One Of The Biggest Journeys Of My Life.

Updated: Jul 30

Hello and welcome along to the blog!

I wanted to dedicate this blog to my Land's End To Lowesoft Run.

27th June 2022, Whilst I was sat at home, giving DPD yet more chances (spoiler: nothing came), Will was out on the road adventuring to beautiful places - road-tripping his way to Penzance, stopping off at Cheddar Gorge, a beautiful beach in Weston Super-Mare, Glastonbury (whilst festival was on!) as well as a location from Hot Fuzz and an indoor crazy golf course...It would have been amazing to go with him, but I was dealing with DPD's incompetence.

28th June, 2022

On the 28th June, 2022, I left the Isle Of Wight, and headed down south.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and heading into Cornwall was INCREDIBLY picturesque - and made me consider either living there, or at least going on holiday there - either on my own or with a future partner.

There's just so much to do down there (scenic walks, Bournemouth, Steam Trains etc.) - and having two family members down there makes it all the more appealing.

Totally unbeknownst to me, not an hour behind Will, (the guy I would be driving from Land's End To Lowesoft with) was on exactly the same road as me.

Had it not been for a wrong turning, it's quite possible we would have either never met up, or met much later down the road, or hell, maybe in Penzance or the next day!

Things were going swimmingly until I passed a small, sleepy town called "Mitchell".

At the next roundabout after this, I was supposed to go straight on, however, for some reason I mis-judged this and thought it was the 4th exit.

Looking back, I have no idea why I didn't just go around the roundabout again, and take the correct exit, but fate played it's course.

Anyway, I headed back towards Mitchell, took the first exit on the motorway, went through the town/village, and then re-emerged on the A30.

I'm not sure when exactly I noticed, but after the roundabout (that I screwed up) - I noticed the Astra, and noticed its distinct tinted rear lights, and after a little bit of a sketchy overtake, I instantly knew it was Will.

I stayed behind the car he had just overtaken, and caught back up to him at a set of temporary traffic lights after another roundabout (this one had no red markings, and wasn't confusing)

Confusing the hell out of the driver in front, I flashed my lights at Will and waved out the window, only when the lights would turn green would he notice me.

After eventually overtaking the poor sod in the car splitting us, life was but a dream...a BEAUTIFUL sunset, the GORGEOUS views and hills of Cornwall, and convoying with a good friend I've known since 2017.

Considering we both have Dyspraxia, I'm honestly shocked and surprised that we managed to pull this off (accidentally meeting).

Whilst my stop for the night was in the middle of the woods in Penzance, we met up in (central) Penzance to discuss the game-plan, stretch our legs and say hello.

Admittedly, it was pretty difficult to find the property - Waze taking me close enough, but with no cigar.

When I arrive at where Waze took me, I then called the AirBNB host, who was incredibly friendly and incredibly helpful - directing me to the house (and even the right driveway!

I'm just glad she responded to my phone-call at 10pm!

The property was an idyllic little cottage, tucked away in the woods, and my bedroom for the night was luxurious.

Ironically enough, on this night, Will and his partner had a shoddy hotel, and the following night - they had a lovely hotel and I had a bit of a shoddy hotel!

Upon arriving at the AirBNB on the 28th, I noticed a sign to an "ancient village" - and said to myself that it was something to investigate the following day.

29th June, 2022 - The Day Of The Drive

My AirBNB host wanted me out at 11am, so she could clean the place for the next host/so she could have some alone time before the next host arrived.

After a breakfast of an oat-y/raisin-mix cereal, my first port of call was the ancient village.

After faffing about a bit, I eventually found it (closer than I thought), and I was amazed to find that a large portion was still standing - and was still visible.

Some had been untouched/left as "earth-works", as uncovering them would have caused damaged, but there was a fair amount to see and look around in.

I truly am an old man, no social media apps (other than Facebook), the old man car, and now visiting ancient villages/historic sites - I truly do have to sort my pension out soon!

After having a nosy around the village, I drove straight to Land's End (Will left Penzance by that point).

To my surprise, Land's End wasn't a town, it was just a car-park and tourist-y building, but it was very interesting.

After meeting up, we had a little look around the surrounding areas - going down to the "First And Last House" and bought some souvenirs.

Since it was only 4pm, and we had plenty of time to kill, we headed back to Penzance and we bought provisions for the journey as well as had a car wash.

By 6:30pm, (3 hours to "Lights Out") (literally) we arrived back in Lands End and had a little photo-shoot with our cars.

This was (rudely) interrupted by a coach full of kids arriving and taking over the area. (Good idea to miss the crowds during the day!)

During this time, I discovered a mini mock-up model village - apparently based on the buildings in the area around 1900.

After this, I had a little explore down a costal path and was treated to some stellar views.

I shortly after returned from my walk, and took a few further photos of my car.

Come about 8pm, it was suggested that we get a power-nap just before the start of the drive, so, with the car-park being dead-deserted, I did so...without curtains.

It wasn't the most comfortable night's-sleep in the world, but it did suffice.

With about 15 minutes to go before sunset, we took our last pictures with the John O' Groats sign and returned to our cars, to the start line.

Now, due to us both using our phones for Sat-Navs, and Will's partner using her phone to record the start of the journey, we had no way of counting down the seconds until the (exact) start.

What I do know however, is that as the live-stream started at 21:33, and 58 seconds into the video, the dashboard clock hits 21:34.

2 Minutes later, at the turn of 2:58 in the video/live-stream, Will absolutely guns it - meaning his reactions were absolutely on point - I, on the other hand was caught completely napping and was left in the dust, which is fair enough - as to me, every second didn't count, I'd get there when I'd get there.

In all fairness, after an 8ish hour journey, to only arrive (spoiler, I arrived) 45 minutes after Will, is a miraculous achievement.

