By Veronica

Taking off

A tedious day of travelling. I had great difficulty finding a flight back that wasn't full or outrageously expensive, but eventually discovered a Flybe service from Doncaster. This is such a well-known and popular airport that Hertz don't have a desk there. So we had to return the car in Nottingham and use public transport to get to the airport. It's only about 50 miles, but it took about three hours by train and bus. We trundled along at walking pace on cruddy old trains, from the retail paradise of Nottingham through the ruins of Sheffield's former steel industry. It was truly desolate, a haunting illustration of the north-south divide. The second train we caught must have been 50 years old, the blighted landscape empty of people except where there were retail parks.

The airport, on the other hand, is very nice. I always allow loads of time to get through security, especially nowadays, but we were literally the only people passing through, and it took all of five minutes. The airside lounge was peaceful and spacious with a Wetherspoon's serving tolerably good food, so we sat around reading until the (late) flight arrived. Back in Almuñecar about midnight, after leaving Nottingham at 11 a.m. -- we fell straight into bed.

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