The Worst Journey Of Your Life

Easter at the end of March in Cornwall was bound to be cold and wet but we went with happy hearts out into the freedom to Hellman Tor. The road was winding and we encountered an ancient gate post that looked as if it had been there forever as we approached the tor. The hillside was full of bracken, gorse and colour and we climbed over the rocks, listened to the whistling wind and Nigel sketched in his little art book. Looking pink in the face we decided to go in search of a hot drink. Nigel held the map and said “there is a small road here called the Saints Way,” and we started to drive up it and soon got stuck. The road was small and uneven and we got out and tried to push but the car wouldn’t move. We tried picking bracken to put under the wheels and the car moved an inch and would go no more. We tried to reverse but the road was too narrow and steep and the car wouldn’t move. It started to rain heavily and a pool of water started to fill the uneven ditch. We had to go for help. We waded, knees deep in muddy water for a mile, until we reached a road. We knocked at a house but there was no answer. We stood in the road ready to flag anyone down and what a sorry state we looked. “Please God we can’t leave the car here,” I pleaded over and over in my head.

A woman drove up the road and saw us and stopped and wound down her window. We explained that we had got our car stuck down the Saints Way road and wondered if she knew anyone with a tractor who could help to tow us out. We felt very foolish and were aware that we looked a mess.

“My husband’s got a small tractor but he’s out now, I’ll try to call him, she said. “ Can I have your phone number?”

We gave her our mobile number and she drove away. Our hearts sank as we walked back through the mud and water to our car. We sat inside the car wet and cold and tried calling the roadside rescue service, who said that they did not know where we were and could not find us.

After a little while our phone rang and a man spoke. It was the lady in the car’s husband saying he was nearly with us with his tractor. We were now filled with hope and anticipation and he began to pull us along the bumpy road to the big main road. We got out of the car and thanked him and thanked him again.

I said “I could hug you”.

“Please, don’t.” he said eyeing my muddy wet clothes and smiling.

Nigel looked in his wallet but he only had a few notes but offered them to the man for some money to buy himself a drink. The man left and we drove firstly to the car wash to clean our filthy car and then to our accommodation. We took off our drenched clothes and ran a bath and once we were scrubbed clean we went to the Beach Hut Cafe and had a lovely meal. We received a call from the roadside rescue people asking if we were all right and I told them we had been towed by a tractor. I consider it our own little miracle on the Saints Way. I smiled at Nigel and squeezed his hand.

“Can we not go down any more small roads please?” I asked Nigel. He nodded his head and took a sip of his beer.

N Ash

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