Chincoteague and south

There is a wide range of accommodation available in Chincoteague. I stayed at Cedar Gables Seaside Inn, which overlooked the water on the eastern side of the island. It was very up market, modern but designed in a classical manner. The bed was comfortable, and wonderful services.

Through a miscommunication, Mary stayed elsewhere – the Channel Bass Inn. Her hosts, David and Barbara, were delightful people, showing a great interest in Mary, where she had come from, what she was doing. Barbara was English and had added her touch to the garden and the afternoon teas that the inn served.

Both of us were fortunate in the range of foods offered at breakfast time. We couldn’t have been better catered for.

Then we were off to see the wonders of the Chincoteague Wildlife Reserve. The Eastern Shore of Virginia, and the islands such as Chincoteague and Assateague are on the Atlantic flyway for Monarch butterflies, shorebirds, waterfowl and others that nest in the north and migrate south for the winter.

There are different areas – salt marshes, pine forests, and the specially-developed freshwater impoundments on the refuge are nesting places for a huge variety of birds including various plovers, gulls, terns, geese, herons, and ducks. There is even an eagle’s nest which can be watched from the comfort of the well-designed visitors centre.

Chincoteague is a really charming little centre, lots of shops, everything you could want, but quaint little antique and second-hand book shops, curios etc – we could have spent hours there. Many of the houses are historic and all of the buildings have a charm of their own.

With Tracy Lovell, from the Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission, we had a beautiful meal at Bill’s Seafood Restaurant that night – highly recommended. I wish I could have spent weeks here at Chincoteague. But we had to move on!

Leaving Chincoteague we continued our journey south, finally reaching the amazing tunnel/bridge complex which crosses the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel has been considered a modern engineering wonder for over 43 years. Crossing over and under open waters where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, it is a direct link between south-eastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula (DELaware plus the Eastern Shore counties in MARyland and VirginiA).

If we had ‘gone round’ it would have added another 95 miles to our journey – well worth the $12 toll.

Following its opening in 1964, the Bridge-Tunnel was selected “one of the seven engineering Wonders of the modern world. Construction of a parallel crossing opened to four-lane traffic in 1999.

It was amazing to drive over this and see the bridge snaking ahead of us over the sea.

On the other side we pulled into an ‘economy motel’ for the night, and we will get to Charlottesville via Monticello tomorrow. We’re still having fun!

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