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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 53.3096, -4.63347
Though we had planned on sleeping in and enjoying the posh comfort of our B&B, we all woke up early with our minds racing. Rich went downstairs and took some pictures. Eventually, we had our "complimentary" (aka "paid for in credit"😉 breakfast. It was nice, but overshadowed with the nagging question of whether we would manage to get out of the flood. As we dined, the rain began to fall again.
We packed up the few things we had with us and jumped into the KA. Fearing delays, etc., we stopped for petrol and made sure we wouldn't get stranded due to lack of fuel. The line of cars coming into town was very long, which was bothersome. Upon the advice of a local, we headed toward Burford, which we had avoided before knowing that there we would have to cross the river Windrush. Cautiously, we journeyed out upon the "pink road" that had, the night before, proven a bad call. Then again, green, yellow, and blue roads were all bad calls as well last night. Fortunately, the pink road took us to Burford, where we journeyed across a bridge and then a one-lane clearance through the overflowing Windrush. As we passed through, people were being evacuated from their homes. An earlier radio broadcast projected rivers to crest around noon. It was roughly 10:00 and the waters were rising. If we hadn't gotten out when we did, it might not have been pretty.
From that point forward, it was a smooth journey down the pink road to the A40, the M40, the A406, and the A1 to Pentonville Road Alamo rent-a-car. They closed at one, and we pulled up at 12:58. Phew.
Still in shock, the pilgrims returned to Kings Cross Travelodge and then it was off to figure out how to do damage control regarding our missed train/ferry journey to Dublin that was to have begun this morning at 8:42. No luck and the Kings Cross station, so it was off to Euston. There, we hoped to re-book our passage for Sunday morning, but apparently there aren't any trains out in the morning on Sundays. Our only option was to not stay the night in the Travelodge (which we had already made an emergency extension and paid for) and to board a night train to Holyhead, with a connecting ferry to Dublin departing at 2:40 a.m. We knew there were red eye flights, but not red eye ferries. Either way, there will be four weary, red-eyed pilgrims arriving on the other side of the Irish Sea tomorrow morning around 5:55 a.m.
Aboard a Virgin train, as we pass through Wales toward Holyhead, we are pleased to report that we are safe and sound, dry, and healthy. "Always look on the bright side of life..." (from Spamalot). Wish us well as we napalot. We have decided to rewrite the old Irish blessing, "may the road rise to meet you, the wind always be at your back, etc." to, "may the waters recede before you arrive, may your Travelodge be close, and until we meet again, don't know where, don't know when, always be thankful when you're stranded with a friend."
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