If you say thirty-two hours fast then it seems like nothing, but when you are munching the miles in 3.5 tonnes of Mercedes Sprinter and avoiding the expensive French toll roads, then believe me, it feels like forever.
I left Huddersfield at 13:00 on Saturday, picked my co-pilot Chris up at Stansted airport at 17:00, and we got to Dover just after 19:00 for a 21:00 sailing to Calais.
We’d decided to take two hour shifts (approximately) and Chris suggests that I took the first on the continent. As it turned out all of my stints behind the wheel were on free-flowing roads and motorways with reasonable weather, but Chris had all the congested, urban and road works stretches when the weather occasionally verged on the apocalyptic. It wasn’t deliberate though!
Coffee, biscuits, croissants, chocolate, crisps, and water were our staple diet, normal fare for Chris, but unusual for me to not have anything green or fruity for thirty hours.
At 21:15 on Sunday night we finally made it to the barn, about thirty minutes before dusk, and after thirty-two hours of travelling. The van hadn’t missed a beat or given a single grumble. We’d been relentless and ‘Hercules’ seemed to revel in the challenges that we threw at him.
The highlight of the journey was the pair of us singing along to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at full pelt at three o’clock in the morning. All the right notes were in there, but just not in the right order.
Chris’s stay was all too short but he had obligations back home. We visited Rinlo for tapas, the supermarket so I could stock up on provisions for my stay (and for Chris to buy pasta, wine and oil for me to bring him back), and we had a great meal at Hotel Taramundi on Monday night so that Chris could try the Fabas.
All too quickly he was on the plane home but vowed to return to a green Spain which was a long way removed from his expectation of sun, sea and sangria.
Now down to the hard work trying to find a home for our possessions and to leave the place looking tidy as next time Amanda will be with me.