I saw an ad in The Guardian saying “Tour guide / driver wanted urgently.” This was like a nugget to an Alaska goldpanner.
I called straight away – they wanted someone who could drive the following weekend through France, Spain and Morocco on a three week camping trip, using a 15 seat Transit minibus.The next day I was at their house / office verifying that I could speak passable French, had driven there and in Northern Spain, (only on a motorbike !) And I appeared quite confident. The boss, Lee gave me the keys to their precious minibus, having glanced at my licence, ‘take it for a drive round, see how it feels’ he said breezily. I’d passed my driving test 6 months before, but not driven since then – nor was I aware that I should have held the licence for 12 months before using it abroad. Tsk
I turned up that Friday, there having been no rivals for the urgent job, picked up keys, roadmaps documents and money along with a list of who to pick up at Charing Cross rail station on Saturday morning. My one instruction was to bring back as many receipts as I could. As I drove down from Cheshire to my overnight stop at Vauxhall, a recurrent voice screamed at me ‘are you frigging crackers ? You’ve never done anything like this ! Yikes !’
And so I found myself #at the wheel of a large automobile slewing my way through dusty tracks in the great sandy desert in the south of Morocco. On a wing and a prayer. . . and it all worked out – so far