6. Mar, 2020


FRIDAY 6-03-20

Ooooooh I had a rough night. I think it was something to do with a combination of a chicken curry, white wine and of all things, a bar of Cadbury's chocolate. Even my Gaviscon chaser couldn't sort it.

After a long night we were up at 07:00 as we need to get both ourselves and the vehicle ready for our trip to a local garage to get a diagnosis of the problem, even though it was obvious what it was. The plan was that we would travel there on the back of a recovery vehicle, get the diagnosis, get recovered back to the campsite and then wait for the parts and a slot in the workshop schedule before doing it all again.

In true Spanish style the recovery vehicle wasn't really long enough resulting in the bottom of the tow bar getting a slight scraping. My job was to sit in the vehicle and steer it up the tilted ramp whilst the operator used his remote control to adjust the platform. As well as concentrating on my role I also had to watch The Chef below shaking her head and wincing as she watched our back end tilting backwards and being dragged along.

Not surprisingly, when we arrived at the garage it was decided that in fact they couldn't actually accommodate the vehicle, and so after numerous phone calls we were taken further down the road to another workshop - 'Car & Truck' on the industrial estate here at Matarį½¹.

Fortunately when we unloaded the motorhome there was a steep slope from the garage workshop entrance down to the road which meant the recovery vehicles hydraulic bed didn't need to be tilted nearly as much and we came off with no problem (even The Chef look pleased).

After the motorhome had sat there a while a mechanic slid a plastic cover over the driving seat  to manoeuvre us further back in to the workshop. Even he was amazed at how hard it was to steer without the power steering so I felt vindicated after that.

The manager who spoke good English was very helpful and not only were they going to do the diagnosis they were also going to do the complete job and get us back on the road by the end of the day.

The workshop staff were pretty chilled and quite happy for us to spend time in the vehicle amusing ourselves rather than walk the streets which was very helpful. At about midday we went for a stroll and had to walk as far as the marina in order to get a coffee and pizza for lunch. Then it was the long walk back.

By 16:30 the new crankshaft pulley and two belts had arrived and the lads got stuck in to the job of fitting them. In total the bill came to €551.00 which I thought was pretty reasonable especially since the retail price of the pulley wheel alone was about €350. I thanked them very much and as we drove off I swear the steering felt lighter than I had been used to.

So we're back here at Camping Barcelona having enjoyed a lovely sunset and a cheese salad as we couldn't face a heavy meal after our lunch.

Tomorrow we are off to Barcelona on the campsite bus for the grand sum of €11.60 for two returns. I don't think we'll need longer than a day. We're not the sort that do art galleries and museums and will be pleased to settle for a look around the main attractions. Unless we are overwhelmed by our visit and want another day there we will be setting off for Benicassim on Sunday where we'll be on familiar territory for a few days giving us the opportunity to play catch up and prepare ourselves for the trip which for us, won't really start until then.