Aftermath: Free to Go, or Free to Stay?
Escape From The Village
A trip to The Village to escape from the world.
In this journey
- I want time off. I will not be stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!
- Escaping Birmingham, Transport for Wales Birmingham New Street to Porthmadog
- Travelodge Porthmadog
- Exploring Porthmadog
- Welcome to your Village – Portmeirion
- Free to go… home? Back to Birmingham with Transport for Wales
- Aftermath: Free to Go, or Free to Stay?
The trip was a mixture of what I needed – a bit of exercise, exploring a place I haven’t been to before, a bit of train travel, time to unwind and free to do as I pleased.
But not free to go.
A few days after my trip, the NHS Test and Trace App finally caught up with me for the first time this pandemic – with a request to self-isolate for six days.
What a welcome to the pingdemic.
Whilst some might see this as an infringement on their day to day lives, I just sighed and started cancelling a lot of work-related things and shifting my diary around.
And also remembered how to complete a grocery delivery and order it online (something I haven’t done since 2006).
I also checked when I was hit. Thankfully you can check the NHS test and trace app to find out when I was hit.
18th July = Travelling to Porthmadog and staying in the Porthmadog area. Thanks, Wales.
I also took the time to complete some antigen testing, as well as two PCR tests for peace of mind. The first test vanished into the ether, whilst the second test (as well as the anti-gens) all came back negative.
However, better safe than sorry. No vaccine is perfect after all
On the other hand, the Monday after the trip, Her Majesty’s government changed the rules on my category of workers – which would have let me function normally with daily antigen tests.
This is whilst our political elite have been fiddling with changes and being caught trying to dodge self-isolation themselves.
What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander… and that goes for you, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid. You don’t get massive bronze statues, your citizens singing “No Motherland Without You” and people worshipping at your feet for snapping your own rules.
Anyway. Onto the Wrap-up.
Transport for Wales
For a £36 fare (discounted to £31), I’m more than happy at how much it cost, versus the comfort and convenience, as well as not having to drive.
That in itself is a big benefit. I would like to see more of the Class 158 fleet get more than a lick of paint, but with these trains due to exit the Transport for Wales Fleet in 2023 with the CAF Civity Class 197 units, I suspect these trains will have a very limited re-fit – if none at all before they’re shifted off to other lines.
But whilst they’re garden shed engineering, they did the job.
It’s a bottom of the level Travelodge, that was clean and provided a good base for this trip.
I would have preferred it cost a lot less – but when the country is in staycation mode… there’s not a lot you can do.
If we’re using the Vicki Explores Quaint-o-Meter, It’s pretty damn quaint. If I had more time, I would have liked to spend time riding the Ffestiningon Railway, or driving around the area for some nice walks.
Whilst a white balloon didn’t come to capture me and take me back, there’s a strong chance I’ll be back there sooner rather than later.
Not because I want to give information – rather I would love to spend time exploring the paths and walks along the way.
As well as emptying the gift shop of pottery again.
If you’re going for The Prisoner experience, you’ll enjoy it (especially if you recreate some scenes). If you’re going to experience a little bit of Italy m the UK, you won’t regret it.
Just allow a full day to explore it. And allow time if you’re walking everywhere
With travel restrictions starting to ease at long last, I’m starting to put some plans into place – some of which I intend to put into play from September onwards. And hopefully, the USA will open up to visitors again
Because there are friends I’ve missed for so long.
Until next time, stay safe out there.
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