THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
An enemy of sanity
Day One - to Épernay

Travel mode ON

Not that there’s been much of non-travel mode recently. If you follow me on X (formerly Twitter) then you’ll know why. It’s an election year and there is no one to vote for who represents my views. The nearest politician who appeals to me is presently President of Argentina — a country I’ve never visited and probably never will. 

IMG_5920On Wednesday morning I set out on a road trip to celebrate the milestone of Speranza passing 100,000 miles — all but 7,000 of them with me at the wheel. The plan is to drive 2,500 miles to Santander in Spain, via France, Germany, Czechia, Austria, Italy and France again. Then we’ll take the 30 hour ferry ride to Portsmouth and home  

I shall be tracking the trip using the software I first used for my Great American Road Trip of 2013 — Track My Tour — which creates a map recording the tour from photos taken with my phone along the route. 

My first planned stop is Épernay at the heart of the Champagne region. I shall check in from there. Here’s hoping for a less eventful (and expensive) journey than last year!


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Hmm, thanks Chromatistes. I sincerely hope not. Especially as from Prague to the South of France, I am taking a friend along.


" ... and here is Alvar Liddell bringing you news of fresh disasters."

('Beyond the Fringe')


Yes, I was. I have had various attempts to break out of my post-COVID, post WEXIT funk and that was one that didn't come off. The enormous cost of repairs after last year's expedition didn't bring such a trip any closer!

The last two items on my bucket list are road trips around Japan and New Zealand. My grandfather turned down an opportunity to visit Japan and told me just before he died that he regretted nothing he'd done but several things he *hadn't* done and that was one of them. I'd like to avoid dying with the same regret, but Japan is a challenging destination for a solo traveller without the language. I *hate* organised tours. I would not want to be the British equivalent of the Japanese tourists we see being escorted around London behind their guide carrying a flag to follow.

I am fascinated by Japanese culture and aesthetics though, so I must find a way to do it. My interest has been stoked recently by watching the new Shogun show and last year I enjoyed watching the Makanai on Netflix.


I look forward to following your progress.

Were you not planning a trip to the Antipodes a while back?

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