At last, the final installment of my epic adventure in the South of France, now posted in recent weddings.
I left the lunch party to catch my flight, in my rather fabulous, compact and bijou rentalmobile – the legendary Toyota Aygo.
I had to fill up with petrol just out of St Tropez. So out I got (taking about 3 minutes to unfold myself through the door) to find that I was parked between two (to the Aygo, comparitively downmarket) Ferraris, a red one and a black one. As I walked across the forecourt to pay (upfront, as you do in these parts), the red Ferrari inched forward towards me as if to drive away. I stared it down. I had taken the first step, and had the added credibility of the Toyota Aygo keys swinging menacingly from my little finger. The Ferrari backed down…probably having spotted the logo on my wheels. Respeck. 1-0 to me and the Aygo. I paid, filled up and pulled out of the service station.
The road from St Tropez to Nice starts with a very cartoonesque ride through the hills, seventeen or so km of single track, with no overtaking. I noticed to my delight that in my wing mirror, like a snippet out of some Jerry Bruckheimer movie, I could see both the Ferraris snaking around behind me, their polished paintjobs glinting in the sunshine. This is the life thought I, and increased my average speed to 35. You can do that kind of stuff in a Toyota. There they stayed for half an hour, and I would like to think we made friends as we weaved through the hills. There was no chance to overtake, so they sat there looking pretty and shiny, and I sat there going nice n slowly listening to soft rock on a crackly radio.
When we hit the motorway (‘highway’ would have been a much better turn of phrase, but I don’t think the French have ‘highways’), my two new buddies slowly wound past me and I let them pull away without intimidating them unnecessarily. I don’t advocate pulling out your iPhone whilst wobbling down a French motorway to take a picture of two fully loaded Ferraris shutting you down, as the camera function isn’t the easiest thing to operate one handed, but I did it anyway….