May. 15th, 2017

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Despite leaving Seattle twenty minutes early, my flight got stacked at Heathrow and ended up arriving 20 minutes or so late. The process of going through electronic passport control was pretty painless — less so for non-EU nations, where the process was manual — and I picked up my bag and got through customs quickly enough to make it to the lift to the station with one of the crew from my flight.

Attempting to buy a ticket for the journey to Paddington, I noticed that all the most prominent options were for the Heathrow Express. Initially I accidentally selected one but I realised my mistake when I saw the eye-watering price of 23 pounds for a bare 15 minute journey — surely only someone with serious jet lag and a complete lack of knowledge of the value of the pound would opt for such a thing! Hunting around, I found the Heathrow Connect option which, at a merely wince-inducing 10 pounds for 25 minutes, represents considerably better value for money. Even more so because, when I got to the platform, I found that the next Connect was in three minutes and next Express was due in 10, completely nullifying the difference in journey time.

Getting to Paddington at around 12:30, I decided not to wait until two for the train I'd booked a seat on and instead I hopped on the next one bound for the westcountry. After what seemed a very short journey — it took me almost exactly the same time to get to Exeter as it took me to get from Redmond to SeaTac — I was back at St Davids and it was just 25 minute walk — albeit uphill and 20kg of baggage — home. Fortunately, the weather was dry, it was definitely warmer than Seattle, and after spending the last 22 hours in transit, I felt like I needed a chance to stretch my legs.

So that's it: home safe after a fun but ultimately pretty uneventful trip. Now all I have to do is resync my body clock, currently 8 hours out of alignment, with British Summer Time...

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sawyl

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