It was nice to spend a leisurely Sunday walking around Myrtle Beach. The Redneck Riviera moniker is a bit harsh. Myrtle Beach is not exactly Sandy Lane in Barbados and although it’s a bit tacky I wouldn’t describe it as rough or especially low brow. I’ve never seen a place with so many beachwear shops. Most of them are huge. Surely there’s a limit to the demand for buckets and spades, beach balls and comedy t-shirts. Myrtle Beach also claims to be the crazy golf capital of the world. There are courses all over the place, many of which have all sorts of intricate features.
My rucksack was really beginning to struggle now. It has been falling to bits for a while and despite doing some sewing to patch it up, it has reached a point where it could potentially disintegrate at any moment. This would most probably me while I’m crossing a busy street or on the airport tarmac as it’s being unloaded from a plane. The rucksack has served me well racking up over twelve months of travelling. I now had a decision to make about the replacement. In June, I started off with about 15kg of luggage. Since then I’ve lost a sleeping bag. With a minimalist approach I could probably get this figure down to 10kg. During the last few months I’ve spent a fortune on checked baggage. On most of these flights I’ve seen people clearly flouting the carry-on luggage size rules, without being questioned by airline staff. For all its faults, American Airlines isn’t as stringent (to put it politely) as someone like Ryanair about enforcing luggage regulations. Therefore this afternoon was spent visiting shops, armed with a tape measure, to get the largest possible bag that would be allowed on a plane. This also meant that I’d have to reluctantly part with my darts as they wouldn’t be allowed in hand luggage. I couldn’t find them in my bag so presumably a baggage handler somewhere between Colombia and here had already kindly removed that for me. Also no scissors, shower gel, chili sauce, sun cream, and so on would be allowed. It seemed like a bit of a waste to leave these items behind but I suppose the £20 per flight saved would buy quite a lot of scissors, chili sauce and deodorant.