Just a few more quick notes. It’s pretty late here as I type and we need to sleep.

Portland was pretty cool. Bits of it felt very familiar; it was the right temperature in the evening, there was a food festival on, people were friendly and open, and of course Oregon has no sales tax, so for once the price on the sticker is what you actually pay. (A good place to buy a computer, you might think.) The festival had live music (we missed They Might Be Giants by a night) and a good vibe by the river. A paddlesteamer went past and the scene felt like a Brisbane summer evening at Southbank.

Our motel was a bit scungy, but for many dollars more you essentially get slightly nicer linen and a longer queue (well, a queue in the first place) at check in. Shame the HI was booked out, because it looked good. Either way, the laptop purchase blew any savings out of the water and Nic hit the Columbia store the next day and took care of any spare bills still floating about.

Post-Portland, we drove to the coast and began the final stage of our journey south. To Newport, and another slightly scummy motel. Here, a few dollars more would have got us a little closer to the fog banks rolling in from the ocean. Odd that this stretch of the coast is set up just like any Australian beach town, but this one is a) too cold to swim and b) foggy if it’s hot inland. So if you live inland and think “Wow, what a nice day – I think I’ll head to the beach” you’re almost guaranteed a cold, miserable spell indoors.

On the way to Newport, in Lincoln City, we proved the practical use of our internet “borrowing” plan. It goes something like this: write emails on laptop away from internet, park outside hotel offerering free wireless internet, open laptop up, wait five seconds, send and receive emails, close laptop, leave. Assuming we’ve pulled the same trick today, that’s how you’re reading this blog entry. Sneaky, underhanded, but a victimless crime. (Note, this message is late because this trick hasn’t worked. Oh well.)

More soon on and from the Oregon coast.