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Published: August 6th 2016
The BBA V3 heads north today and into Cambridgeshire. This is going to mean driving the M2 to take us under the Thames River and then onto the great circle road around London the M25 for a short distance before the direction will be northerly.
It has been pleasantly surprising just how quiet our room in the Days Inn in the M20 rest area has been with traffic coming and going .The curtains in the room have very effectively kept the light out until we were ready to face the day.
The Tesco croissants we had yesterday were still OK but we miss the toast and jam and it will nice to have our own catering facilities back again tonight.
We had that feeling as we entered the M20 at the on ramp from the rest area that traffic was going to be busy to be driving in but then we expected this as the bottom part of England is more populated and traffic flows more intense.
We effectively retraced our drive home from Whitstable yesterday until we got to the bottom of a steep gradient on the connecting road to the A2 where Gretchen thought she
was going to have to drop the Skoda down to second gear to be able to make the summit.
However, Serena our GPS suddenly took us off the highway and onto a country lane that ran along the bottom of the escarpment and through a wooded area with occasional glimpses of the fields of wheat and barley out to our left. We knew at some point we would have to climb the hill and we were thinking we would have preferred to do that on the two laned highway albeit in second gear that this narrow single country lane.
It was a pleasant diversion though from the main road and we only met one opposing vehicle in the 8kms that we travelled. We were prepared for meeting another vehicle and could see that it would be necessary to get our left wheels off the tar seal on the verge which was flattened by other cars that had previously had to do the same and then hope that the opposing car would do the same to pass us. It worked just fine when we had to pass that one vehicle.
Eventually the time did come to climb the
hill but by then we had turned onto a two laned road and the job was easier even in second gear.
We called into a shopping mall on the outskirts of Gillingham as I was well overdue for a haircut but the Supercuts store was quite busy and the wait was going to be too long for us. So we thought we would keep moving and try somewhere else north of the Thames crossing at Dartford.
The A2 was busy with traffic especially trucks and the interchange to the A25 which would take us under the Thames River was down to a crawl with the volume of trucks having to merge into lanes for the tunnel.
Back in 1991 authorities had to build a high bridge over the Thames to carry southbound traffic as the two lanes of the tunnel in that direction had become too congested.
It seemed like even today that congestion has got the better of the volume of traffic as all the vehicles were down to a crawl in both directions.
The lane we were in came to a final stop with our way barred by a barrier arm and we
assumed that was to try and relieve some of the congestion although it might also have been due to a convoy system that authorities operate to take trucks with dangerous goods through the tunnel.
Once we got our turn we were away with a relatively clear run as there had been a considerable gap ahead of us.
We took what we thought might be a quick diversion off the M25 to a shopping mall complex at Lakeside, Grays and what a complex it was with groups of shops all over the place all connected by a central road that you had to return to if you wanted to explore another group.
Eventually we found the main mall a huge building with a multi layered car park and mall of shops and I got myself a haircut to improve my image from being a hobo.
This had all taken time and it was back to the M25 to connect to the M11 and head north again.
The M11 like all main highways is boring if you are looking for scenery and the traffic was heavy although we were able to maintain a consistent speed.
was starting to catch up with us and we took a stop at a rest area which was even larger than the one we had stayed at near Maidstone with a variety of eating places that gave us too much choice. We opted for KFC something we haven’t had for a couple of years but filled the bill nicely for a snack and also a break from the traffic.
Back to the M11 we were another hour or so reaching Huntingdon having switched off the M11 to the A14 just after Cambridge passed by on our right.
We had thought that our accommodation was very near the town on Huntingdon but as we discovered it was actually about 14km away.
The address given for Falcons Nest on the website we booked on was actually incorrect and it was only when we got the trusty mobile phone out again we managed to guide ourselves to the establishment. It was now nearly 5pm and we had been a lot longer in making the drive than what we had anticipated although we had had stops along the way a bit longer also then we had expected to.
We had arranged to meet up with Yvonne who Gretchen had worked with in the Rest Home in Tauranga and was now working in England for Oxford Aunts as a carer in a one on one basis near Stevenage closer to London.
We made contact and arranged to pick her up from her guest house accommodation back in Huntingdon and went for a meal at the local Wetherspoons pub in the town. We were back on the pub food again but thankfully their servings although generous were not too big.
We got ourselves back to Falcons Nest before it got too late as we didn’t want to be finding our way in the countryside in the dark.
Tomorrow we are planning a trip to Cambridge with Yvonne and another couple from Tauranga that happen to be in the area to see the sights of the centuries old university town.
PS::get into the groove with Jerry Lee Lewis ad like us,keep your motor runnin'.On Youtube as always.
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