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Five Embark on a Strategic Railway Sojourn

Our quintet of intrepid rail enthusiasts decided it was high time to regroup and engage in a railway odyssey, a chance to bond and experience the wonders of rail travel together. Naturally, our finely honed planning skills and solutions-focused mindset were put to the test by the seasonally bad weather.

With great enthusiasm, we embarked on our journey from Gloucester, bound for Dawlish, with a brief stopover in Westbury. Smooth sailing, you might say, but fate had other ideas. The team, brimming with optimism, passed the time by reflecting on the remarkable journey we had undertaken over the course of the last year as colleagues. As we meandered through Bristol and Bradford on Avon, through the broad, extensive windows of the train, we tallied rainbows, deer, and pheasants, acutely aware of the beauty we'd have missed if we'd chosen the road instead of the rails.

The journey continued and as darkness cloaked the world outside, we caught a glimpse of the River Exe as it flowed hurriedly toward the sea. Dawlish then emerged before us, and the opening train doors unveiled a breath-taking sight: the churning waves of the tempestuous sea. Though the storm was brewing, we eagerly anticipated exploring in the morning light. Our spirits remained undampened as we hopped on a bus to our lodgings. Reflections on climate appropriate outfit choices soon gave way to visions of dinner and the amusement ahead.

Aboard the No. 22 bus into town, the weather continued to rumble. A friendly bus driver came to our aid, offering a group discount and assisting us with plans for our homeward journey. We sought shelter beneath the rail bridge, where we marvelled at the majestic waves crashing against the sea wall, mindful to heed the signs that warned of the perilous proximity. The station, famous for its proximity to the sea and waves crashing over the tracks, stands steadfast in the winds and passing deluges from the sea.

Seeking shelter, warmth and hospitality, we savoured an enchanting evening at the "Sticky Rice" restaurant, indulging in Thai cuisine then later back at our little house by the sea, we took part in a rousing game of Ticket to Ride and Dobble.

The next morning, as we awoke to a blustery seascape, we convened with the Great Western Railway team to discuss our ongoing work, as well as the latest chapter in our rail-to-leisure escapades and the logistical adventure of the journey home.

In the true spirit of survival, we resolved to commence our homeward journey to Gloucester earlier than planned. Armed with wet-weather gear, a picnic consisting of cream teas from Gays Creamery, hard-boiled eggs, and ginger ale, the famously strategic five set out on the homeward journey with courage and adventure in their hearts; and plenty of snacks to keep us going!

It was a long and blustery day, but we achieved our objectives. New rail adventures were unearthed and deliberated upon, the indomitable team spirit was laid bare, and our strategy session regarding the future plans for GCRP and OxCRP engendered rich discourse. We also recognised the shared appetite for challenge and adventure among our group, and acknowledged our team's travel planning superpowers, which we are eager to share with our communities through our work.

Plan your next railway adventure on TrainTripper!

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