Thursday, 31 December 2009

Christmas Week

I've been working hard the last couple of weeks. The hotel was full to the brim and we have needed two coaches full time to cope. So on Sunday 20 Dec I went up empty to Walsall and stayed overnight. Because I got there fairly early I had plenty of time in the hotel so I got a bus into Walsall town. Snow covered, cold and damp and Sunday evening. I don't think I saw Walsall at it's best. Next day I was up at 6:30 to pick up in Leicester. The car park at the hotel was very slippy and a memo came up on the dash, "Danger. Black Ice." No problem once I got on the motorway. Clear all the way back down to Torquay. Tuesday a morning tour to Teignmouth and Dawlish then to Trago Mills in the afternoon. Very cold. Wednesday should have been a trip to Dartmouth, only been there once and didn't know my way around. A trip up the river was an optional extra. In the afternoon we were going to go over to Brixham which I am familiar with. The lack of knowledge of the Dartmouth tour wasn't a problem, all I had to do was follow the other coach. But the other coach didn't run. The driver couldn't get his car out of the road he lives in due to ice. It had been minus 3C overnight and now it was raining on top of icy roads. Not everyone in the hotel wanted to go out for the day, I didn't blame them, cold and wet weather suggested that it wouldn't be pleasant. However enough of then decided to go so I set off wishing I was back home, safe in bed. The road to Totnes was blocked due to an accident so a quick change of plan. Into Brixham first.

Brixham was damp, it stopped raining just as I got there and started rain an hour and a half later just as I was leaving. It was quiet as well, the visable population went from 3 to 33 when my passengers got of the coach. After Brixham I headed for the higher ferry across the River Dart, While on the ferry it started sleeting. Then the coach grounded coming off the ferry and for a minute or two I couldn’t move. I had a mad idea we would be stuck there for ever. But the ferryman told me to turn the wheel and it just gave me a bit of height and we cleared the ferry. Still sleeting when I pulled up next to the River Link booth and was approached by a guy trying to sell the boat trip up the river. The sleet was so bad that Kingswear on the other side of the river had vanished. No one fancied a river trip. In fact it was so bad no one even fancied getting off the coach. So we went back to the hotel and had an early day. Probably a good idea. Listening to Radio Devon was boring in the end, nothing but roads closed due to accidents. The A38 was closed for two hours in both directions then opened the closed again. The A380 Exeter to Torquay road was closed for 3 hours in both directions and several minor roads were closed, nationally it was the same. Not a good day to be driving.


Dave said...

I'm surprised you get that sort of weather in south England. Is that normal in winter or is it colder than usual this year Dave?

David said...

It's colder everywhere in the Uk this year than it has been for some years. We haven't had any snow here but lots of nights have been below zero. More than usual.

Lord Hutton said...

It was so icy that all the pedestrians had to use the road