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Seeing the sunrise in style – by Stas

Seeing the sunrise in style – by Stas

Idea for this adventure came only a few days after we attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed. So, suppose you could say, I was still under the influence of the festival.

A thought came to me: “How cool would it be to test the Q50, a car from Infiniti’s current model range that caught my attention at the festival, while exploring amazing natural scenery of southern England!”.

Then the idea developed further: “How about we combine that with a drive to see the sunrise”. After much deliberation, planning and ruling out several routes and destinations, we settled on a trip to North Downs on Saturday and a ‘drive to the sunrise’ on the Kent coast on Sunday. Deal Pier, on the East coast of Kent, was chosen to be our perfect sunrise greeting spot.

To be honest, the ‘drive to the sunrise’ part came to me after remembering Top Gear episode during which Jeremy Clarkson ‘raced God’ from sunset to sunrise in one night. J Remember that one?

However, our journey started on Friday evening with the long anticipated arrival of the car. It was delivered late in the evening, so I had plenty of time before for daydreaming. Around 7 pm we received a call that the car is outside the house. I peaked through the window and there it was – it’s hard to miss a sports car in Moonlight White with 19” alloys. Our Q50 was hybrid Q50S Tech Sports model with all-wheel-drive, V6 3.5L petrol engine and 360bhp under its bonnet.

It took me a good half an hour to get acquainted with car’s abilities, gizmos and gadgets. I consider myself an old school kind of a guy. So having a car, even if only for a weekend, with tablet-like user interface, customisable Driver Modes and a whole load of other extras is a novelty to me.

inside infiniti Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Anyway, after a thorough tour of the car, assisted by a very helpful Infiniti specialist, we were ready for the weekend adventure.

The next day, after breakfast, we set off on the first part of our adventure. Driving through neighbourhoods and then out in to Surrey countryside I was astonished by the amazing views so close to London. Eventually, we turned off dual carriage way, right by the Rykas café. As it turned out, it was a biker event that day, so cars were in a minority. Not sure I have ever seen such variety of bikes in one place. Once we passed a car park full of bikes and a long line up of roaring two wheeled monsters, we headed up the Zig Zag Road. I could confidently say, this road is one of the most beautiful roads I have driven on so far. It was also quite a challenge with its sharp turns, steep gradient and some occasional car, bike or bicycle appearing from around the corner.

Short drive later, we reached the Box Hill tourist information centre at the top. We ditched the car. I know, cruel, but from here it could only work on foot. Equipped with trail maps from the information stand, we went to enjoy the Stepping Stones Walk.

However, before we embarked on our hill climbing voyage we took a moment to admire the views from the top of the hill. This was the second time that day I was left speechless. Views from the Box Hill were truly astonishing, wherever you look. And they stretched for miles.

box hill Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Tired and exhausted from the walk, we returned to our ride. It was late afternoon and we had to get a move on to get some food and rest before our 2am start the next morning. Our schedule for the weekend might sound insane, but trust me, it was worth it.

The plan was to get at least 4 hours of sleep before hitting the road to Deal, which normally would be tricky for me as I have ‘bird sleep’ when it comes to important occasions or exciting events. Nerves kick in! So I was happy to fall asleep quickly and get almost full 4 hours of sleep.

Alarm woke us up precisely at 2 am. We brewed our favourite morning drinks (coffee and tea) and made a move on. It felt a bit weird to leave the house when some people were yet to fall asleep. You could see lights still on in neighbour’s windows. But air was fresh, anticipation of the exciting journey ahead high and sunrise slowly approaching UK shores.

When we approached, Q50 greeted us with a cheeky wink with its front head lights. Quickly setting the car up for the drive ahead we hit the road.

infiniti2 Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Driving slowly through sleepy neighbourhoods gave us time to enjoy and appreciate peace and silence in otherwise one of the world’s busiest cities.

interior Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

We eventually reached motorway and were able to put ‘the foot down’. At this point we already could see sky getting lighter further east. A new day was up on us.

We were soon in Dover, only a few miles away from our destination. It seemed Dover never sleeps, a bit like New York. Cars and trucks were arriving and leaving. We could hear some port announcements being made.

The official time of a sunrise in Deal that morning was 4:48 am, so we had little time spare to stop on the way. We cracked on. Turning off the motorway and on to country roads was a nice change of scenery.

It was getting somewhat hypnotic watching motorway road markings run past for miles in the dark. The sky was getting lighter by a minute but we were almost there.

sky Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Driving on A258 through sleepy coastal villages perked me up. You had to stay alert on narrow country lanes. Few more turns and…we crossed Deal town boarder line.

We made it with about 15 minutes to spare. We parked up on The Strand and headed for the beach.

infiniti Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

A mix of excitement and a sense of accomplishment hit us. We did it! We laid on pebbles and watched sun slowly peek from the horizon.

If you want to see other photos from our sunrise adventure, join me on Instagram https://instagram.com/sta5

Let me know what car and adventure you would like me to blog about next and I will see what can be organised.

All photos taken by Seren

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- who has written 2 posts on Motor Blogger.


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