This post was originally published on www.randomstoat.com on 28 August 2010.
Another early start to wrap up the holiday. Shower drains were clogged with something, I didn’t want to investigate too closely. Similarly, the toilets were hardly in fantastic condition. Glad we were leaving, quite frankly. Somehow we got everything packed away rather easily, throwing away a fair amount of unwanted stuff for reasons of space. We’d decided to pop into Newquay for the morning before heading home, so we squeezed into the car (back in full sardines mode as we were on Monday) and made the now regular trip to the top car park by the hotel. Yet again many drivers were trying to get into the car park on the opposite side of the road with roofboxes on their vehicles. The amount of times I’ve been at that car park and heard a crunch as they hit the maximum height barrier… Classic.
We had another walk down the high street and did some last minute shopping. For me it was mostly about the food – bought sticks of rock for the family and a small selection of fudges and coconut ice to see me through. At the top end of the high street there was a typical beach resort/fairground food seller, providing freshly cooked doughnuts at a vastly over inflated price. Still, it was £1.50 well spent, it’s always a good doughnut if you see it cooking right in front of you. Almost bought a hoodie at Fat Willy’s (a shop that looks massive from the outside but is about three feet square on the inside) but realised it was £30 I could put to better use elsewhere.
After folks had done the last of their shopping, we stopped off in another tea room for one final Newquay lunch. The food itself was very nice, in my case a cheese and ham sandwich with a side portion of chips shared between myself, Liz and Dee. Fun was had with paying. I paid £10 and had a £5 note given to me before we handed it to the waitress. Then the waitress handed both me and Dee £5 each as change, which was a bit odd because we’d all paid either the exact amount or had sorted out the change between us. Like the good people we are, we pointed out the mistake and handed the money back to them. Rather than buy a second drink I decided to save my money and buy two bottles of Pepsi from Poundland next door, also handy for the journey home. We doubled back and, after a final visit to the first sweet shop on the high street, we went back to the car. We bid our farewells to the other three, who were sticking around in Newquay for a little longer, and the four of us started the journey home. Not before stopping at Morrisons for petrol and snacks, however. I was quite pleased that I hadn’t had to fill the car up again all week, I still had about a quarter of a tank left from filling up the previous weekend. Alternating the driving all week no doubt helped, but given the mileage I still think it was impressive.
And so the journey home began, and not without incident. We hit traffic just past Bodmin and my diversionary tactic failed and brought us back out on the same road (navigation fail). The traffic did keep moving and we were soon making headway again. Then more traffic further up the A38, this time apparenty caused by an accident. We had to shift to one side to allow a police car through, and by the time we were moving again the police car driver was putting a road sign back in his car. We didn’t hit any more traffic until the M5, where it went ridiculously busy approaching Weston, but nowhere near as bad as it was going southbound. Traffic for at least 10 junctions. Glad we weren’t heading down there that Saturday.
We stopped at the same Bristol services as we had on the way down there. I finally crumbled and bought a Burger King meal. Even better, with every meal you got free onion rings or free chicken bites, which went down well. Just as we thought about leaving a storm rolled in. We decided to try sitting it out but that didn’t really work, so I bravely (foolishly) decided to get back out on the motorway and continue the journey home. Whilst it was rather nasty-going for half an hour, the rain soon relented and we made good time for the rest of the journey. I dropped off the other passengers and got home in one piece. After getting everything in from the car my first port of call was the shower. It was official: I was home again.