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Lost in Lincolnshire! (okay, not really)


[The pink line indicates the route of the number 3 bus]

I had a fun adventure today.

Tim dropped me off in town at the top of the hill on his way to work so I could get photos of Sophie Wells‘ Gold Post Box (post later AND my paralympic post later) and then walk down the hill to run some errands.

I missed catching the 1650 bus back home by about 2 minutes. I didn’t want the 1720 because it takes too long, but between the 1720 and the 1750 there is a Number 3 that goes from Lincoln to Grimsby via Market Rasen that happens to pass through Dunholme (though it does it backwards so it goes Welton – Dunholme, instead of Dunholme – Welton like the 11/12). I got on, paid my fare, and got out my Kindle to read. My landmark for pressing the stop button when I go from Welton to Dunholme is the green fence around the primary school and/or the 20mph school zone section as it’s hard to miss even if you’re not paying attention between the jagged no parking lines across the road and the high fence. I glanced up partway through the journey, and we were in Nettleham (another nearby village). The 3 goes through Nettleham and out the back way via the police station, so I knew I still had plenty of time. The next time I looked up (might have been 10-15 minutes later), all I could see was shrubs and trees lining either side of the road. I assumed we were either on the A46 between Nettleham and Welton or on the road back to Welton, so I kept glancing out for familiar landmarks like the garage turn off on the A46, William Farr Secondary School, The Welton Co-op, Welton Village Hall, the mini roundabout, and of course, St Chad’s primary school and the green fence.

Never saw ANY of those places. I don’t even recall going through the mini roundabout in Dunholme by the pub (which is past my stop, but there’s still another stop before it turns back on to the A46). I suddenly saw the turn off for Toft-next-Newton, Newton-by-Toft and Newtoft (No, I’m not making that up!). I got confused, but thought maybe there was some odd backroads way into Welton I was unfamiliar with since I don’t usually use the Number 3 and in fact had only ridden it one other time out of Lincoln and that was after I had had an eye exam so I had to ask the driver to tell me when we were in Dunholme since I couldn’t see.

Anyway, he next village we went through was Faldingworth. I’m not too good with local village geography, but I knew Faldingworth was nearish to Welton, so again, I thought perhaps this was some back-roads way of getting into Welton and then Dunholme. I did send a text to Tim that said “Where am I? Am I lost? Passing through Faldingsworth!!”, but I wasn’t panicked. Yet.

The bus turned off into Middle Rasen….and then I panicked. Well, ok, not really. But I did start to think something had gone wrong, so I texted Tim again to let him know that I had somehow totally missed Dunholme and was on my way to Market Rasen where I hoped there would be a bus in the opposite direction for me to take back, or I’d have to take a taxi (it’s 9 miles). I also at this point really hoped I had enough money in my purse to handle the resulting bus fare from having the wrong ticket!

When the bus got to Market Rasen, I made sure I was the last person off and I talked to the driver. The conversation went something like this:

Me: I don’t know what happened, but I managed to completely miss the bus going through Dunholme. Is there a bus going back or do I need to find a taxi?
Driver: There will be one shortly going back, but it’s the last bus of the day. The stop is across the street [points].
Me: Thank you. And I owe you the difference from Dunholme to Market Rasen.
Driver: Don’t worry about it. OH, there’s the bus, you better hurry.

I thanked him again and ran across the street with my shopping trolley heaving with heavy bottles of water and managed to flag down the bus at the last minute.

Me: Single to Dunholme please. I managed to miss my stop.
Driver: Don’t worry about it.
Me: Thank you.

And this time, I PAID ATTENTION (and also had a text from Tim telling me what time the bus was expected in Dunholme and to set an alarm in case I got lost in a book again).

Uhm….oooops!!!

So, the moral of the story is: Always pay attention to where you are going when riding an unfamiliar bus route. Although I do wonder if the bus driver hadn’t somehow neglected to drive through the two villages as well, but I somehow doubt that he’d have been able to get away with doing that, so I really must have been off in la-la book land!

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