Warm days and traffic jams make for a miserable day out, especially in a car with no air con.
We set off at 9.15 am from Cardiff to drive to Grayshott in Surrey ....
Shortest route: Total Distance: 136.11 miles, Estimated journey time of: 3 hours 16 minutes
Quickest route: Total Distance: 151.81 miles, Estimated journey time of: 2 hours 45 minutes
.... we opted for the shortest route as time was not an issue and we thought that a nice little drive through the Welsh/English countryside, avoiding the M4, would be nice idea. However, after a tedious 35 minutes, driving through local country lanes we found ourselves a mere 5 miles from our starting point and decided to go for the 'quick' option instead.
We drove along the M4 with the intention of driving as far a Hungerford then going onto minor roads towards our destination. Unfortunately 'Membury Services' happened first!
Membury Services, for those who don't know the M4, is the location of the current 'slow the traffic down at any cost' project that masquerades as 'road works'.
There was an enormously long queue of traffic just approaching the road works (I estimated it at about 5 miles, so it was probably only 3). When we actually got to the beginning (or within sight of the beginning) of the road works, we realised that we were in for a bit of a wait. We were a little slow to realise what was going on and in the wrong lane to be able to take advantage of the 'loophole' which was actually the problem for the hold-up.
The whole traffic jam was caused, so it seemed, by people utilising the hard shoulder (in their droves) to access the services and then driving straight out again onto the motorway further along.
For almost 45 minutes we drove at a snails pace to reach the road works only to find ourselves having to wait another 45 minutes to get through it.
With windows open and music playing, we melted our way thought the hindrance wishing we were still on some secluded country lane.
After leaving the M4 we made up some of the lost time by applying the 'lead boot' principle whenever possible (and sometimes when it wasn't) and eventually arrived at our destination at 1.15 pm
A grand total of four hours (no stops) driving to complete a journey that normally takes two and half.
On the way home, we dithered and stopped once or twice for petrol and a meal. At our Gabriele's request we travelled the slower, scenic route, most of which she never saw as she slept or was 'texting' nearly all the way home.
On arriving home, I packed the dogs into the car and went for some "me and my pup's" time in the local park to get all the kinks out of my legs.
Saturday's like this one I could do without!