Grimble and G were now safely tucked up in their hotel bed after an unrelentingly busy road trip to Spain. The happily named, “Autoroute to the sun” belied the fact that this was the most direct thoroughfare to any part of the Med and what seemed like the entire population of continental Europe were using it.
Grimble soon bored of pointing out to G all the different European number plates. Even the one where she could cleverly and accurately name cities and towns of Germany from the initial letter of their plate.
This game lost its lustre even faster than the one where Grimble had endeavoured to keep G occupied with the, ‘Would you rather’ challenge. On challenge number 20, which seemed to G to be challenge number 2000, Grimble asked the now grizzly G would he rather go forward in time or backward? His reply of should Grimble have a mute button or a coma button was not the answer anticipated. Thus Grimble adopted the mute button for 10km or so.
They had other road challenges. When they were alerted to a road hold up due to an accident, they had to guess the nationalities of the destroyed cars. G always (and frustratingly accurately) stated two Frenchies whilst Grimble stuck with one Frenchie and one Johnny foreigner. At one point, a French truck driver seemed to want them to participate in their own game or be in the remake of the movie, Duel, as he attempted to get up close and personal. G gave him a fair but firm Agincourt salute and they moved on.
In addition to this challenge was the rain challenge from 2016. So confident was Grimble of sunshine last year in Southern Spain that she challenged G by saying no rain would fall in the whole holiday. She was almost victorious until, whilst waiting at Arroyo del Miel train station, a sneaky, fast moving, miniscule rain cloud crept up on them and deposited a nano second droplet, thereby making G the victor.
This challenge was being maintained for this holiday, somewhat unfairly thought Grimble, as they were pitching up in the North East Med which, even to her geographically challenged brain, was less likely to have wall to wall sunshine.
However, it was a smug G who sailed through the Spanish border with a 5:0 victory. Each win equated to the loser buying the winner a glass of wine and, so far, G’s glass runneth over.
The autoroute into Spain was rather deserted unlike the route out which had an ugly 12km tailback at the border. As there is no longer a border as such, this excessive queue was unfathomable. The satnav went somewhat quiet not even attempting to adopt a Spanish accent for town names the way it had in France. G and Grimble wondered if their unrelenting teasing of her butchery of French had offended her.
Her revenge came soon enough as she directed them to the hotel in their chosen resort, Calella. She kept demanding that they turn left where no roads existed and then U turn immediately. She wanted them to mow down unsuspecting holiday makers by driving into pedestrian only streets. And she seemed to have no actual idea where the hotel was located. On the fifth circuit of this route, when G and Grimble were almost on first name terms with locals at the bars, Grimble decided enough was enough.
With the determination of someone who doesn’t like driving anyway, she insisted that G park up anywhere, whereupon she opted to go on foot armed with her trusty phone and Google maps that proclaimed she was 2 walking minutes from her destination.
Boldly, like a female Victorian traveller, she marched up the street, only pausing to mutter fuck you to the seedy local who had dared to say “guapa” to her. In the manner of Livingstone, she discovered the hotel, she found out its parking lot was full, was redirected to another and left with a sense of achievement which she believed secretly negated G’s wine prizes.
Thus they parked at the local hospital carpark for a desultory 2.50€ for 24 hours: NHS take note. And whilst they both felt a little perturbed at the prospect that their car parked was preventing some local family from visiting their seriously ill grandad, this moment was short lived as they surveyed the cars in the carpark and noticed that there was possibly an inordinate number of foreigners availing themselves of free Spanish healthcare or everyone was parking in this bargain rate place.
Grimble, where’s my…
So with a clear conscience, they checked in their hotel. Grimble unpacked, ensuring G would never independently find an item of clothing without the familiar chant of, “Grimble, where’s my…?” They then had a fish supper Spanish style of pulpo and prawns with an exceedingly cheap, and fucking lovely, 8.50€ bottle of ribera.
Finally, 1200 miles drive from home caught up with them, though in the vague hope of a second wind, Grimble purchased a bottle of cava for the room, which was immediately placed in the fridge. G and Grimble lay down on the bed and Grimble immediately passed into deep slumber making G wonder if she really did have a mute or coma button.