Sunday, 6 January 2008

3rd Jan 07

Date: 3rd Jan 2008
Location: Jenny’s house – Benisuera, Spain
Weather: 9°, Clear and fairly cold
Status: Ben – in need of getting some fitness training done asap!
Colonel – Primed and ready for the next leg.

Awoke at 7am to get the vehicles packed as we had a long day driving ahead, nearly 800kms, if we want to get to within spitting distance of the ferry today! Finally left Jenny’s house at around 9am to drive straight to the airport at Alicante to drop Sam off to catch his flight home back to the U.K., shame as its been the perfect company I needed for this, one of the easier legs of the journey, in Owen’s absence. Good luck back in the U.K. Sam, hope the weathers not too bad and cold.

There are some things you regret saying almost as soon as they’ve come out of your stupid mouth….this being one of them! The bad weather I’d spoken about was about to turn round and bite me on the nose.

Date: 3rd Jan 2008
Location: Just east of Granada, 1280m – Sierra Nevada mountain pass
Weather: 2°, snow and sleet showers
Status: Ben – all good, Colonel – all good, Others – slight side damage

Sat by the edge of the A92 motorway en route to Granada as Colin has just been involved in an RTA due to no fault of his own!

As we have travelled W since dropping off Sam at Alicante airport earlier this morning the weather has slowly got colder and wetter, as we finished a long climb section rising to 1200m the rain became sleet and the sleet became snow, lots of snow. So much in a short period of time that the road became quickly covered and it wasn’t long before the brake lights up ahead became hazard warning lights as visibility became minimal and inevitably an accident happened!

We sat in the stationary traffic, nose to tail with all of the other motorists when a BMW X5 came sliding past in the outside lane with no where to go but the thin gap between the line of cars and the central reservation, as it did so it smashed the wing mirror from the Mercedes 4Matic in front of us and came to a halt. As I looked in my n/s mirror a white car appeared to be driving far too fast and skidded into the side of Colin’s stationary Nissan X-Trial and then straight into the back of the Mercedes, before coming to a halt.

After running back to the scene the motorway was impassable and the emergency services arrived to help with the clear up operation. We escorted the other vehicles which were involved to the next slip road to wait for the police to arrive, and in the meantime started chatting to one of the other people involved who turned out to be the editor of the German automotive magazine testing 4x4’s en route to watch the Dakar Rally which starts in 4 days time! Much appreciation was shown for the Land Rover….of course!

After waiting around for the Civil Polica to come and take details etc for what seemed like an age, we hit the road again, and the 2hrs delay had really put pay to our distance mission for the day. Once we pulled in to the first services we got to after dark we decided that Jen & Colin would get a room in the hotel for the night and I’d pitch the tent in the car park. Bring on the snow again!

End of day location: Antiquera, N37°04136 W004°19,741
Distance covered: 272kms.

No comments: