Being what is deemed an “essential worker” – which as a freelance journalist and broadcaster is a first – I am lucky enough to be allowed to travel by car daily to the studio.
I’ve been driving in Spain since the mid 80s, so it is safe to say that I have seen practically every weird and wonderful scenario possible. I still get cold sweats remembering the – frankly deadly – bends by the La Cala lighthouse in the days before they constructed the central reservation and you were never sure what was coming in the opposite direction.
Chances were, in those pre-drink driving days, it was a clapped out cement lorry whose driver had skulled a few carajillos “to get the cogs turning”. Or the convoys of Moroccans heading to Algeciras that would overtake in formation. Whether there was oncoming traffic or not. I once arrived on the scene of a huge crash outside San Roque with the road litter with dozens of rugs, chairs and assorted kitchen equipment. It was akin to driving gingerly through the Tangiers branch of Habitat.
With the new travel restrictions one might think that it would be a little safer on the roads.
One would be wrong.
Presented with miles of highway with sparse traffic, I’ve noticed that the majority of long distance lorry drivers have developed a bad case of ‘leadfoot-itis’.
There is something a little disconcerting about keeping within the speed limits to glance in the rear view mirror and see an 18-wheeler with Maroc plates three inches from your bumper and flashing manically.
They are not the only challenge. You also have to be on your guard from timid motorists coming back from the supermarket with their weekly shop. They are so worried about catching the virus or getting stopped by the police that they aren’t really concentrating – nor can they see out properly due to the bags of shopping in the back, and they also have their vision obscured by ill-fitting masks.
I almost makes me miss being tailgated by some flash berk in a Bentley. Drive safely!