Free Parking with the Elephants

2018 1

(Our view from the kitchen)

We crossed the border into Spain this morning. It rained the entire time and the spray from the other traffic was a bit miserable. We had forgotten that this part of the journey past San Sebastian and Bilbao is always a little messy as city by-passes can be confusing and chaotic and it was all that this morning.

2018 3

(Nearby village)

As some of you will know I’m a very helpful passenger. Some people say too helpful… My self-appointed duties include continuously reminding the driver of the speed limits, especially when they are lower in the rain. Suggesting the optimum wiper speeds as windshield conditions change. Making squealing noises when (in my opinion) other vehicles approach too close to the van. Insisting that the driver must never check a beautiful view. Making wavy movements with my hands when our vehicle is proceeding too close to the vehicle in front.

2018 6

(Gondola at the safari park)

My assistance is not always appreciated though… so lately I have been considering a kind of toning down of my helpful tendencies. This proves to be easier said than done as it has turned out my main motivation for helping is self-preservation… it turns out I am attempting to prevent a terrible accident where I go up in a ball of flames and career down a 100 meter ravine. The constant vigil is exhausting as I am on high alert and I don’t even have a brake pedal. I did suggest to Denis that we could invest in an extra pedal but he wasn’t keen so I had to come up with another option.

2018 4

(Fence around the elephant enclosure)

It turns out when I’m a passenger I run the ball-of-flames-and-100-meter-ravine accident on a kind of continuous YouTube loop in my mind. I do that so that I don’t lose focus of my main concern: self-preservation. My new plan is to preserve my sanity and turn off the video loop. Every time it starts into it’s ball of flames, I stop it and have a look at the nice view. Then it starts again and I stop it and take a nice deep breath. Every time it starts I stop it again. It definitely makes the driving (or is it passenger-ing?) more enjoyable. I had been doing grand until this morning with the trucks and the rain but never mind I am a work in progress.

2018 5

(Our elephants)

So tonight we are at a safari park… with free parking. We took a walk earlier, to see the elephants…. yes now we have elephants! We got drenched on our walk but it’s so lovely to be surrounded by nature that we didn’t mind and now we’re snug in the van looking out on a lake with some ducks.

It’s a long way from the motorway. Mairead.