Friday 4th September 18:30.
Some poor soul had brought the central borderlands train network of England and Wales to a standstill by flinging themselves in front of a train at Shrewsbury. We trundled through Wales at snails pace and missed out on our connection in Newport.
The taxi driver rubbed his hands with glee as we discovered it was going to be 3 hours until the next train and he was our only opportunity of a decent nights sleep.
“How much will it be?”
“I don’t know bud, you’ll be on the meter but I can get you there quick.”
Wow and how quick? Han Solo has nothing on this guy as we red lined along the M4 in the Millennium Nissan (she’s outrun Empire cruisers throughout Gwent and beyond).
“Where do you need to be bud? My sat nav is so ancient it won’t help when we get out there.” Where were we going? – Siri to the rescue.
Finally, the pumping Friday night metropolis of Chepstow came into view. We passed several characters from the Viz comic as we pulled up outside the Coach and Horses Inn (boob tubes and rolls of pink flesh), paid the hefty fare and crossed the threshold.
“No one told me you was coming” said the nonplussed barman, escorting us to a fusty room straight out of the 70s. “You’ll have to pay tonight mind boys he said eying is up suspiciously”.
Nice. Grabbing some cash at an ATM, leaping over spilt chips and a little vomit and doffing our caps to the doormen, we got back to our digs.
An auspicious start: the boys of South Wales border badlands raced their Ford Foci in the street below and the pumping sound systems filled the air. Reminded me of Southend – party town.
03:00 – the kebab filled masses skipped gaily under our window and then there was quiet.
04:20 I woke to a “ffs” from Richard. “What? What is it? Is my snoring keeping you awake?” (Most obvious culprit).
“Nope this blister on my little toe hurts like a bastard.” Cheers.
Saturday was going to be a long day…
And then the bed springs in the next room started to creak with rhythmic fury and a low moan filled the air. What joy, living the dream.