The Burning of Athens
four dawns rather cloudy, a relief after the temperatures
in the nineties. Most of the driving is along wooded valleys,
minimal farming in evidence and no industry. Apparently
West Virginia is now the poorest State in the U.S.A. Having
said that, the drive is very pleasant along winding roads.
The local counties very kindly indicate the safe speed at
which to take the turns e.g. 45mph, 35mph, 25mph or 15mph.
This a great help and translated means 75mph, out of overdrive,
down to third gear and ultimately engage second. Fabulous
fun. I drive first and see nothing of the countryside, just
Julian's rear end. I am going to stick with him at all costs
and he is not renowned for playing the tortoise.
After an hour it starts to rain and when we can no longer
see out of the windscreen, decide it is prudent to stop
and put the hood up. The pace slows a bit and we stop for
a bite of lunch. Should we put the hood down again, the
rain is clearing. Peter says 'No'. Thank goodness,
for approaching Athens, our overnight stop, the heavens
open and dump the whole summer's quota of rain in
half an hour. Very damp and soggy we struggle to find the
Motel. Directions consist of 'you can't miss it' After missing
it three times, patience is running thin but the fourth
set of instructions are spot on.
Into the hotel, wet clothes stripped off and the fire alarm
goes off. What do you grab? My choice is the laptop and
camera, Peter his credit cards and out we troop to the street
in minimal clothing! Firebrigade arrives quicker than
a taxi and tracks the source to one of the English Party's
rooms!!! Pam, Clive's sister was so cold in the air-conditioned
room that she turned the heating on. A cloud of dead flies
caught fire and set off the smoke alarm. What next? Later
that evening there is a repeat performance once we
are all in bed. Outside again, this time in night cothes.
Some other silly sod must have done the same. Pam swears
it wasn't her.