One of the things I love most about travel is the element of surprise. You can spend weeks beforehand doing all the homework you like, but you can always be guaranteed

to return home with tales of the unexpected.

On this trip the first surprise that awaited me was the road conditions.

I reckon I was well within my rights to fret over the heavy snow that had fallen in the area in the days before we set out. Snow may look wonderful on picture postcards, but if you have had any experience of the kind of travel chaos that heavy snowfall can generate, as I had, you will understand where I am coming from and was going to. In fact snow flakes were still fluttering about as we set off.

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