London Part 6: Trains > Buses

Loaded up with caffeine, MWF and I headed for the bus and joined a worryingly large queue. If all these folks are getting on our bus, I thought, it’s gonna be cramped as hell.

Thankfully, many were going to Bristol. These were the lucky ones. The rest of us poor souls are boarding the bus bound for Swansea, stopping at Newport and Cardiff. The ride up (see Part 1) had been easy and I could see the wisdom in getting a bus as it was so much cheaper. Score one for buses.

The first bad sign was that the traditional Megabus double decker was off the table and instead we had a coach. Like you used to have for school trips.

With half the queue gone it was still rather busy and the bus was full. MWF and I grabbed two seats near the back and waited, with everyone aboard the bus pulled out.

Forty minutes later we left London. Score one for trains, no traffic.

Now, I know I’m not the smallest bloke but there is no way in hell coach seats are designed so two adults can sit comfortably by each other. The seat itself was odd in that it didn’t support your behind right, meaning I got a numb bum before Reading.

MWF and I kept banging elbows and so I put my arm around her meaning I got a dead arm after a while.

It didn’t help that the bus was boiling. A hot, full bus is not a pleasant environment, especially as we had no stops to let air in. A tiny fan provided some assistance, sending a fifty pence piece sized area of cold onto my forehead. Trains score again.

I got increasingly fed up. The bus seemed to be getting warmer, and the smell of human bodies grew. My patience frayed and there was no Kindle to distract me as I’d given myself motion sickness. Five points to trains for letting me read.

The woman on the other side of the aisle fidgeted constantly, never working out what she wanted from her bag and moving around all the time.

It felt like I’d been on the bus for days.

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Finally we entered Wales.

I apologise for all the complaining, but to get to Cardiff from the bridge shouldn’t take too long, right?

Wrong.

There was a bit of traffic and we pulled off. My confidence in our driver plummeted as he took an entire lap of a roundabout before taking the first option.

We were headed for Newport.

I intend no disrespect, but I’m sure even Newport natives will admit it’s not the kind of place an outsider would choose to visit without a reason. We had no reason, because not a soul boarded or disembarked. Heck, the bus didn’t even stop.

We essentially added to our journey to have a look around Newport.

I was incredibly cranky when we finally reached Cardiff and got off. Free of the bus I stretched my stiff limbs and then crammed into another bus seat to head for MWF’s mums house.

I was tired and crabby, but I’d enjoyed the trip.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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