A TRAIN TRIP AROUND THE UK, DAIRY 1990

(Edited and adapted, January 2019 & October 2020)

Part Six: Days 11-14 (The West Country)

Period August-September 1990

Sketch, Bath
Day 11SATURDAY08/09/1990CARDIFF – BATH

Cardiff to Bath: Managed to get to my destination by 10:30, no incidents en route.

Bath: Took a stroll up a very long and steep hill, sweating my testicles off in the hope of getting some nice views over the city, no such luck.  The rest of the day was good, managed to see the sights.  Had to pay to visit the Royal Gardens due to not being a resident of Bath, so it was a case of giving that a miss on principle.  Clouds and silver linings.  The views looking over to the Jubilee gardens were spectacular, probably better than the other way around!

Managed to get the bus to Hinton Charterhouse ok, the village where my maternal grandparents lived.  I nearly missed my stop, but arrived there about six.  As there were no mobiles at that time, I couldn’t let them know my progress and say to go ahead with ‘high tea’, i.e. 4pm afternoon cuppa and cake, without me.  So they waited for me, bit embarrassing.

Hinton Charterhouse pm.: had a meaningful conversation with Grandpa on various topics, with the common theme of the evils of modern capitalism.  Hence where I get my socialist streak from.

 Day 12SUNDAY09/09/1990BATH – EXETER

Hinton Charterhouse: Couldn’t believe I didn’t wake up until 11:30 am, must have needed the sleep.  Sammy, my aunt came over for lunch, and I spent most of the afternoon listening to her problems.  Hope they get sorted out for her.

Hinton Charterhouse to Exeter via Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Mead Stations: Fortunately Sammy drives, so I managed to get a lift to Bath Spa.  No incidents to report for this leg of the trip.

Exeter Youth Hostel: Very clean, nice showers.

 Day 13MONDAY10/09/1990EXETER – PENZANCE

Editorial Note: for some reason I let the diary slip for the last two days of my trip.  So, the final accounts will be based on memory.

Exeter: very little about the place in my opinion except being a very pleasant ‘cathedral city’, much like Canterbury.

Exeter to Penzance: only thing I can remember is the scenery on this stretch of rail network.  The Tamar Bridge crossing Devon into Cornwall, as well as the final few miles into Penzance were specular.  The latter, the railway line was only a few metres from the sea.  This stretch is often closed during the bad storms they have in the area.

Penzance Hostel: from what I recall, it was quite a pleasant olde-worlde type of place, lots of character about the building.  I think the facilities and staff must have been ok as nothing stands out.

I had a very enjoyable walk around the harbour and then had a chippy tea whilst watching the Cornish sunset.  A fitting last night for a memorable holiday.

 Day 14TUESDAY11/09/1990PENZANCE – WINCHESTER

Penzance: I spent a few hours in the town, pretty much like many other seaside venues in the UK, lots of gift shops and twee cafes.  I presume I got myself a coffee and something to eat whilst I was there.

Penzance to Winchester, via London Paddington and Waterloo Mainline Stations: Although it would have been quicker to go another route, I wanted to do the full five hour terminal to terminal journey up to London.  It took three hours to get to Exeter, stopping at all the main Cornish towns on the way, then fast-tracked via Reading to Paddington.  Although long, I did enjoy this journey, watching the various landscapes pass by, as I did for the entire two weeks. I got to Waterloo around eight pm, the train to Winchester was full of commuters after a hard day’s work fleecing the welfare state.

ON REFLECTION:

Looking back thirty years, it has brought a smile to my face typing up this dairy, in particular my use of the English language to describe the naughty thoughts I was having on the trip.  I have changed since in many ways, but in other ways I’m still the big kid at heart.

Jarmin Apple

October 2020

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