We had to get ready to have our life in our backpacks on our two shoulders. We filled ourselves with the free breakfast before starting our day. A lot of hostels do that and it works very well for the poor backpackers.
We did the free walking tour with Jack, a tour guide who was full of information and tips for the frugal backpacker. It was a great tour giving us some much needed appreciation for Seattle. I do wish Jack was a little more humorous though. Two hours is a long time to go without jokes!
Chief Seattle, the city’s namesake:
I loved this, although I think it really belonged further south of our trip
Pike Place Market’s famous flying fish
Lunch was Japanese veggie hot dogs and baked yumminess from Piroshky Piroshky which we enjoyed by the pier. Thanks to Amar and Shweta for the tips! We got lots of coffee at a Starbucks on the 40th floor of Columbia center. Great views for free! Thanks to Jack for this tip.
Another Starbucks plug in this post, but the view was awesome!
We paid bills and tied up loose ends as we took the train to the airport for the last frontier – Alaska.