Since our first visit in 2003, our little tribe's numbers have dwindled, kids came along, priorities changed and interest waned so last year there were only a handful of us due to make the trip down.
I managed to wangle a coveted Tertre Rouge ticket at the last minute, then everyone dropped out at the 11th hour, however I had an ace up my sleeve, I flogged the camping pass and bought a parking ticket and persuaded my buddy who lives about an hour North of the circuit that this was the year I was going to drag him to the race.
My plan was thus:
1. Splat down on my own on Friday evening, sharing the roads with a myriad of stickered up exotica
2. Arrive at my pal's house and drink all his wine
c. Drag him and his lad ( 8 ) down the next day to watch the start, take them round some of the better viewing points, then retire back to his country pile, watch the race on his superfast broadband and drink all his Calvados
4. Get up in the morning and splat down to watch the finish.
What actually happened was:
1. Drove down on Friday evening and didn't see another British car after Calais, everyone who was going was already there. The autoroute was dull as ditch water and the only interesting bit was getting lost & discovering some great driving roads on the way to the bridge at Yvetot.
2. Shortly before my arrival, the road outside my friend's house had been dressed in loose gravel chippings, at around the same time, one of the locals had a very liquid lunch, jumped in their Clio & drove home.
2. Arrived at my destination to find a clio on it's roof outside having just demolished a long line of telegraph poles, wires spread across the loose gravel, and all the broadband had leaked out and gone down the drain.
2. Spent a pleasant evening drinking wine, unfettered by modern communication.
2. Drove to the circuit next morning and spent three hours queuing outside the circuit.
2. Got in just in time for the start.
This made me happy
2. Watched a bit of racing, then after a few hours the lad was getting tired & a bit bored so we headed back to the land of beef ribs and more wine and no internet
3. Next morning I decided to cut my losses and headed home rather than sitting in another traffic jam, stopping every so often to watch a bit of the race whenever I found some free wifi
4. Arrived home having driven there and back to watch about an hour of racing, mostly on my own.
I don't know if that's a heroic effort or just plain sad?