Blog????? What blog???? Oh, THAT blog!!!!

So, apparently I gave (someone!) an undertaking to do (?) a blog regularly….. Well, 6 months later – and having been unceremoniously reminded of my promise (was I that drunk Alban?), here goes nothing….
So I set off from sunny England on the afternoon of Sunday 23rd August 2015 for adventures anew, namely to visit and dwell in sunnier climes in my newly acquired American-style motorhome (I think ‘they’ call it an RV) and have daring and exciting adventures and suchlike on the way. I arrived at Newhaven ferry port expecting to travel overnight to Dieppe and arrive (relatively refreshed) at 4.30am on the Monday to begin the long leisurely trek to southern Spain. Problem number 1: Apparently I had booked the 11.30pm passage for the night before, and I was 24hrs late – doh! Not such a big problem in itself – it was changed and updated at no extra cost in 5 minutes at the 24hr ticket office on-site – but nevertheless not a good indicator of how things were likely to go with yours truly in charge of all things travel…..
Still, problem solved and, after eventually making the crossing (a millpond!) off we popped heading towards Rouen, Le Mans and all points southwest. (‘We’? Who’s ‘we’? I hear you ask…. At this point I should point out I wasn’t alone: my companion was Steve, a (my?) HGV mechanic and absolute wiz on all things heavy and motorhome-like. Steve was just along for the ride, and to keep a proprietary eye on Clifford [my new name for the RV – like it? Snappy, huh?]. By the time we got to Newhaven, and having demolished 8 tins of Carlsberg Export on the way down, he was sh1t-faced and slurring – in between cackling uncontrollably at me for booking the wrong ferry crossing!).
Problem number 2: there’s a mountain range in central France, and the main dual-carriageway goes up and over this mountain range. This involves a climb of around 1400 meters over the course of about 8km – not an easy task for our Clifford! Anyhoo, Clifford was coping fine (once again with me at the wheel – Steve was still sobering up!). However, being inexperienced in these matters, and not receiving any guidance from the lush in the passenger seat, I had the cruise-control set at 80kph (for fuel economy – these things are thirsty!). Clifford was labouring along happily – or so I thought – and coping mightily with the ever increasing gradient, doing around 28 – 30kph, but still trying to give 80kph. Not so: Clifford suddenly decided he needed a good old rest – so he had one. Packed in with not so much as a by-your-leave!
Pulled over onto the side of the road with lorries thundering by at 20kph is not a pleasant place to be, trust me. Steve was making suitable cooing noises to Clifford, things like “he hates you, that Tony. I would never ill-treat you that way if I was sober and driving”. Having removed the engine cowling inside the RV, he suddenly announce that to smell burnt diesel would be quite normal, but he was smelling unburnt diesel – not good, even to a p1sspot! Having spotted a loose bleed-screw (what? I know what I’m talking about!) on the top of the lateral flux-capacitor(WHAT???? Trust me!!), Steve declared it THE problem – and having duly “nipped it up” (see?), Clifford suddenly gained a new-found vigour and off we popped again. At this point I am pleased to report that we had not an ounce of bother from good old Clifford for the remainder of the trip!
In the next episode: Overnighting on a supermarket car park, and; Steve sobers up enough (?) to drive us into Benidorm…… See y’all!

Posted by sirrahna

  1. Clifford
    Well, there you go months, of planning (zero planning) though considerable alcohol and pondering, a bleed valve (who would believe it) caused calamity. Having arrived 24 hr late, true to form. It must be a give away to experienced travellers (must be a phrase to collectively describe them) that the uninitiated would be confused by the lateral flux capacitator(?) , though Steve (snap on) it would be straighforward, good choice to ride shot gun, one always needs a friend who’s a mechanic.
    Clifford must be well rested up on bricks in Benidorm, dreaming of adventures, it’s the Thomas and friends adventure via Benidorm in an RV

    Enjoy.

    Reply

    1. Hmmmm, Snap-On Steve – it
      Hmmmm, Snap-On Steve – it could catch on!! To us seasoned travellers (?!?) flux capacitors pose no problem whatsoever – bleed valves same! More to come soon, enjoy.
      T

      Reply

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