First off, it wasn't a race - it wasn't a race between two cars - it wasn't a race between me and Will.

Secondly, it wasn't a rally - it wasn't to see "how fast one could reach the destination of Lowesoft

Thirdly, it was "Man VS God" - Well, depends what you believe in, but it was Man VS Massive flaming ball of gas. (technically a star).

There was also an element of "common knowledge" - I followed waze to the T, whilst Will used his knowledge of back-roads to beat the Sky-Giant.

From sunset to sunrise was 6 hours and 57 minutes. We had to cover over 400 miles in that time (400/7) = 57mph - but that was to arrive there on time, so you'd need to travel an average at least 58mph to make it - round that up to 60mph.

Now, if the whole stretch was three-lane motorway, I'm pretty certain we would have both made it, but as Cornwall/Devon have received less traffic throughout history, there hasn't been a need for them, and they haven't been built - meaning the maximum speed for the start of the journey was 60mph - and that's if you COULD. The tight and twisty Cornish roads made reaching 60mph suicidal.

Eventually, it did straighten out, and there was dual carriages I could utilise.

From memory, I believe that this trip was the longest single-stint of driving I've ever done - considering that lorry drivers can do 9 hours, I can't leave it out of the equation.

I'll admit, I'd rather drive during the day rather than the night, as the body is "meant" to be awake during the day, and there's plenty to look at (by the side of the road), but night-driving can be cool in its own aspect as well.

During the drive, I ate the sweets I had bought, fished out a bottle from my sainsbury's bag and unscrewed a lid - to my surprise (and slight disappointment), it was the chocolate milkshake I had bought - and I instantly felt more relaxed, and a little more drowsy - the reverse of what I intended to do.

I intended to sharpen myself up by hydrating myself with a drink (of Apple and Blackcurrant) - but dug out the wrong drink, this was quickly rectified.

I'll admit - whilst Will wasn't bound to the speed-limit/speed cameras, I was - I swore to myself that I wouldn't - Will knew routes that by-passed cameras (a.k.a the M25), and I followed Waze and the speed limits religiously, maybe creeping up to 72 - 75mph as my speedometer was 2mph off.

I'll also admit that during the night, to keep me awake/alert/active...and there's no nice way of putting this, picked a few scabs.

30th June

It worked though as the sky lightened, and the sun rose. Will arrived at 4:29am - with one minute (or less than a minute) to spare before sunrise. At the time, I was probably somewhere around Ipswich with the coast no-where in sight.

I'd eventually have McDonalds, and then rest for a couple of hours.

Due to the curtains not arriving, I hadn't booked a hotel (plan was to sleep in the car) - so somehow, we found a hotel relatively nearby, I eventually headed off towards Great Yarmouth - seeing Will and his partner for the last time in...well, since I wrote this blog.

It was only half-an-hour, but at about 2pm, I headed off.

Great Yarmouth brings back memories, a lot of memories - it was very weird - I guess I didn't know how to feel - happy for the memories? Sad that those times are gone? I mean, I suppose I had a good time with my friends, but it was just a hell of a journey from Essex! (And we took the Land Rover...which is

The Hotel was quite honestly a fucking mess.

On arrival, it appeared that the hotel was having a MAJOR identity crisis.

On, where I booked it, it was called "The Majestic Hotel" (spoiler: It was anything but majestic.)

Within the Hotel, it was called "The Sea Princess Hotel" on place-mate and on the paper directions to the rooms.

Waze thought it was called "Regency Hotel" - so I didn't know WHAT to call this place.

It also appears that the same building was called the Hadleigh Gables back in 2014.

The layout of the Hotel was also a mess with rooms being placed wherever the builders saw fit - this causing room numbers to be dotted all over the place.

When I eventually did find my room...The bedroom was...alright, but the bathroom - sorry *toiletroom was absolutely pitiful.

For starters, the bathroom itself was the width of the toilet + 1cm on each side, with a shower on the other side.

This in itself, didn't bother me - but what did was the smell - it didn't smell horrible, it just had and indescribable odour it felt...wet, heavy and almost moist or musty - this coupled with mould on the ceiling turned me off having a shower that evening.

This wasn't helped by the fact that there was an ominous shape in my bathroom light

TL: My room was (literally) falling apart TM: There was no need for the bathroom to be this small.

TR: The cleanliness of the shower just wasn't up to my expectations

BL: Mould above the shower, lovely.

BR: This was the final straw for me.

I then proceeded to lock myself out of my room (I thought I had my room key, but instead I had my car-key.

The lady said that she didn't have a spare, tried some unsorted spare keys, but none worked.

She then tried one more, but also came back with a tool to wedge/shivel/tool to pop the door open/pop the latch open - which concerned me as:

1) Why don't you have key-cards/spare keys (or multiple) readily available for every room? 2) Having a tool to prop open doors (like this is a common occurrence) is pretty concerning - if you saw fit, you could access any room you liked at any time you liked.

I eventually went out (with my keys this time) and after walking along the sea-front, found a fish and chip shop. Being 4-5pm, places were already closed/closing, but I found one that remained open.

After eating my Sausage and chips (and gathering a fair bit of interest from the local wildlife, I eventually ate outside The New Beach Hotel, which had a covered place out front.

I think my chips were more in danger than my sausage as pigs don't tend to be found near the beach/sea, so I'm not sure the gull's take on it, but knowing them, they'd probably take anything they could get their beaks on!

I'd return to the hotel, and surprisingly find my room in record timing. I had a busy day, so I was pretty much straight off to bed.

I've now been to the most westerly point of The Isle Of Skye, been to the most Westerly and Easterly point of England, and been to the 20th highest peak in England (Surrey) - although I haven't left the UK with Timon - which is still to come.


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