Lovely Rita

I had a super weekend with my brothers, staying in a cottage in the Derbyshire Peaks and spending a day at Alton Towers. We arrived late on Friday evening and wolfed down pizza, wine and whisky before turning in for an earlyish start.

Not quite early enough, because there was already a queue for the monorail from the car park to the main entrance. Our first ride, after 30 minutes in the queue, was Rita – Queen of Speed. Fantastic!! I simply couldn’t believe that it could keep on accelerating any longer as we headed towards the first bend. We all stumbled off with big adrenalin-fueled grins which set the tone for the rest of the day.

Although our short-cut tickets didn’t include Rita, they were worth every penny as we cruised past queues and straight onto Nemesis, Oblivion and Air. (Oh, and the Log Flume, but there was no queue for that anyway.) Nemesis remains my favourite: fast, lots of g’s, scary but not too scary, and a decent duration. Another surprise was Hex which starts out almost trying to seem cheap and cheesy but ends up being very freaky!

The weather was mixed and we got a little bit damp at times but on the flip side the park wasn’t too crowded. We ended up on 12 separate rides and made double trips on Nemesis and Oblivion. I was surprised at the number of hen parties in fancy dress, and at the number of times I smelled dope and at its more-or-less open use by some.

On Sunday morning we had time for a stroll up the hillside to Crich, giving us some super views over the Derwent Valley below. Memories of my time living in Derby in the late 80s when I spent a lot of time exploring and walking in the Peak District.

The only downside to the weekend was the travelling: Central Trains inflicted a cancellation, a breakdown and a delay to me on the Friday evening. On Sunday I got as far as Leicester before yet another cancellation, this time caused by a sewer collapse. Sigh.

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