Saturday, 22 May 2010

Riding to Penzance

“Wyona is the great planner and executer of plans.

All day she has been aware of the buses we should take, and the train connections between the First Great Western and the South Western Lines that would us deliver us all the way to Penzance and back today.

Eyebrows would rise when conductors would ask her where she was going and she would say, “From London to Penzance and back again.

“Not the ideal way to have a leisurely trip,” one of our fellow passengers said.

I have always understood that the joy is in the process and not in the destination.

However when we were standing on the platform at Penzance, knowing that we couldn’t even get into town, but that we had to take the very train we had just come off of, back to London, in order to get home by midnight, I had a small moment when I thought we might just stay over the night, since the wind coming off of the bay was so beautiful, and the sun was shining so brightly.

You are brought us our first good day,” the man who checks the tickets said, and that is why the trains are so full today. Everyone has poured out of their houses and is going to the seaside after so many grey, misty weeks.

The first flaw crept into our perfect plan when a homeless person call out to us this morning, “The 205 is not in service”, as the bus speed by us.

We were content to take the next bus but he suggested we use the Tube to King’s Cross.

“Only one stop away,” he said.

I had wondered how he knew where we were going, but of course, he had seen us try to flag the bus down, and he and his fellow street sleepers were awake for the night.

“This is his front room,” I remembered, “and he knows who comes and goes on this street, for it is the street where he lives.

His suggestion of taking the tube might have worked if we had picked up the right underground line to King’s Cross.

Of course, along the way, Wyona helped two other people find their way on the tube, and also lost me since she was running down flights of stairs with the luggage, faster than I could follow her.

At one point I was at a four way junction, where stairs were going downwards east, west, north and south and I was calling in the empty halls, “Wyona, where are you?”
So we missed out first connection.

“This is only an experiment,” I said to Wyona, and she said back, “No, this is the real thing today. We are using our passes.”

Today was a hard day for me – I had to choose whether to write as we rode the trains, whether to take pictures or whether to just sit on the train and drink in the beautiful scenery and read from the guide book as we went along.

Southwest England, the District of Cornwall is where we have been today – Wyona planned a circular route so that we took the trains that follow the major highways to the end of the coast, and then we changed routes to take a small milk run back to London.

I took 600 pictures, not counting the ones I deleted.

This post has contained some of them.

Now we have to go to bed so that we can get up and be on the 7:20 am train for Ipswich tomorrow.

In fact, she told me if I don't go to bed our trip is off for tomorrow.

So, I just have one more thing to say.

Don't worry about us starving to death as you can see from the one suitcase that contained only our picnic lunch.

We took too much food today -- enough for 3 days, for four people, actually: radishes, red peppers, dill pickles, chocolates, 2 kinds of biscuits, a mixed of nuts and fruit that we never broke into, chicken salad sandwiches -- if we got trapped in a train station we would have been good for about a week.

As well, the first class passes include complimentary juices, tea, coffee, sweet biscuits, chips and yogurt covered pressed fruits and nuts.



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