Slumming it in the Big Country

I have never, ever driven anything this big before. It makes the Series 3 LWB Safari Land Rover that I sold to a frenchman to take his daughters yacht down to Provence at short notice in 2004 feel like a mini. Laura can’t see over the dashboard. I even have to sit  bolt upright to get a reasonable view down the road, and there’s still 2/3rds of canopy – I mean windscreen – above me. Charlie said it’s the biggest car he’s seen, and he may only be a week short of three but he consumes cars like we consume that funny nitrogen-oxygen mix that’s all around us.

And yes, that is the lobby of a posh hotel. Charlie has a king-sized bed. He needs it after the ordeal he’s just been through. Poor little guy was as good as gold for the whole flight, fell asleep twenty minutes before landing, woke when we came to a standstill and promptly had a huge panic attack because he was a) in a plane B) in a plane full of strangers c) in a plane full of strangers all milling around grabbing large bags from directly over his head. Even Lightning McQueen couldn’t snap him out of it. Still, it did get us the royal treatment – a ‘fixer’ type carrying all our carry-on baggage from the plane to immigration then whisking us through the crew and special service channel while the 250 other passengers queued like mooks.  To prove that he’s okay now this is him in a bed that is so tall he can’t get off of it himself.

Oh, and before you start we got the hotel at a discount and the car was an upgrade cos they were still scraping the mud off the one we reserved so it has only cost us $342 for two weeks. Until I saw the size of it and noted the fact that bar the man at the factory and the dude that drove it from the transporter into the enterprise carpark this morning we are the first people to drive it… I went back on a lifetime rule and took the collision waiver insurance at an extra $20 a day.

Sorry to keep banging on about the car, but did you know it hass buttons in the back that you press to make the rare seats autmatically fold flat?! And not BMW/Merc speed, you know, stately yet efficient- this is press the button and hope your children weren’t in those seats. I mean, these are beartrap quick, powered by detonators or something. Okay, okay, I’ll stop now!

So, no problems at customs or immigration, no mishaps with the luggage and the only down side was that Evan didn’t have a seat allocated to him meaning he spent the better part of six hours (there was a 100mph headwind that slowed us down) clambering over us, slapping me in the face or sticking his fingers up my nose.

Halifax is foggy but warm, 15¤ when we landed at dusk. The locals are friendly and it may only be 9:15pm here but it’s quarter past one for me so I’m going to clim into that big old bed over there and set the alarm for a late but free breakfast.

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2 responses to “Slumming it in the Big Country

  1. I want one! He’s so cute. The car is ok too(jealous I am). I think what you’re doing is amazing and must be very very exciting. We’re both excited and will come and live in a tent in the garden!
    We are also preparing for the busiest day of the year in our shop tomorrow as its been ramping up every day this week. Its mental.
    Love to you all, Che and Em.

  2. Yay!! So glad you are finally at the start of this great adventure… Massively glad you are blogging it – I’ve missed all the Von Jensen travelling stories – nice to have them back… Poor Charlie, hope all the trauma is now forgotten and replaced with excitement. Love to you all, GO TEAM JENSEN ;O)

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