Saturday, 14 March 2009

Now about what happened to the car...

Have had to relate this bit of our adventure so many times since we got back; so here is the story - just in case you're among those that haven't yet asked me in person:

On the first day of our drive down to Spain, less than an hour after we stopped for lunch on the A10 direction Bordeaux, the rain started whomping it in mega-buckets. The whole autoroute slows down. As we all start negotiating this gentle bend in the road, the heavy rain suddenly turns into snow (talk about schizo).

Suddenly around 20 cars start spinning on the A10 like some weird synchronized ballet. We miss the car in front of us (who by the way was a mum with kids in the back, we found out later - they musta been scared sh*tless) on the first 360 deg spin, except we're now only a few metres from the crash barrier. I watch this lump of metal approaching my side as the car changes angle, going "sh*t, sh*t, sh*t" aloud, and wondering inside, "is this going to hurt?". The cliché really is true, it's like watching things in slow motion. The car hits the barrier headlight first (but not with the impact I was dreading - almost anticlimactic), scrapes lightly along the side of the car (at which I ask myself, "will I be able to get out of here"), then thumps the rear light for good measure.

After the obligatory exchange of 'are you all rights' we pull off the road and check the trees. The only real casualty was a small orchid we had brought for Bruno which had spilled some of its compost over the bigger trees. Hooray for Team Tree Packers. You done a good job guys.

The car was drive-able, even if the headlights had to be propped up with duct tape (and bonsai wire once we hit the convention - hooray for Richard and 6 mm ali) . Still, after breaking the journey at Lasarte, we had to cross the Pyrenees and it started snowing just 30 mins after we left the hotel at daybreak. Not the most comforting thing to know that we had to watch our speed, watch the car's performance, watch out for speed freaks (they exist no matter what the weather) cover 650 miles and get to the EBA hall in time for set-up at 17:00. Which we did, without mishap, at 17:30. Check Twitter out for the soundbytes of that leg of the trip.

And boy did we have to take some stick when we rolled into the convention centre and the Dutch, German & Austrian lads were all at the parking lot, watching us drive in....

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