“Pack your bags, James. You’re going to Portugal”. This seemed an odd way to tell me that I was being relocated, but as a true blue Englishman, I took it on the chin. Fortunately I‘d only packed up half my desk before a clearer picture was painted.
News that Mini’s all-new Roadster was to make its performance debut affront a baying mob of media representatives received the full parade of bells and whistles. This car, after all, was the de-roofed version of Mini’s controversial Coupe, so clearly had to do the business. And where better to demonstrate its sporty nature than on Portugal’s sun-kissed winding roads. Once again, crankandpiston’s newboy was off on another adventure.
The 8340km, nine-hour journey to Lisbon began (very) early on Friday morning. Forward planning has never been my forte, and twenty minutes before setting off, my travel bag was still empty. But come midnight I was whistling my way to Dubai International Airport, where I would meet up with my three fellow press invitees and our delightful BMW representative.
Best-laid plans have a tendency to fall flat though. It turns out there were no direct routes from Dubai to Lisbon, and our 2am roundhouse flight to Zurich had already been delayed by adverse weather.