Wednesday 16 September 2009

The end of the road

This evening I reached the end of the road - the A40, that is, that I thought ran from Marble Arch to Fishguard and found actually starts at St Paul's Cathedral and finishes with a titchy little roundabout at Goodwick where the wind was hurtling in from the sea and snatching at the paper wrappings of the fish suppers being consumed in cars parked along the front (if I had a pound for every package of fish and chips I've seen being eaten today, I could, well, have bought one of my own). Also, its narrowest point isn't at the Market Hall in Ross, either, before the one-way system diverted it - it's in front of The Bear at Crickhowell, where we watched an articulated lorry edging around the corner and near as dammit taking part of the pub with it to Lithuania or wherever it was headed.

The end of the journey was a bit of a whimper, to be honest - I felt it really should have involved more personal effort, like pedalling its length on a bike, or driving a horse and cart like the couple and dog I saw calling in at the Speech House in the Forest of Dean yesterday. Maybe a Vespa.

Anyway, the A40 goes through many lovely places, but its prettiest section has to be from Ross to the end: rolling hills, woods, rivers with stone bridges, and castles, lots of castles (beginning today with a bit of stalking at Bollitree which of course isn't a real castle at all, but the Hamster lives there and that's good enough for me). Also through rather too many attractive small towns that after sucking you in turn out to have such fiendish one-way systems combined with randomly closed roads that not only is the SatNav lady completely foxed, marriages that have lasted longer than a murder sentence are also threatened.

But Wales is looking very promising and tomorrow will no doubt reveal its full share of delights.

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