Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can we hack the pace?

I'd never had a car rental chap ask me if the car was satisfactory prior to handing over the keys before. Since he asked so nicely I thought I'd try my hand at miming "Cruise Control" and shrugging my shoulders, which, in the way of these parts is a universally understood expression of everything from joy to grief.

In response he indicated that the reason there didn't appear to be any controls for the "regulateur" was probably because it wasn't actually fitted to the car.

"But", he explained," it is not really necessary unless you go very far. How far do you go?"

"Orleans" I replied.

"I think there is something I can do", he responded instantly and disappeared to find the keys of a new vehicle he'd just unloaded off the delivery truck. Perhaps I should speak up more often.

Five hours later, with the "regulateur" steadily regulateuring us at the statutory limit we had managed to fit in an admittedly brief by French standards lunch, and in the manner of description used by the clever lady who resides inside the iPhone's GPS, after travelling precisely 539 kilometres, we "had reached our destination", without travelling for more than about ten kilometres off a motorway.

From previous experience, reaching this particular destination means that our journey has only begun. Indeed it was only a matter of minutes before being whisked away to fit in a five kilometre walk through the forest "to wake us up after our drive", and to toughen us up for the night that was to come.

By three am, which coincidentally was the time in the morning that we had eaten our last meal here last year, I don't mind admitting I was starting to become a little weary. I have no idea why almost no one else seemed to suffer from that infliction, but I began to have the vaguest of feelings that perhaps this is going to be a very, very long week.


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