Friday, 4 May 2007

Temple Mead to ...Temple Mead...Via...Temple Mead

Set off early on the school bus to Salisbury with a promise to Matthew that I wouldn't join him & his friends on the top deck. Hoping to catch the 9.04 train to Bristol, I managed to catch an earlier, delayed train. Great, I was off to a good start, except the train didn't move. We were all told to get off as it had now broken down. As I waited on the platform, I watched the train being shunted away & realised I'd left my walking stick on it! Luckily it was being attached to the 9.04 & the guard brought it back to me. I'll be amazed if I get to John O Groats with same stick.
Now this train was delayed, and thinking I might miss the bus connection to Bitton, I had a good idea. Looking at the map it showed "Boat & Ferry Rides" up & down the Avon. I could get a boat ride down the river to parallel point to Bitton. An even better way to start the day. Armed with one of those irresistable City Maps you can buy from a machine for a £1, they are beautifully illustrated like a Toy Town in a childrens book, I set off to find the ferry stop & walked round in a circle back to Temple Mead Station. The map may look pretty, but not very accurate. I went again, found the ferry stop & did as instructed on the notice board "If you want to be picked up, wave your hand" So I did. But she didn't stop, she gesticulated to me to go over to the next bridge. Ahh, I must have been waiting at the wrong place. So I hurried to the bridge where she told me "The Ferry stops here, at Temple Meads, and I turn round & go back up to town" Well, no wonder she had no passengers, it would be quicker to walk! and that's what I did. Good idea number two. I decided to walk along the river, following the "Avon Trail" it was only a couple of extra miles & should be pleasant along the meandering river. I just needed to find the starting point. An hour later I was back at...Temple Mead Station. Eventually, got on the trail & very quickly wanted to get off again. It was dirty& industrial with graffitied walls & debris all around me. Hardly anyone passed by, why would they? It was a horrible place to walk. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable when the path suddenly came to a halt at a retail park. I gladly stepped up onto the road & went to MacDonalds for advice. They were all so helpful, everyone came out of the kitchen to pour over the map & as I left a man ran after me, "Take the Whitby Road to the left, that's where you need to go" I would love to have taken the Whitby Road if it was Whitby, North Yorkshire. At least I'd know where I was! so ignoring their instructions I headed out of Bristol on the main A road through the equally grim suburb of Brislington, it wasn't good walking on a busy road but at least I was finally getting out of town. Once I'd passed the Park & Ride & turned into a side road down to a pleasant pathway through fields I thankfully sat down on the grass for a very late lunch. The rest of the route was easy to follow through lanes & fields & I soon made up time. I needed to, Jane was meeting me at Bishop Sutton & we were driving back to Bristol University to stay with Catherine, her daughter. This, I was looking forward to, spending the night in a hall of residence was the nearest I'd get to being a student. We got lost in Bristol, what is it about this place? before finally getting there.
Most student rooms are compact & Catherine's was no exception. We spent the next half hour rearranging ourselves,bedding & bags, just stopping short of the furniture, to accommodate the three of us. After a quick shower we drove back into Bristol & had a meal with Catherine & her Medic friends. We were joined by Joe, the son of a good friend of mine, & he stayed to chat with Jane & I while Catherine & friends went off to celebrate the end of their exams in the Medics Bar.


lynne said...

carol, despite your tendency to go round in circles, you are amazing, and sophie would be so proud. Was strangely looking forward to some getting lost adventures but you will have well and truly sussed it by then, as dad would say "l cant waait" for my bit but please dont make me walk so fast! love from your schwesty lynne.

cspollock said...

Hey i like how lynnybobalob has taken to using the word Shwesty, something that will stay forever i hope, it clearly is cool enough for you oldies to say! Im so proud of you mutti, but you need to ring me! You say i never call, who's becoming the slacker now?? Love you....Caitlin xoxoxoxoxox