Well, it didn't take long for me to lose another battle in the ongoing War of Alternative Revenue ("WAR"). Having plenty of time at my disposal this morning, I decided to take the scenic route to Oporto aiport and, at 8.30 of a sunday morning when my car represented about 30% of the total traffic, I was duly fined another 100 euros for speeding on the road that runs along the river Miño separating Spain from Portugal. This was either the finale to a very bad week or an ominous start to another one.
The traffic cop told me I'd been doing 75 in a 50 area. Which struck me as almost impossible as, knowing the road well, I'd reduced my speed immediately on seeing the 50 sign. My conclusion, then, is there are only 3 ways to avoid being fined in Spain at the moment:-
1. Don´t drive at all
2. Drive everywhere at 50kph, or
3. Stamp on the brake and reduce to a crawl as soon as you see a 50 sign.
The logic of the last one is that, to record me at 75, they would have had to have had the camera just a couple of metres after the sign.
For what it's worth (not a lot), the cop was chatty and sympathetic, saying it was a shame I wasn't local as I'd have known they were at this spot every day of the year. Which rather gives the game away, I feel. And he told me I wouldn't lose any points. Which means either the police have more discretion than I'm aware of for an offence of driving 50% over the limit, or that he was genuinely wrong, or that he was lying. I guess I'll soon know. And at least I can pay through the wonderful Banco Santander.
Anyway, by agreement with my daughter - and despite her refusal to do the decent thing and pay this fine - I've decided to leave until next Sunday the decision as to whether to top myself or not. Right now, though, the omens are not good.