Driving in the UK is actually not as scary as I had imagined. By the third day, I skillfully and cheerfully manipulated the single-lane hedgerow streets. These really should be called paths. As my daughter said, these are as wide as the bike paths we use in Minnesota.
But everyone was friendly and smiling, and we never had any incident. I knew when to break and wait, and also took charge when it seemed it was I who needed to go first. After the pass, there was always this friendly wave from driver to driver.
Still, the second day driving from Port Isaac to Padstow where we were staying, we had lost track of the handwritten map our hostess had written for us, so we temporarily were relying on Google offline maps. Of course, Google wanted us to get to Padstow as fast as we could. This meant driving these single car-width hedgerow streets. My daughter instructed me to turn left, and at first it seemed to be a fairly wide lane, in English terms. But having driven fifty yards or more the road turned and we saw it was tall hedges on either side and only room for one car.
* * * * *
I panicked. The adrenaline soared through my body, and I said, “I cannot do this.” A car appeared heading toward us. It was a Beamer. Veering to the left as far as possible, and sure enough, the lady was waving and smiling, and she made it past us without incident. I couldn’t believe it – there was absolutely no room!
I immediately started backing up. We reached the turn, which wasn’t far and I backed around the turn. I noticed a wider part of this street and thought I could turn around there.
As soon as I started turning a car appeared. Cora yelled out. Although I also panicked for a second, I figured they would just have to wait, which they did. I cheerfully waved them on and turned onto the main road.
We found the little handwritten map under my bum and made it home without having to drive these hedge streets until the next day when I felt ready.
After driving these, I felt like the other streets were wide highways.