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Last of the Summer Fines

Now that the summer crowds have migrated north, you don’t have to approach each trip into town like a cross between the Dakar Rally (water, GPS system, local currency for parking meters) and ‘Mad Max’.

It’s not all plain sailing, however. The, ahem, ‘eccentric’ driving styles of many of the chromed up 4x4s and AMG Mercs with German number plates that you may have seen roaring along the coast means that you have to keep your wits about you. It’s also a wise move to be at one with your inner self and develop a Zen like sense of calm. This is especially true if someone comes up hard and fast behind you and starts flashing to get you to move over – even if you are unable to at that precise moment.

I find a cheery wave when you finally let them past infuriates them even more.

All in all, however, it’s not been a great month for me on the road. I broke the unbreakable Landcruiser again, but the up side was that the grua driver was an old friend of mine. Although to be honest I’ve been contact with the tow truck companies so many times over the past few years that I’m on first name terms with most of them. I’ll be a little upset if I don’t get Christmas cards.

Then there was the rather large fine that I received while delivering newspapers. I stuck the Landcruiser in a “loading and unloading” area and, on my return, found a Policia Local firmly placing a ticket on the windscreen. When I politely pointed out that I was, in fact, unloading, he (equally firmly) replied that this was only for commercial vehicles.

“It’s the law” he said, fixing me with the sort of look that convinced me that any further argument might result in anything from a quick look through my documents to a full cavity search, then and there, at the side of the road.

My mood wasn’t lightened by the fact that later that afternoon I was driving one of the Banus back roads and spotted a small speedboat parked on a bend. I know the proper technical term is usually moored, but this was marooned high and dry at the side of the road.

I spluttered my indignation and wondered what the fine would be for that particular traffic infraction. If there wasn’t one, I pondered, perhaps I should just start delivering by boat and declare myself an offshore financial haven. Either that or a piratical paper delivery service! I drove on and debated if it was too early for rum…

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