Friday, November 11, 2022

Travel Broadens the Mind

 It has been a while since I went anywhere much beyond the driveway. In the last four years, between the usual state of penury, a broken leg back in the latter part of 2018 and the Covid excitement where we were locked in (luckily, in our case, this included a few acres of stables filled with friendly horses, cats, dogs and chickens), we haven't been out.

There weren't many opportunities to head out somewhere. And anyway, those critters need feeding. 

It's true that in that period, maybe 50 months since we visited the Basque Country, we've been to San Jose for lunch a few times, twice to Granada to buy horses and another time to Guadix for the same reason; then there was a bus trip to Seville last year to see the horse-show (one boozy night in Dos Hermanas). 

So here I am, writing this in a town in Northern Oklahoma, right after the midterm elections (it seems that the Trumpers have been disappointed). I have a month here, staying with two of my kids, both outdoing the other to provide me with adventures. Tomorrow I shall be driving a Porsche GT3 to Eureka Springs in next-door Arkansas, where I shall meet fellow enthusiasts (assuming I get there, it's a couple of hours drive, even at full speed - and I'm used to managing something a fraction more sedate).

I'm an old hand on America - I've jetted in (or driven in, or once, floated in with the QE2), over my lifetime around nineteen times. But things are changing and there are a few twists, like Walmart closing at 11.00pm (it used to be open 24/7) and, sad to relate, the rate of exchange isn't very good these days. 

Most of the cars and trucks are as massive as ever.

I was surprised on arrival in the Dallas - Fort Worth airport to see posters regarding facial recognition. I haven't been in the USA in six years, but before I could hand over my passport the friendly immigration officer smiled and said, 'Why, hello Lenox, good to see you again'. Crikey!

Another thing that surprised me, especially as I live in an area of Spain full of plastic farms (los invernaderos) many of which are dedicated to growing marijuana, to find that it has been legalised in Republican, bible-belt Oklahoma, and that in our town here - of maybe 15,000 inhabitants - there are at least ten 'weed shops'. 

Who smokes that shit?

The weather has been good so far, warm and blue skies, but I'm told the rain and low temperatures are on the way (minus five celsius tomorrow morning). 

I hope that car has heating... 


I drove down in the GT3 (an automatic) and later came the other way in a stick-shift GT4. We spent the weekend having fun with some friends and drove around 800k deep into Arkansas and Missouri.