You think flying helicopters is risky, that’s nothing compared to driving in Paris

So this morning started nicely with breakfast. I’d already mastered the ‘double espresso’ button from yesterday, so had two of them, with my usual cereal and yogurt. Then it was pack up time and into my lovely ‘brown’ car. To be honest, it’s actually quite a nice car, it’s very comfortable, has a lot of room and is well equipped. It’s just the exterior is just so bloody awful. Anyway, we got on the road and headed for the dreaded Paris. I had spent some quite considerable time the night before working out some alternative routes that avoided Paris, but in the end decided that really the fastest way was to just bite the bullet and skirt the outskirts somewhat. In the end it didn’t turn out to be too bad a decision. The traffic did get somewhat heavy, but we were after all doing the equivalent of the M25 around Paris. The traffic was quite slow moving. That didn’t bother me. What did bother me somewhat was the shear timing of some people. The way they would indicate and then cut in front of you are a miliseconds notice. It was, quite frightening. It’s no wonder that the French have one of the highest accident rates in the world. They are, easily, the most bloody awful drivers I have ever come across. It was a scary hour, but, that was all it was. As soon as we exited basically south west from the orbital we were in clear air. And by that I mean bugger all traffic. France has the same car population as the UK but over twice the area, and 90% of the traffic is in Paris, so as soon as we were clear of that we were pretty much okay. I’d worked out the cruise control on the brown turd. Actually it is really good. You set the ‘limit’ on the touch screen, then keep the throttle floored. It will then never exceed the limit. Which is really cool if you have a very heavy right foot like I do. Cruising at 90+ on French roads is a breeze. Okay, they are toll roads, and it cost us about £30 for today’s journey, but they are great to drive on with minimal traffic. We were actually doing great time so stopped off at a town called ‘Toures’. Pretty big place. Managed to find a car park by the station no problem. We walked round for a while and picked up a sandwich. We were back on the road in a couple of hours.

Now turned off on to ‘Futuroscope’. Which is a bloody weird place to be honest. It’s best described as Aztec West, but without the ducks. It’s very commercial with a shit load of hotels. We decamped and after a bit I decided to go on a bit of a walk. Being couped up in a car for five hours doesn’t go down well with me. I covered all the area that could be walked, that didn’t span a motorway. I must have passed about twenty hotels. The park tomorrow looks well cool anyway. Came back, Jamie was still napping, not sure what is up with him, he’s done sod all, all day, yet seems somewhat sleepy. He napped for another couple of hours. I read a magazine. Eventually at just gone nine we went down to dinner. It was a full on poncy meal. And by that I mean one that costs me over a hundred quid and I’m still blooody hungry afterwards. It was quite eventful though. There was a group of Japanese tourists at another table who were getting absolutely shitfaced on Cognac and wondering how they were going to claim the bar bill on expenses. After what was actually a really nice dinner, Jamie retired to the room for probably yet another nap. I retired to the bar to drink my own bodyweight in Heineken. The Japanese tourists have retired, but have now been replaced by a whole shitload of French, photo-copier salesmen.

So tomorrow, Futuroscope, tonight, bed.

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