Wednesday, January 12, 2005

back to the future
Travelling is something I seem to do a lot of. Only three days ago I was on a plane jetting back from Tokyo through the icy skies above Siberia and China. In a blurry trio of cultures and languages, Aymen and I slogged the 14 hours back from the other side of the planet, via Paris to our familiarly wintery London.

Yesterday I was up again at 4 in the morning, heaving my luggage brimming with Japanese presents out into the drizzly English Eastbourne morning. Fortunately the jet lag made this ungodly hour seem almost like an entirely normal time to get up.

I wish I had some exciting stories to tell about the road trip adventure with my christmas present, this year's Guiness World Record holder for the world's tiniest camper van. But as you may guess, the story consists mainly of road, road and a bit more road. Actually, there was a boat involved too.

Normally I seriously dislike the Daily Mail newspaper, but they had a brilliant 10 pound (15 dollar?) deal for a ferry trip across the English channel, so I guess it's the price I have to pay for putting up with their irrational ranting once in a while. Strikes me as ironic though - the most europhobic British newspaper encouraging travel to the home of the enemy.

The trip took about 30 hours, including 8 hours sleep. I settled down last night in a rest area off the A20 about half of the way down France near Chateauroux. At first I was thinking of just having an hour's refreshing nap, but since it would have been rude not to fully acquaint myself with the van's sleeping facilities, my little doze turned into a full 8 hour sleep.

That van is damn comfy to sleep in, which is good news since I have the whole of Europe to explore. I do have some reservations about whether it'll manage to cover that much ground before chuffing it's last smokey breath though. The back door brandishes a little sticker saying '4 Cylinder 1 Litre 5 speed' as if those are some sort of engine credentials to be proud of. Not exactly what I would call 'transcontinental' but hey, it's only got 25k on the clock, so far.

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