Saturday, 11 July 2009

An Interesting Journey Up Country

We finally left home at 10.30 on our journey to BAH (Blue Anchor Hideaway). Unfortunately, despite living in Cornwall for over 2 and a half years now, we forgot the big big rule that all locals should always adhere to…… NEVER LEAVE CORNWALL ON A SATURDAY.

From the moment we left the house we sat in traffic – nose to tail holiday traffic! It took us 45 minutes to cover the 5 miles to Chiverton Cross roundabout, and after 4 hours we had still not reached Temple.
The car was moving a few feet every 15 minutes or so and there was no turning off for miles yet. I wanted to turn back home and try again tomorrow, but then a news flash came on stating that the west bound carriageway was also stationary, just like the East bound.

We were stuck.

I pulled the map and did what all good Cornish people do (yeah I know we aren’t Cornish, but our audition is going well!) – used the little known unmarked roads to weave across to the A39 Atlantic Highway. I knew that a turning was coming up for a small village called Helland, so we took the turn.
The road just allowed 1 car through, it was very tight but there was nothing ahead so we were able to make back some time with a heavy foot on the gas!

My map reading won out once more and we found the A39, it was empty of traffic and a joy to be on!

We then headed on towards Bude, Bideford, Barnstable and Lynton. Once at Bideford (about 5 and a half hours into the journey at this point) we stopped at the Atlantic Village shopping outlet, to allow Fred a walk and to grab some food for us.

Then it was onward toward Lynmouth. Here we stopped once more for a little walk with Fred, and then headed on towards Minehead.

We were pulling through Alcombe at 6pm, and decided to grab Fish and chips for supper, as the van was now only 10 minutes way.

We got in after 8 hours of travelling – the journey normally takes 2.5 hours – ate our supper and collapsed on the couch.

We definitely deserved the early night we gave ourselves after that day.

Funnily enough though, it was quite a nice day – this was the first traffic jam we have encountered in over 2 years, and we found that watching the people cooing over Fred being a tart on the back seat, watching them from his window, quite amusing.
The stop at Atlantic Village made us decide to go back again when we had the time, as we had not been there before, and the stop in Lynmouth was pleasant and unrushed as people were already leaving after having had their day there already.

So all in all, quite a tiring day, but not in the least bit as terrible as it sounded!


jordiegirl said...

It's awful getting stuck in traffic and taking ages to get to your destination.

I'm revisiting some of my past holidays via your blogs as we used to go camping with our parents when we were kids and even though we were living in Northumberland we travelled the length and breadth of the country over the years.

At one point we had a Mini and there were our parents and us two girls in the car along with all the camping gear. I still don't know how dad got everything into that little car as we never ever had a roof rack!!!!!! Amazing.

Our holidays are a lovely memory to me, fortunately as I got older I started taking photos which is something my parents didn't really do, so I can look back at those too.

In fact we have very few photos of when we were really small. These days I photograph every Christmas and Birthday of my son - but not back then. Although we used to have birthday (tea) parties with friends around to the house not one photo exists of a party or even blowing out birthday cake candles! Sad really.

Joanne said...

I know what you mean - I'm overkill with my camera now and always carry it in my handbag so I have it for 'just in case'