Monday, 11 July 2016

Colwyn Bay - arrival

Thursday, June 30, 2016
Friday, July 1, 2016

The start of yet another journey.  This time to Colwyn Bay in North Wales.  I have already said goodbye to children and grandchildren and Kevin drops me of at the airport.  After two uneventful and rather boring long flights, with a brief stop in Abu Dhabi, I arrive at Heathrow airport in London.

I catch the bus to the car rental place where I pick up my hire car, which has been upgraded from a humble manual Opel Corsa, which I had booked, to a brand new (16 miles on the clock!) automatic Peugeot 308 with built-in GPS and hands-free for the mobile phone. Sheer luxury! (I have yet to find out if I have been charged extra for that, because it sounds too good to be true!)

I was facing a 4 hour drive, which ended up lasting 6 hours.  The traffic, like anywhere else on a Friday afternoon, is horrendous.  Peak hour traffic and accidents have me crawl along sometimes, even on the M6 toll road.  The toll road was a surprise in itself.  I was on it before I realised it and thought I would get into trouble, because I had not yet picked up local currency.  At the toll boots I made a little detour to the office where I asked if ‘paying by card’ meant a dedicated toll-card (which I didn’t have) or just a credit card. Luckily the latter was the case, so I went through the ‘wide loads’ boom gate, paid my toll and was on my way again.

During my various stops in the traffic I managed to connect my mobile phone to the hands-free so I could ring my hosts that I was on my way, but would be arriving a lot later than expected.  My travel SIM was apparently working. Hurray.

By 8 o’clock I arrived at Sal and Chris’ place in Colwyn Bay, with Chris arriving 5 minutes after me. He’d made the same trip that afternoon from London and was aware of the traffic situation.  Anyway, I received a very warm welcome and felt almost instantly at home with these lovely people and their dog Dylan.

As you might not yet have been aware, this is not an ordinary house exchange, but a hospitality exchange, which means that I will be staying with these lovely people for three weeks and will receive them at a later stage in my own home in Australia.  

We have dinner and a tour of the house, after which I am dying to go to bed, because it’s been a very long day. 

No pictures yet as I have hardly had time to breathe... ;-)

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