So here we are at the end of another eventful trip. Not all of the events have been what we might have wished for but, hey! The sun shone (mostly), it was dry (mostly), warm( mostly), we only spent two weeks on the Costas (hooray!), four weeks in western Provence was brilliant (hooray), Barcelona was worth the camp site (Hooray) and the van did come unglued from the panel truck. Oh and we found the puncture on the camp site and not the ferry!
Events we have had a few, but not too few for me to mention. (God I hate that song!) Anyway where to begin really. Rain – in France and Spain - caused expected aggravations but nothing leaked.
A heatwave in central Spain with no shade was 32C intolerable for this slightly rhino-phobic beast. I blame the drugs but I was never great in heat.
I ignored foolishly a bit of hedge I clipped, failing to spot the not insignificant trunk it hid. More work for Graham, Jones but not serious.
I managed to try to use the mover with the handbrake still applied and though I had busted everything. Not so, I had merely drained the battery below its safety cut off. Once re-charged all was OK.
Leaving Zaragoza (ossa? Seems to be choice) we were mis-directed, hit some roadworks and I tried to change lanes unaware of a panel truck edging up my nearside. 50-50 me and him and a bit more the badly signed roadworks. The van and truck seemed inextricably meshed but some very judicious reversing separated them revealing no significant damage. It passes for a miracle on my record!
Decided to stay in Navarette, Rioja for the last 10 days. Yesterday (Sat) was fine so it was awning down time. Oh look said Janet, that tyre is flat! Well some of the words are correct. It being a twin axle the tyre was fine, did not seem to have run flat so probably went in the last few kliks. I will change it when the sun goes down, says I. Bear in mind that not all vans have spares and not all jacks will go under them I had checked both so was overly confident. I extracted the scissor jack from the car and a tyre stud handle. But no jack handle. Search the car. Nothing. Read the instruction – extension for jack under right hand rear seat. No its not say I. There nothing there. I feel around more urgently than last time – and lo, an extension! The wheel nuts were done by Graham Jones and should be at 120 Newtons (alloys). That's a bit more than the usual 'stand on it' pressure of 90. But I am good an heavy. In fact I must be 120 Newtons cos they cracked a treat, even the security nut. A Dutch neighbour was offering help and I was grateful but doing OK, albeit well puffed. The nuts are of course studs and have to be aligned. The replacement wheel is steel not alloy so the fit is a bit different. “Let me” said he rightly spotting that his youthful muscles would better manage the heavy wheel in aligning the studs. I could not, but desperately wanted, to refuse him. So I watched in unjustified terror as he fitted the studs. He did not, as my heart pounded, cross any of them. I thanked him mightily if a little dishonestly.
While this is a nice site and very well equipped it has, like most of Rioja, a soil which manages to be clay-like. It drains poorly. To offset this, the assiduous owners have liberally applied sand and grit to the pitches. Our otherwise brilliant floor pads have one slight flaw – they will float on any excess water. It then squirts through the breathing holes!So the pads become very, very dirty. I had to wash most of them. I dried them by passing a cable through the corner holes and stringing them between the van and post. Effective but slightly bizarre.
And so now we sit on a Sunday afternoon, no awning, dodgy weather so chairs in car, and a mountain of food and the barbecue off limits in this weather. Rioja is smooth and its not long to my last gin o'clock of the trip.
Tomorrow we drive Logrono to have the dog passport-ed, then to Bilbao, sleep on the harbourside and sail Tuesday at about 10.30. We dock Wednesday morning and may be back in Lyng by late afternoon.
Anyone want to buy an excellent Adria, twin single birth with all the usual mod cons?