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Last updated : Nov 2009
Manchester, United Kingdom
Rating:

Sep 27, 1999

Pros: All very lovely
Cons: none

HI EVERYONE!!

Well, what can I say - it's been quite a whirlwind of excitement!

Computer is still down - I need to upgrade my systems software to 8.5 or higher, or else I can't change my modem settings to be compatible w/the UK.
sucks big time, but hopefully i'll get something figured out at Daniel's place later on.

So, I have all of what i did prior to now typed in on my computer, and i'll have to post it on here later - it'll be like one of those movies (like 12 monkeys) jumping in and out of different sections of time.

Okay - I left St.Annes on a bright and early tuesday morn - 3am to be exact! I was meeting Geof (an email friend from N.Ireland & a truck driver) and he got delayed at the ferry station due to heavy winds. so by the time he got going, it was getting later & later & i had to catch a cab to meet him at the motorway crossroads.

Right - drove to Dover to catch a ferry to Zeebrugge in Belgium. We got a room with a shower - that was a welcome relief. We tried to sleep, as Geof had been up a long time. He spent the entire day at the ferry station in Belfast waiting for the wind to die down.

So, we then drove up to Amsterdam to make our drop off & then load-up again. We'd stop here and there for food etc. but no real sightseeing. We drove some more, thru Holland, all of Germany, Austria and made a drop in N.Italy. The alps are beautiful! Lots of tunnels going thru them as well. Inbetween 2 tunnels there was BOOM, a castle on top of a big hill - so we both scrambled for our cameras. I got a pic, but I'll have to post it later.

The countryside is quite pretty. Nothing terribly different then at home. Italy was rather hazy - at first I thought it was fog, but with the nice yellow tinge to it indicated that it was indeed smog.

After that, we started to drive back. In hopes of going back to Ireland... but I guess when I was sleeping on Friday - Geof's boss called with new orders (not absolutely certain though) to go to Dublin, switch trucks, and head off 1,800kms EAST of Moscow. 6 week trip. Whoa, stop right there! I had to decline the offer to accompany him on that one. So, after having smuggled me back over on the ferry (i just laid covered in the bed, because his boss was cracking down on the employees passengers, limiting them to only themselves)we drove to a service station near Coventry. (a little south of Birmingham) And tried to figure out a game plan.

So, I checked for hostels in B'ham - none.
Then Shrewsbury - closed at 9:30pm
(oh ya, since Geof had been driving for so long, he legally HAD to take a 12 hour break. We could have pinched it down to 9, but he already had twice, and that was the limit. So, we couldn't leave the service area 'til at least 11pm)

We made some phone calls to National Express (coach service)and checked my LP guide for info. I called Daniel, but he was overloaded with his inlaws.

I ended up getting a cab into Coventry to the bus terminal.
The bus left for Manchester airport at 3:25am
um... it was 9pm when i got there
NOT.

So I hopped a bus to the train station and immediately checked for the next train to Manchester.
leaves at 21:21
time now 21:45
crap!

I rush to the 4th track to see if it's gone
it's not

there's been a delay, and i get on it about 30 seconds before it leaves.
major bonus.

I had previously called the hostel in Picadilly and they closed at 11:30pm. There was no way I was getting there before then.

I called them once I got to the train station, and the security guard was kind enough to let me in!
I'm flying...
I caught a cab for about £3 and I was in.

I was so mentally and physically exhausted it was a welcome relief let me tell you!

Anyways, it's their computer I'm using now. I would stay another night, but apparently they are completely booked up. And I thought this was the 'off season'... hmmm.

As for now, I'm going to call Daniel and perhaps arrange something with him.
I hate giving such short notice, but I really had no idea what I was up for - waiting & waiting for Geof to get his phone call to see where he was heading next.

If he's not going to Siberia, or wherever, then I'll hook up with him again & see some more of Europe. Talk about a cheap way to travel. Everyone should have a 'lorry driving' friend!

So, I'm really 'flying by the seat of my pants' these days. I'm sure I'll grow accustomed (sp?) to it.

Today, I don't feel like doing anything much. I'll probably hang out here & read some brochures & watch some TV.

Oh ya - I called home, and my grandparents were mailed (via the Concorde!!) my missing journal! woohoo! I was quite happy to hear that.

That's all for now - I hope everyone is well
And you can all sleep at night now that you know I'm still alive - hehe!
thanks for being patient.
L8R,
Cheryl