Saturday, 9 August 2008

Overnight through the Delta.

Friday morning saw Matt and Aida turn our van north and head back to Indianapolis to spend a little more time with their family, which left four of us still on the road and heading for New Orleans.

We'd just assumed - in a terribly European way - that leaving Memphis would be a simple matter of catching any train south. So leaving Gianni and Bruna sitting on the luggage in Starbucks, Feda and I headed off to make arrangements.

The next four hours were hysterical. Yes - there was a train, but only one...and it had already left at six in that morning. We'd probably just have stayed up with the musicians on Beale overnight, but Saturday morning's train was already full with Memphis residents escaping town to avoid Elvis' week - so no go there. The bus was possible, but took forever and again meant waiting 'til Saturday. Airline prices were astronomical so that was out! The hotel prices had also dramatically shot up as the weekend approached and the town filled with non Memphis residents arriving from all over the world FOR Elvis week! So sitting tight also seemed the wrong move. Admitting temporary defeat we rejoined the others and went for a good lunch to reassess - or think American.

Thinking American means not relying on public services to get you out of trouble and, even before the catfish and fresh lemonade arrived, Feda had begun to negotiate with the concierge about hiring a car overnight, just to do the six hour push through the delta. In then end this proved cheaper and (because a van the size of a Sherman tank was delivered to the door almost before we'd paid the bill) much more fun.

Feda was on a roll, after the cul de sac morning. She blagged us into Sun Studios - even though we were too late for the official tour and Gianni had his photo taken with Elvis' mike and then with a brilliant sunset over the river side park we finally escaped Memphis, hit route 55 and headed into Mississippi and the Deep South - laughing all the way.

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