Once I’d completed the Tennessee section of the Trans-America Trail, I opened the throttle and set course for New Orleans.  I’d driven West to Dallas for New Year, and so this time I thought I’d head south to sample The Big Easy.  Unfortunately I was 2 days late for Mardis Gras, but at least it meant I could get a parking space.  Hell, I’d make my own Mardis Gras!


Once across the TN-MS border and through Tupelo (birthplace of Elvis and home to lots of gum trees) I was surprised to find… absolutely NOTHING!!! In fact, for 50 miles there wasn’t hardly a light on the road as I rode south with the fuel warning light on – just black, dark and nothing.  At least now I know my trusty Tiger can go at least 50 miles with the fuel light on, but I was definitely getting a bit nervous when eventually I rolled into West Point and the nearest Shell garage.


Days Inn – with bar and restaurant next door – Winner!


West Point did, however, have the perfect set-up for a biking traveler: A decent motel (Days Inn) right next door to a decent bar & restaurant.  After a hot shower and washing all my filthy muddy clothes & luggage, I put on my glad rags and ventured out for a few pints and dinner.  Yippee!


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Gulfport, MS

It may have been fate, but the night before I reached the Mississippi Gulf Coast I had opened up my laptop, wondered onto facebook and accepted a friend request from a girl I knew at school back in good old Norwich, UK.  Alison now, surprisingly, lived in Gulfport, just a couple of hours away from me, and on the way (more or less) to New Orleans.  Her kind invitation to stay for a night was quickly accepted, and, after giving Tiger a well deserved clean (she was FILTHY after the Trans-America Trail), I set off south into the beautiful Mississippi sun, which made a welcome change from 3 days of rain.


Gulfport – the jewel of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast…


Lovely big beach – but HOT!


The 2nd biggest city in Mississippi and home of the Seebees, Gulfport has 10km of white sandy beaches (although I wouldn’t class them as beautiful) and numerous casinos.  Instead of losing my money gambling I instead exchanged it for dinner and drinks down Gulfport Downtown, which is always much more fun in my eyes.  Alison was a great host; it’s always good to be shown around by a local!

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