THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Onward to the voyage home
Home again. Travel Mode OFF

All at sea

If it were not for my worrying about Speranza’s wellbeing I might have enjoyed my Santander hotel. The bed was comfy, the shower was so good I’m thinking of having my own restyled to match it and the air conditioning eventually worked.

They also provided a nice breakfast though such service as there was, was as surly in English as it was elaborately polite in Spanish. For a tourism-driven economy, I can’t help feeling that Spain hasn’t yet raised the art of the insincere welcome to French standards.

I delayed checkout to the last moment as the ferry port was less than a mile away and I didn’t want to toast in the sun too long. I arrived two hours before the last check-in and sat patiently in the bright sun with the roof down, apart from a break for lunch in the cheap and cheery port café.

2024-06-13_121218A good 30% of waiting vehicles were madly uneconomical and anti-environmental RVs and caravans. I just don’t understand why anyone would travel in a flashy gypsy van when the art of the hotelier is so widely (if variedly) practised in these parts. I’m pretty sure they’d get quite a few four star nights at least for the annual capital depreciation and excess fuel costs of their fugly, view-obstructing trucks.

You may think I have no moral ground to stand on with my 4.2 litre V8 but Speranza is a delicate fairy among such dinosaurs and most Ferraris never make it to landfill so her embodied energy (an important element of the lifetime consumption of any artefact) will likely never be wasted. Also her fuel consumption, at about 24mpg, is the same as my first car, which had a 1.5 litre BMC B-series engine and could barely do 60mph downhill with a following wind. Science has made advances in this field. That first car is still running however. My late father managed to restore it enough to make it into a lasting classic and it's in the hands of a Dutch collector and still running. So that embodied energy was never wasted either!

IMG_6210I’m embarrassed to admit that it was only during the boarding process that I realised the ferry docks not in Portsmouth, but in Plymouth. So tomorrow’s journey on ill-maintained British roads will be about twice as long as I thought. Entirely my mistake. It means I’ll get to drive on the only British road I had anything to do with building, when I was briefly seconded as a boy lawyer to one of Mrs Thatcher's development corporations intent on urban regeneration. It’s had plenty of time to degenerate to Britain's pathetic standards since then. If only our deep state apparatchiks were as interested in shaping our infrastructure as they are in shaping our thoughts, eh?

The voyage was uneventful enough. I spent the evening reading and watching Netflix. The onboard wifi was expensive and adequate, thought slower than I'm used to these days. The big disappointment was the sleeper seat, which did not recline and was uncomfortable. I had to draw on my experience of rail commuting and business flying to get some sleep. To my surprise I got an uninterrupted eight hours, though I woke feeling a little achey. 

All I have to deal with now is the drive from Devon. My Track My Tour map has been updated here


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