Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Long day (Monday 17/11)

Had a proper breakfast at the B&B -- muesli, fruit salad, juice, coffee, scrambled eggs, ham and mushrooms.

Taxi ride to Oxford was much better. Phil helped us load up the luggage, and got us to the Oxford bus station, dodging gridlocked traffic, for 5 pounds less than the last one. He gave us his card, and we'll call him to get us back to Abingdon on 1 December.

The bus was already waiting, so we shoved the luggage underneath and five minutes later, we were on our way back to London. The weather wasn't marvellous -- a good English drizzle -- so there wasn't a lot to see. This bus was also the opposite to the one we had taken to Oxford -- the heater only seemed to warm the air a few inches from itself, so I was cold the whole way in. (Juliette reckons it was because I was sitting directly behind the bus's door.)

Got to London about 11:30. We had originally planned on taking the train to Harpenden rail, and the people from Just Go would pick us up, but with the amount of luggage we're hauling, that wouldn't really be practical, so we decided to catch a coach to Luton Airport. Just Go were only too happy with this, as it was easier than getting to Harpenden.

Again, the trip was okay, about 90 minutes with drizzle all the way. Got seats in the middle, so trip was a little warmer. Had a bit of fun trying to find the taxi rank at Luton airport, where Just Go were picking us up, but got there eventually. Met Nick, one of the owners of Just Go, who had lived in New Zealand from the mid-1970s to the early-1990s -- though he makes regular trips to NZ. We had a good natter about NZ politics on the drive to Flamstead.

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Got to the Just Go depot about 2:45, and got given a tour of what is our home for the next two weeks. It's roomier than I thought it would be -- a bit bigger too. I must admit, I was a little apprehensive, but it's relatively easy to handle, and with the help of the onboard GPS, we found our way to Salisbury cathedral, and then to the campsite at Orcheston. Of course, nothing is ever smooth, and I managed to knock off one of the tail lights trying to manoeuvre through a narrow archway. (Probably about 16 pounds to repair, according to Just Go.)

Arrived at the campsite about 8pm, unpacked a few things into the cupboards, so we could stow the bags in the storage compartment underneath, in bed by 10. Scotch egg and fruit salad for dinner.

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