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Trip Report Down in the River To Say "Bore Da": Wales May/June 2014

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We returned Friday evening from two weeks in Wales with Mr. Pickle's a capella men's choir, de Profundis. I was one of the two main itinerary planners, and I'm happy to report that everyone had a great time and enjoyed all the activities.

Pictures (in process) and a briefer report are here: https://plus.google.com/photos/107255467248504604599/albums/6023116169281287345?authkey=CLWcwM_VsoC8tgE

Friday, May 23rd

We left Albuquerque at 6:00 a.m. had a long layover in Minneapolis, then flew overnight to Amsterdam and finally to Manchester. Mr. Pickle and I had planned to sleep on the MSP to AMS leg of the trip, but the screaming toddler right behind us put a stop to that plan. When she wasn't crying, she either kicked the seat or reached between the seats to poke one or the other of us in the side. Oy!

In Manchester, we met Alan Bullock, owner of Bullocks Coaches, who loaded everyone (except the Pickles) on the bus so they could get money and visit the Imperial War Museum.

I must say how pleased we were with Bullocks. Alan went above and beyond the call of duty to make our trip pleasant. Our bus driver, Bill, was excellent, and did a little tour guiding as he drove. At the end of the trip, he drove several of us into London (we tipped him generously for this). When Bill had a day off, Alan sent him back to us with several bottles of Penderyn whisky. He supplied a great tour guide, at no extra cost, for the Gower peninsula, and came down to Bristol to bid us farewell. He even came to one of the concerts! If you ever need to charter a coach. I highly recommend Bullocks. http://www.bullockscoaches.net

Mr. Pickle and I had rented a car for the day so we could visit the Peak District. We figured if we slept on the plane, and took a nap somewhere along the road, we could get to Stanage Edge and hike a bit. We've done it before with no problems.

However, after we promptly got lost, and couldn't get on the right road even with really clear directions and a GPS, we realized driving wasn't a good idea. We returned the car about an hour after we'd picked it up and got on a city bus to Altrincham.

When we arrived at the Altrincham Lodge Hotel, our tour bus had beaten us there. I'm not sure many of the group really appreciated much of the Imperial War Museum due to lack of sleep and jet lag. We checked in, had some lunch at the pub next door, and took a short nap. In the evening, we walked up the street to the nearby Aldi, picked up snacks and some takeaway dinner at Shandaar http://www.shandaar.co.uk/ (really good!), and collapsed.

Lee Ann

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