Life as a freelance writer for a car magazine does come with a few benefits, I’ll admit. Like the phone call on a dull Monday morning which went something like “Sorry for the short notice Tim, but is there any chance you could fly to Nice on Thursday to test drive the new Porsche Boxster around the Côte D’Azur?” And as luck, and extensive rescheduling of Thursday’s appointments would have it, I could!
A quick check of the weather forecast for Nice told me the weather would be fine, which for me translates to ‘no need for cold or wet weather clothes, pack more camera gear’, and that’s always a good thing. I decide to stay on in France for a few more days after the trip, so at Dubai International Airport I’m lumbered with a suitcase.
But that distracts the check in girl from my ‘it’s just a back pack’, which she therefore doesn’t weigh. Do you have any idea how much a camera, spare batteries, three lenses, flashgun, Go-Pro, battery charger, card reader, four filters, mini-tripod and a palm top computer weigh? Neither does she, but my dodgy back tells me it’s far too much.
On arrival in Nice, I’m disappointed to hear that our helicopter ride to the hotel has been cancelled due to low cloud, so instead we’ll be roughing it in a minibus. Alright, it’s not really a minibus. It’s an executive MPV being driven by a chauffeur. To a designer hotel in St. Tropez, where a fleet of the new 981 model Porsche Boxsters has been put at my disposal. Perhaps ‘roughing it’ is a touch strong. ‘Reacting responsibly to environmental concerns’, now that’s much better.