Saturday, 17 September 2011

GrossGlockner High Road and Road Trip FAQ

Test post to blog direct from Picassa road trip content

Road Trip FAQ

why? Why do this drive when the petrol price is so high?
I did it because the price is high and getting higher all the time. For posterity and just because.

Don't I feel any responibilty to the environment in burning all the petrol. The TT is terrible on emissions, but it is an old car. I will not support construction and sale of new cars until there is a realistic alternative.

The impending loss of oil will remove any debate from the private car use issue with regard to climate change. From then on the issue will be on eating meat.. as we know that that the vast majority of climate gasses are produced by herd animals bred for human consumption. Do I feel guilty about my energy usage? For six months I lived in Gibraltar breathing in deisel from the shipping berthed in Algeciras Bay. Commercial shipping has no quarms about emissions, it is standard policy on any ship, liners as well as petrol tankers, to leave the diesel engines running for the entire time it stays in port.

Did you do it because of TOP GEAR?
There was a bit of that but I didn't feel good about it. The recent 'sleepy mexicans' rant I think really was the final final straw for me. Chicharito (Manchester United's razor sharp Mexican striker) looks like he is a stranger to the concept of sleep and even standing still for more than a few seconds, making Top Gears latest desperate attempts to look edgy even more pathetic.

Did you do it because of LONG WAY ROUND?
Oh yes, and felt bad rewatching it afterwards that I had sold out and done this by stupid sports car (I would have been very very dismissive of TT only a few years ago). In my defense I had no support team, next to no planning.. well lets be honest no planning.. and had the entire contents of the flat in Gib squeezed into the car. That level of cargo, over those distances by bike was never going to happen

Uploading this material I just happen to be watching BEING THERE, the Peter Sellers film, and it occurs to me the scene where he emerges from a lifetime of being in one house to explore the neighbourhood for the first time is much like how I felt when I drove the car out of Eurotunnel in Calais...

I mean I've been abroad before but always been based somewhere, never FREE...

Peter Sellers as Chauncey emerges into the world for the first time in BEING THERE

What was your camera?
All photos video and audio taken with Iphone 3GS

What was the car?
Car is a 2001 Audi TT, picked up in 2007 with 85k on the clock. It's now done 135k. Your basic TT Mark 1 is little more than a Golf GTi with a retro body shell, described memorably as a "GTi in hot pants", and is more 1930s NSU racer than practical 21st century transport. These aerodynamics have not been cutting edge since the Daily Mail was Herr Hitler's biggest supporter. Rear "seats" are a particular source of amusement to all and are only temporarily comfortable for small children and Time Bandits. Engine would be the standard 1980s GTi 1.8 but this is the 230 bhp version with boosted compression, bigger turbo and extra intercooler.

It is often quite a dull ride (certainly compared to a bike) but the Audi 4x4 system and heated leather seats have come in very handy.

Named Nicola after the great dinner date I went on in Richmond the night after going to view the car (hi Nic !)

For those who are interested, the content currently on Googlemap and Picassa is perhaps a third of the total material. Similar maps based on the road trips Parracombe > Gibraltar Feb 2011 and the return trip Narvik > Parracombe will follow

<PS I had to get to the end of BEING THERE to realise it is primarily about a man who can only relate to the world thru clips from tv, so there is something particularly ironic or tragic about relating to clips from it>

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