A little more planning

Monday’s post is below this one so please scroll down and read it first if you haven’t already – it was posted late as finding time to write, charge laptop and connect to the internet (while also being awake enough to see what I’m typing) has been a challenge in itself!

Tuesday 9th September

Day 2 of the Hum!

I awake to the knowledge that I had slept through the night – hoorah! (9am) – I must admit to not having slept well the night before, which may have contributed to Monday night’s… I can’t think of another way to put it other than asking you to imagine my eyes wide, eyebrows pushed up and a slanted curve of my closed mouth…

Vince enters the room, naturally having… you guessed it… been up for hours. I believe during this jolly jaunt he completely filled up the car – I received a whatsapp message from him around 7am-ish with a picture of the computer display thingy reading all meters full. So we are ready to start the second day of The Hum!

So where are we exactly? Well… I fell asleep without actually knowing! – it appears to be a services along the M5; east of ‘Burnham’ and south of ‘Weston-super-mare’. Didn’t think to catch the name on the way out either (I am reminded of that saying… all services look the same?) – These views are also, by far, tainted by the Land’s End experience.

This is actually the day in which I learned a little more about Vince’s way of doing things – the outlook of experiencing things, in order to learn, rather than planning before the experience and missing out on something.

With that in mind, Vince proclaims that we should plan where we are to sleep in advance, as not to have a repeat of last night’s horrors – agreed! Vince had also realised that adventures should be left for AFTER the main driving of the day, if it can be helped – as not to end up dribbling down our chins and wandering around in circles in the dark.

I ask Vince how the morning charging session has gone (during which I was probably cosily sleeping at probably around 2 or 3am…). It seems that the problem of ‘does the post work’ is a more common one than anticipated – even at this stage! Vince’s story finds me imagining him standing next to the car (in darkness), staring at the post (already connected to the car)… listening for various electrical clicks to decipher whether the current is indeed charging the car or not. His explanation of a solution was to wiggle the cable in the socket… wait for a click… take a few paces… hear the click of the post encountering an error… and repeat… four times – until the car ultimately charged… (possibly due to Vince’s, now, thorough experience in wiggling). He tells me that the display now reads an electrical mileage of 77 miles. We are 190.3 miles into our approx 900 mile journey.

We stop at a services 328.8 miles into the journey (2:50pm) with the battery holding 4 miles of charge and 20 miles of petrol left in the tank. The story is all too familiar… we are made aware of a rapid (30min) charging post on some website, go to FIND it – and it either doesn’t exist or doesn’t work. It also appears that these Ecotricity ones aren’t as frequent as we once thought! There IS, however,  a type 2 (fast) charging point in the vicinity (I wonder what amp thing it is). We plug in and wander inside the services. I have forgotten something in the car so off I go again (luckily not too far as the charging points seem close to the service’s main buildings in most cases). Of course… what has happened? no no, I didn’t dance around the i3 in some kind of rain making ‘charging dance’ – but it might have helped more than some things we’ve tried – the post had encountered an error and stopped charging. I fix the problem (the clicks sounded good anyway) and return to Vince inside the services for some food. Some time passes, with possible additions to my sun burn, and Vince goes to  check the car. Again the post had encountered an error and stopped charging! ah well… seems only to be expected by now! The numbers now read 16 miles for petrol, 31 for electricity and it is 4:16pm; so it has charged an equivalent of 27 miles worth of driving in about an hour and a half. The next stop is to fill up the petrol, apparently driving across the services to the petrol station takes 4 miles of electric charge! – it doesn’t actually… well… I don’t quite know how it works – the car tries to figure out constantly how many miles you have left dependent on various factors… so petrol tank full we have 74 miles of petrol and 27 miles of electricity in the battery. Can you tell it’s become quite distracting always having to be aware of these numbers? Vince, who is actually doing the driving, says it’s quite fun balancing the two as you can tell the car whether you want to use the range extender or not at any point you wish (below 75% of the battery capacity).

We set off to our next destination – the room we have booked IN ADVANCE! along the motorway.

After missing the turning due to one of Vince and I’s long philosophical, political… errrr… conversation about life the universe and everything… we discover an odd way to enter a services through a strictly NO ENTRY route. I shriek at this point, while Vince (who admitted this later) slowed down to prolong my agony.

At 6pm we finally arrive at Charnock Richard services near Preston, 402.1 miles into the journey, 62 miles of petrol still in the tank and a battery drained down to 6 miles of charge. At this point I sit down in the restaurant, exclaim my desire for a real meal and a nice beverage, Vince goes for a nap, and I start talking with the waiter named Jonathan – who turns out to have done a car journey for charity with friends himself! It’s called the ‘Ramshackle Rally” – I believe he drove to Italy for a very worthy cause in a car dressed as a bull! The service wasn’t bad either.

After finally having written and posted Monday’s blog entry I retire to the room (having asked the reception guy if there are any spare blankets – he responded by getting me an extra double duvet) So a cosy sleep it shall be. Probably more cosy than Vince’s naps in the i3 – though he really does keep saying that the car is ‘warm and cosy’. I think out of the three of us, the i3 is the one with the least resting time – but… 402.1 miles in… we’re still alive and yet to find the car as a melted puddle of plastic on the ground. So I end the day as I started – hoorah!

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