The purpose of the previous day’s ‘you know nothing’ drive out to find the golf course was to make sure that we had meticulous plans for a drive to La Finca for an early morning half past eight tee time because we didn’t want to be late.
I really don’t like having a last minute rush to the tee, it is so much better to have twenty minutes or so to calm down and plan the round ahead. On the other hand perhaps it is best to get there close to start time because what really happens is that you get worked up about the first shot and then make a dogs dinner of it! We certainly didn’t plan to cut it so fine that it frayed our nerves and turned the air a very royal blue!
We got up early as planned but confident that we knew the route we inexplicably started to dawdle about. A couple of leisurely cups of tea for me and a wander around the garden for Richard on an early morning inspection of the estate and eventually it dawned on us that even though we were totally familiar with the directions that we needed to get a bit of a move on!
Now, It is a fact of life that when you are in a rush the time ticks by at double speed and very soon into the drive we found ourselves up against the clock as we realised to our horror that we only had thirty minutes to spare so the drive now involved pushing the Spanish road speed restrictions to the limit. And then things went spectacularly wrong.
We drove into the town of San Miguel only to find the town centre closed to traffic and no obvious directions to circumvent the roadwork chaos. After a couple of wrong turns we were hopelessly lost so we doubled back on ourselves and were relieved to find two police officers who looked as though they knew what they were doing. How wrong we were. We requested assistance with the directions but they were totally hopeless and advice was restricted to theatrical flapping of the arms that only seemed to indicate only that we should turn around and try again.
Eventually we discovered a perfectly adequate road that was taking traffic around the town but without any indication that this was the alternative route. By now more time had slipped by and I was beginning to become convinced that we had virtually no hope of making the tee time.
Once out of the town we were back on the open road, well I say open road but of course this morning it wasn’t especially open because it was choked up with Sunday drivers and lorries practicing tortoise impressions and with no opportunities to get past all we could do was sweat it out, panic and complain at full volume about our predicament.
With less than fifteen minutes to go we weren’t thinking straight any more and at the next village missed a massively obvious sign directing us to the golf course and drove instead into the middle of a residential area with yet another dead end. More complaining, another u-turn and back to the main road to start again. Finally we made it and we slewed into the car park like the Starsky and Hutch scattering bemused golfers with more time on their hands and in a calmer frame of mind than us as we leapt out of the car to get ready in a frenzied rush and then dash for the pro-shop and the first tee. We made it with slightly fewer than ten minutes to spare and in hardly the best frame of mind to begin a round of golf.
At the pro-shop I booked in and to slow things down even more I was asked to produce our handicap certificates. Between us we only had the one and that was for me and my son Jonathan but luckily Richard had moved on to the tee area so I didn’t have the embarrassment of trying to explain the premature ageing that would be the only way of clarifying why a twenty year old young man looked rather like a forty year old chap.