I write this as Frustrated of Aldridge!
In September my wonderful daughter is off on a venture week with her school so I thought I would take the opportunity to raid the savings of a very modest amount and go away for about four days on my own and recharge the batteries, have some quality me time with good old thinking time thrown in for good measure. Easy you would think. Think again. This world is set against people like me that are not only travelling solo but on public transport too. How very dare I?!
My first thought was to go up to the Hebrides, I've always wanted to go there and I can't think of somewhere else that would be as wild, windy and pretty deserted for quality thinking time. Unfortunately, and I have spent many long hours pouring over the logistics of all modes of travel be it air, sea, coach, bus or even all four and a good walk thrown in for good measure and it is nigh on impossible. I have no desire to spend a night in Glasgow, had enough of that city in the early 90s or to spend the sort of money that would be required in order to avoid a night there!
So my thoughts turned to North Devon and in particular Lynton. Again pretty wild with beautiful coastal scenery and the stunning coastal path between there and Ilfracombe , a mere 21 miles. The area around Lynton is known as Little Switzerland so those who know me would also know why the area appeals. Again however, getting there is an all day job involving a bus to Birmingham and then the train to Taunton, bus from Taunton to Minehead and then another bus from Minehead to Lynton. Now do I want to spend a total of 18 hours travelling the round trip out of my few precious days? I remember now why I always end up in North West Wales: not only is it beautiful but it takes 3 hours door to door! Grrrrr.
My other bug bear though is the local public transport in North Devon. Guess you have to own a car to live there because the bus services STOP for the winter the day after I plan to travel there! So no walking to Ilfracombe or Hunters Inn and then getting the bus back! I thought public transport was bad around here in the wicked West Midlands after experiencing the joy and frequency of London public transport (do Londoners really appreciate what a wonderful service they have?) but at least the service doesn't stop for the winter, well only when it snows!
Then there is accommodation. Nothing flashy. Just a simple B&B is required but as soon as you tell them the room is only for one person they do not have any vacancies! I did try calling a couple back, pretending I was someone else looking for a booking for two and miraculously they had vacancies! Even if they do have vacancies, said B&Bs want 75% of the price of two people sharing the room! Oh yes and this is for single rooms too!
So I'm having a moan. It is unbelievably difficult to try and do something that should be so simple and is if you are a couple and you drive!
Looks like Wales and I'll just have to swallow my anger over the 75%!