With an invitation to dinner, I figured I’d better go find a supermarket and buy some wine. It wasn’t an inconvenience as I was running out of other essential supplies, like beer and scotch!
Anywhere I go requires a drive of a few kilometers to the other side of town, and from there I take the 401 either north or south. It’s a nice highway. Smooth, mostly four lanes, sometime six. Never busy. But it has very few bends, and passes through very few towns, so it can get kind of boring.
I decided I would head south to Tha Sala where the Tesco Lotus usually has a good selection of wine. In fact the last time I was there I bought a really good quality Bordeaux which was so cheap I was sure it had been mis-priced. I decided I’d buy all of the bottles they had left.
Tha Sala is about 45kms south, and the 401 runs within a few kilometers of the coast, so I sat wondering if it was possible to get there without using the 401. There’s lots of little roads that run alongside, or close to the beach, but they are interrupted periodically by rivers.
After about ten minutes of staring at Google Maps, I decided it could be done, with one exception. There is one big river, that only has one big bridge, and that bridge is – you guessed it – on the 401. Well, that’s force majeure I thought. A few hundred meters of the 401 won’t hurt.
But when I looked at the route, I realized I wasn’t going to memorize it, nor was I going to be able to persuade Ms. Chuckles to take those roads, so I decided to write some tulip diagrams to follow. Twenty-five tulips later, I realized this was going to be fiddly, so I allowed ninety minutes instead of my usual 35.
Actually, it was a great trip, even though it took longer than ninety minutes. But that was partly because half-way through my planned route, on one super-narrow road, a whole village had decided to have a party in the middle of the road! They sure as heck weren’t going to move, no matter how intimidating Bert looked. So, some creative re-routing was needed.
None of the roads I took was wider than two vehicles, and some were a lot narrower. Most were paved, but not all. At least seventy percent of the roads ran alongside the beach, so the whole drive was enjoyable. But it’s not a route I will take everytime I need groceries. It took too long. But on sunny days, like today … why not?
Oh, and when I reached Tesco, I didn’t buy any of their cheap Bordeaux. They didn’t have any! Someone had had the bright idea of reducing the shelf space of the wine section and filling it up with cases and cases of beer. Shame. I was looking forward to drinking some affordable wine. Oh well, it may reappear. I can’t believe they sold it.
Anyhoo, I’ll leave you with some photos of the drive…