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Friday 29 July. On the Road yet again…


By moving the trailer to Falmouth, we’d shaved around ten miles off what would be the longest journey of the week – from the far tip of Cornwall to Essex, and we were on the road by 0745 to avoid parking charges.

We retraced our route of a couple of days before, stopping at Exeter for breakfast, and heading back down the A303 for the third time in four days. Our fears about the A303 in holiday season at the start of the weekend proved unfounded, and we made great time as far as the fleet services on the M3.

But the M25 proved our undoing. We got on it at around 1500, and – thanks to about three different holdups – got off it five and a half hours later at around 2030, after which it started to rain. Oh – and halfway round, in one of the stationary bits, an adjacent lorry driver pointed out that one of the trailer tyres was knackered, so we pulled over and changed it for the spare.

We got to Stow Maries aerodrome near Maldon in Essex and unhitched the trailer, then headed off to our accommodation, which was a pub. By now it was 2100 – more than thirteen hours after setting out – and they’d stopped serving food some while before, and the karaoke was going full blast right underneath our rooms. It was a fitting end to a very, very trying day.

Theo had done most of the driving, having been in the hot seat for the first leg to Exeter and the last bit round London. He retained his cool and his sense of humour and was far more observant than I was, and without him I don’t know where I would have been. I wasn’t feeling brilliant, and I’d have made a great many more stupid decisions.


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