Friday, November 28, 2008

Drivin', drivin'... (27/11 at 3:45pm)

Another lazy morning, we didn't get up until 9am. But then, there wasn't a lot on the agenda today.

After another dash across the A414 to the BP station, we got some breakfast and lunch, then dashed back again. Breakfast was leisurely, then we started packing up and got back on the road around 10:45.

After thirty minutes of driving, we arrived in Sarratt, the small village where Mum was born. It's not much to see -- a main road, with cottages lining it, each with names like "Holly Tree Cottage" -- but the emotional impact was much larger. We looked around for a bit, before deciding on lunch at the village pub, the Boot at Sarratt. Juliette had the fish soup (which arrived laden with mussels and shrimps), while I had the Boot burger -- beef, bacon, and Stilton cheese, served with chips and salad. The food was lovely, but the servings huge -- I couldn't finish mine.

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After Sarratt, we headed for Biggin Hill, where my grandparents lived during the war. Their house was near the RAF airfield there, and Grandma used to tell a story of how they were evacuated during the Battle of Britain, and a Spitfire went into the kitchen a week after they left! But Biggin Hill was disappointing: just another small English town, with no apparent museum or whatever about its wartime history. We didn't even bother stopping.

The final destination was the Caravan Club site at Alderstead Heath, about thirty minutes drive from Biggin Hill -- longer when you get confused by the wretched motorway system, which has two exits at the same place, and I took the left exit, when I should have taken the right! As you can probably tell, I'm a little fed up with British roads -- roundabouts that feed into roundabouts, traffic signals on roundabouts, A roads, B roads, .... I'm looking forward to getting home and driving on State Highway 1 again!

Anyway, we got to Alderstead Heath about 3pm -- a novel experience, arriving in daylight hours. We're all settled in for the night, although their internet connection is currently out, so we're currently in a nearby Starbucks, using their wifi!

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