We’ll get the airport coach next time

Little did I know that when I touched down in the UK after a lovely flight, that it would take three times as long to get home as it did to fly in from France.We arrived bang on time, picked up my car and left the airport at 11pm. Half and hour later on the southbound motorway, my car was making strange noises. My friend asked if my tyres were okay, she’s considerably more practical than I am, most people on this planet are. So I had no idea. She said we should probably stop at the next services a few miles ahead. Two minutes later she said we need to stop NOW.

I pulled onto the hard shoulder and we saw that my car had a puncture. So it was cold, drizzling and very dark. Most of the traffic was huge lorries driving at crazy speeds and we were stood in a ditch, behind the barrier with cold, sandaled feet hoping my tiny car didn’t get hit.

It took a while for me to remember who provided my breakdown cover, but luckily there was a good signal and once details were taken a very efficient Green Flag lady said someone would be with us as soon as possible.

Pretty soon I had a text letting me know the name of the technician and the registration number of his vehicle and that he would arrive by 1.44am. That was an hour and 20 minutes to wait!

I didn’t know they’d sent another text saying the technician would be there by 2.15, probably just as well, we were already pretty miserable by then, but singing nonsense songs to cheer ourselves up.

Normally on the motorway, we see police cars buzzing around hooping to catch speeding drivers, and the breakdown company had informed Highway the we were an ‘incident’. It would have been reassuring if one had nearby and stopped to check we were okay. No such luck, I bet there would have been if I was speeding though!

Lewis from Newport arrived just after 2.15. He’d driven around 70 miles and had us back on the road in half an hour, driving home on a compact spare tyre atΒ  50 mph. I crashed into bed at 3.40 am.

Breaking down on a motorway late at night is most women’s worst nightmare isn’t it? But never mind, I’ll focus on the nice parts of the journey home from Marseille.

Happy travels everyone!

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12 thoughts on “We’ll get the airport coach next time

  1. Well, I’ve liked it mostly on the strength of you finally crashing into bed. 😦 What a shame, Gilly, but at least you kept safe. Love you, hon! Have a great weekend πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  2. Ouch! A dramatic way to end a holiday. All my flat tyres have been in far more civilised places than this – and at a far more civilised hour. Your wonderful photo takes the sting out of it, at least for a reader. So glad all ended well.

  3. Yikes! What an end to your journey. Not nice at all. as Tish says so glad there were two of you. We had the same in Portugal in the middle of nowhere, and no breakdown cover. Fortunately a very nice Portuguese man driving past stopped to help. he spoke no English but soon sorted us, which was fortunate as the tools in the hire car would not have got us anywhere!

  4. Yikes! That is not a nice thing to happen especially at night. My drive home from London at midnight (back from Barca) was rather less traumatic though still a scary drive in the dark and rain with very little traffic on the roads (I avoided the A303 as there was a lot of roadworks and diversions, so meandered through Dorset). A couple of odd bumps were disturbing and the petrol light coming on at 4 am slightly short of home and no services open made my last few miles worrying. Even more disturbing was finding a broken front grill with a falcon (dead) inside the following morning – the bump! I’m even less keen on driving alone at night after reading your story!

    1. A few years ago ny previous car broke down on the way TO Bristol airport, I managed to limp there. It was then collected by one of those parking companies and didn’t mention the problem. They brought it back to meet me after the trip and we limped it home, one of the injectors had gone I think. Since then I’ve mostly gone by coach if Heathrow or train to Bristol. It was quite scarey, the noise from the lorries was horrendous, but we would have been more vulnerable in the car than on the verge. I’m not pushing my luck again, The coach service is quick, right to the door and cheap.

      I drive to Nina’s regularly but make sure I’m fairly close to home before dark I am a bit of a wuss though, I’m sure you’d be fine!

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