Thoughts On Long Drives

By | 15 October 2021

The most I drove was 3600 kilometres in four days. I went to Western France, Barcelona, back to Western France, and then back to Switzerland. It was an average of 800 kilometres a day. About two or three hours from home I was so tired of driving that I stopped at an empty motorway stop and just zoned out for ten minutes or so before continuing to drive.

Sports and Driving

I like driving, and I like long journeys by car. I know that they can be tiring, either due to traffic, or because of the entire day. The Leukerbad Via Ferrata drives were tiring because I woke at 3am to get to the destination at 8am for the first ride up, and then climb for five to seven hours, before driving home. That is a demanding day. Eventually I booked hotel nights. That changed the experience. Spa and meal with people after sports is nicer.

I have driven to and from Spain several times, in a single hop. It is tiring. It is hours of focus. Hours of sitting still. Hours of staring. This isn’t your two hour drive from Geneva to a mountain chalet. This is 13 hours of driving. You can get up early, to finish early, or you can get up at a normal time, to finish later, or you can get up later to finish in the middle of the night.

Traffic and Snow

A few years ago I said a sad goodbye to a friend in London, before getting stuck at Blackfriar’s tunnel, heading to the English channel. I think I spent three or four hours in that traffic jam. What was funny in this case is that I got to France late, and with it snowing. When I drove across the Jura there was a layer of snow and I had to go fast enough to have momentum, but not so much as to lose control of the car. I really didn’t want to get stuck. I got home very early the next day, but I don’t remember feeling tired. On that drive adrenaline keeped me awake.

Avoiding Busy Days

Sunday could be easy, or it could be hard. I have no idea. it’s the first road trip with the current car, so the experience is new. If the day of travel made no difference traffic wise, then I think I would set off today or tomorrow. It’s because it does, that I am dedicated to drive one day of the week.

This is my first trip out of Switzerland for two years, due to the pandemic. I am always excited to have the freedom to drive for hours in a row in a single day. I am looking forward to the opportunity. It will feel good to set off and drive.

Apple Play

For the first time I can play with Apple Car play, and this time it isn’t for a five or ten minute trip to the shops and back. It’s a thirteen hour trip. Plenty of time to listen to audiobooks, maybe podcasts, and to think. I will test to see whether the has 800 kilometres of range on a single fill or whether that range is shorter. We will see if I make it to the border without refueling. With current road conditions it should take 7hrs to the border and half a day to get close to my destination.

Well Rested

Although I like the idea of getting up at 3am to drive for 12 hours I know that, driving alone, this is not a good idea. If I had someone to share the drive with then I could. I think waking up a little later, at a time that is within my normal time to wake up will yield a safer and more pleasant driving experience.

If I wake at 3am then I could have a siesta around lunchtime, before continuing the drive. This is sub-optimal. A 15 minute break, when I feel fatigued will be enough. Usually that’s when the refuelling stops are, to recharge before the next leg.

And Finally

This blog post could be more eloquent. I count it as practice. Eventually I will find an inspired voice, more frequently.

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