Tuesday 4 August 2009

Cornwall by Public Transport I

Last minute e-mails and post done, we set off on foot to the bus stop in Milton, for a holiday in Cornwall. We would try to use public transport.

First, onto the Citi 2 for remarkably fast run into Cambridge at 12:15 and a thank you to the cheery driver. The Citi 1 arrived for the next leg, but when the massive queue rushed to board, an experienced Jane spotted the empty Citi 3 behind it which sped us to the station.

With time on hand before the 13:15 to London Kings Cross, M&S was raided for sandwiches and drinks. The non-stop London run was familiar and passed pleasantly in the sunshine till Ally Pally and the Emirates Stadium heralded an imminent arrival in London.

The Underground at King's Cross seems to perpetually shift whenever I visit! We jumped onto a recently arrived Circle line train to head for Paddington, only to get off at Edgeware road where it terminated, one tantalising stop before Paddington itself.

The 15:06 sleek Intercity 225 of eight coaches was packed – we had not been able to get an earlier train because they had all been booked by last Saturday. Fortunately we not only had reserved seats, we were able to find and claim them, others were not so lucky. it's departure was delayed by 10 minutes as the driver was himself delayed from a previous train.

And so we rode into the increasingly gray skies. Despite passengers gushing off at stations on the way, their numbers were constantly replenished. Because of the train being overfull the carriage ends were blocked with the unfortunate third class placings - standing room with loads of luggage for the price of a full ticket. A side effect was to activate the pressure pads controlling the doors, which banged open and shut in repetitive and irritating beat.

The sea! Great excitement as we left Exeter and the sea lapped right up to the embankment, with the occasional spray from the choppy waters crashing against the curved walls of the sea defences. A flock of older ladies settled temporarily in neighbouring seats, twittering amongst themselves and to anyone who would listen, before departing at Newton Abbot.

The clouds descended further and by Liskeard, our delay had increased to 25 minutes as we were held up my slower trains ahead of us. We were relieved to finally arrive at Truro at 20:25 and walked to our B&B, The Haven.

And a welcome haven it was! with Michael & Lorna Marsh giving us a warm reception, rustling up some scrambled eggs and beans on toast and tea to replenish our energy. The Haven is situated in Truro Vean Terrace and the towers of the Cathedral could be seen nearby from the room's window.

We had landed at last.

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