April 18, 2013

The A30

The A30 is the road to paradise, otherwise known as the link to the South West. It spans a total of 284 miles from London all the way to Lands End. Of all the roads I have traveled, Route 66, Highway 101, and the endless road of the Australian outback, I always come back to that road into Cornwall. Expats often talk about the green, green, grass of home but I find myself telling anyone who will listen about the grey asphalt of the A30.


When going to Cornwall with Dacey’s Cornish tours, we leave from London and pick up the A30 on our way to the South West.  Normally we join it at Exeter and, no matter how many times I have traversed this spiritual road of mine, it never fails to give me goosebumps. It warms my heart as I stare ahead to the rolling hills of Cornwall.

The A30 is synonymous with my youth. All those years ago when I first learned to drive, it was the A30 that took me on many different journeys, my gateway to freedom. Often I think back to major decisions in my life and how they were evaluated on this very road; window rolled down to help keep my eyes open (the A30 can be a lonely road late at night), radio blaring out or the latest cassette tape with all the top songs of the day; Oasis, Pearl Jam, REM and even the Spice Girls, the greats of the 90’s. My DJ friend Steve often put tapes together for me for the long drive. In fact, he made one tape for me when I embarked on a long travel trip and I must have listened to it a hundred times. Those songs are embedded in my brain forever. I could recite the running order to this day, 15 years later.


During my time in Cornwall I watched the A30 grow. It always seemed under construction, as it does to this day. Parts became dual carriage-way, almost unfolding before your very car. I remember the Indian Queens construction bringing such joy to the people of Cornwall. I also recall meeting clients and people who had to pass through that area. Conversation would frequently start with a construction update before we got down to business.

When I left Cornwall, my rent-a-car packed full of my worldly belongings, I thought, “When will I see this glorious road again”. It was a beautiful sunny day, not a cloud in the sky, one of those perfect Cornish Summer days. I said farewell to my friends and off I went, the A30 taking me on my final journey out of Cornwall, not knowing when I would be back again. I kept a constant eye on the mirrors, watching those green rolling hills fade into memory. Little did I know that fifteen years later I would be back on the A30 as much as I was in my youth. Now, not only do I get to bask in the glory of this road but the guests of Dacey’s Cornish tours get to feel that same buzz as you leave the M5, drive around the bend and get your first glimpse of that green vista.

Please use the comment section below to tell us about your favorite road. Why it is your favorite and where is it?

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