Just a quick one from me today as I’ve not done a long drive in a while and it’s finished me off! So, as I’m finally starting a new job next Monday, I wanted to do something fun but comparatively inexpensive and the usual check of coaster-count showed that a couple of new creds which had somehow slipped under my radar had made their home in Weston super Mare. This was typical, as I’ve now been there three years in a row, each time suspecting it would be a while until I was back. I also remember mocking Sue last year following her insistence that there was a cred in WSM; turns out she was actually early, not late! Conveniently for me, I realised that as my route involved what 2008_Will would probably have called ‘Excess M5age’, I’d also be passing by Sandwell Valley Amusements. This place has a very ‘kiddie’ look about it, so usually I wouldn’t have chanced doing it alone – but there’s a couple of youtube ‘vlogs’ from goons who’ve visited recently, showing it to be no problem. The slight detour also meant that I could at least some of the burdenous M5 roadworks. My satnav got a little confused somewhere around the outskirts of West Brom (who wouldn’t!) but the place is easy to find – simply follow signs to Sandwell Valley Park Farm and it’s a couple of hundred metres walk. Parking for an hour is the princely sum of £0.40 and I approved. I walked up to the gate to be greeted by a few greasy teenagers who informed me in their local dialect that the park wasn’t open until 12, so I wandered around for 10 minutes. The cred (a wacky worm) had a rather not open look about it, but I bought my tokens (2 x £0.70) and stood outside the station looking expectant. A more senior (read: older) staff member asked if I wanted a ride, I explained that I did and apologised for being a burden, but he laughed and said that was what he was there for. Long story short, I got the cred – only had to have three laps (with a bonus staff member for ballast!) and that it was time to get out of Sandwell! The next stop was of course Weston Super Mare, but one of my friends from TS had been excited by Gloucester service station yesterday (bloody goons, eh ) so I had to check it out. It’s a garden-centrey service station in the style of Tebay on the M6, but I preferred Tebay – it was also a bit pretentious (read: expensive) so although I looked at exciting meats, snacks and drinks, I ended up buying some sweets. Yay. Further down the M5, I stopped in Worle to buy supplies for the evening (mainly alcohol). At length, I reached Weston super Mare, where the traffic wasn’t that bad – the parking was upsetting however – if you’re better organised than me, park NOT on the promenade and walk – otherwise you’re looking at £6 – and the machines don’t take card so you have to pay in the shop if you’ve not got enough coins. Onto the park itself (the man selling me tokens made a comment about their rent on the site and how they were considering moving, as inner-city is surprisingly cheaper than WSM) and there were two coasters to be had – a Wacky Worm and the new Wild Mouse. This came to another £6. I grabbed the Wacky Worm first – the train had just been dispatched as I arrived, so I stood around looking like a goon (I deliberately wore ‘gooniform’ as if to signify WHY a lone 30-year-old male was riding a Wacky Worm over 100 miles from home) before ending up looking like even MORE of a goon as I got a train to myself. The operator asked if I’d been on the bigger one yet and I said I was going to – ‘Oh, you’re one of those rollercoaster buffs?’ I smiled and confessed – he said he knew that feeling and thus I felt suitably non-judged – he even asked about my count and preferences. For the record, this is one of the newer Wacky Worms and was quite smooth – even the final corner, and I told the man this. ‘Now try the other one!’ he implored, ‘Just been built by some Italian company!’ – I have little trust in Italian manufacturers, and again he made a joke about how they’d called their ride a ‘Wacky Worm’ although the train is clearly a Caterpillar and yet all the tourists call it The Big Apple. There was no queue for the Wild Mouse and I sat at the back of the car – the staff were smiley, but silent – I suspected their English was minimal. As with a lot of rides, it may have been the weather, or the fact that I was in a good mood due to a comparatively easy three new British creds (that takes me to 202 in the UK) but the ride was actually not at all bad – it looks looked after and recently painted and carries a surprisingly amount of speed through the layout – there was even the odd pop of airtime and the roughness was… negligible compared to similar models – all told, much better than a Pinfari Zyklon or similar, and despite only being there for 20 minutes or so, I left Weston with a smile. The smile faded somewhat as I realised it was 85 miles to my next destination (en route home – I must do Flambards at some point, but this weekend was not the time, plus the cheapest Travelodge along the M5 was back toward the North) and the road was a bit dull, but no hold-ups etc. By the fact that I’m talking about the M5, I think that probably concludes my report. Christ on a bike, only I could turn those two places into 1,000 words. Fear not, there’ll be pics once I can be arsed to upload them. Ooh, there is motorsport on - and my hotel is next to an Indian takeaway... 24 UK coasters to go now, apparently - and only ONE left in Western England!