Talk about shifts and changes. If you remember back in blog #1 we talked about shaking ourselves up a bit to become more agile in our approach to life’s passage. Well it works. Moving from Spain to the UK and then back to Skookum to awaken her systems from a winter’s slumber certainly keeps the mind alive. I think I last commented as we arrived in Bilbao to partake of Gehry’s treats before departing for Portsmouth on the ferry. I think Kerry covered this bit. We stopped at my sister’s in Twickenham on the way north and she commented that no self respecting Frenchman would call a Peugeot “Pew” as in Pew-geot but rather would say Purr-geot as in the way she has performed. She purred its way through 15,000 Kms with barely a hiccup verifying our faith in Mark who sold it to us. The few problems turned out to be manageable.
The first if you remember was when the air relief valve gave up the ghost and spilt diesel all over my sister’s drive. We fixed it with a wine cork much to the AA man’s amusement. The second was just a few days later in Germany when the preheat circuit went kaput. Coming so soon after the first we were a little distraught and spent some time in used car lots in Emmendingen. We were wondering if we ought to cut our losses and get something newer with less mileage for the Spanish segment of our journey. However the fix was fairly easy so we continued on.
After this Pew performed very well. The preheat circuit needed attention once more and when I put the ‘A VENDRE’ sign on Pew in Saverne the cork in the fuel valve immediately expired. I had to put a new cork in to sell Pew for €700 to a new owner, a student in Saverne as his first car. I told him about the cork and the preheat and the clicking drive-shafts and he took the car away for its Controle Technique. It passed well enough and the deal was done with tremendous help from Bryan, an Aussie barger in Saverne who acted for us as we had already departed to Strasbourg
I have to inject a story here as the final deal was done as we were transiting several locks on out way to Strasbourg. My cell phone/mobile (or handy as they are called in Germany) kept ringing as various people saw the sign in Pew’s window and called to see if they could view her. My French is not great but knowing that they were calling about Pew gave me a context to tell them about the car and understand what they wanted to do next. Bryan had the keys and papers so if they wanted a test drive or to see the papers I sent them off to his barge and then called Bryan to give him a heads up as he spoke no French. So several phone calls later the final deal with Jordan was done as we were holding onto dock lines as we dropped in a lock and then exited. Now that’s multi tasking!
Pew’s job was to take us from Saverne to the UK, back to Freiburg, then to the South of France and on into Spain. We had three months in Spain with lots of trips before heading north to Bilbao, back to the UK and Hull in the north and then back to Saverne, A job well done. Thanks Pew. Thanks Mark.
So back on Skookum and awakening her from her winter’s slumber.
Filling the water tanks and systems that were in danger of freezing. Remember that it takes 5 pumps to have a hot shower. Changing the oil in the engine, injector pump and transmission.
Firing up ‘The Beast’ the oil furnace for heat and hot water which is the subject of a suit we are having with the manufacturer. We have finished a round of negotiations through the European Economic Commission and now will move into the Dutch small claims system.
Washing the decks and making everything ship shape for travel. The winterization had gone well as there was no suggestion of any dampness or mold aboard.
So we are now back on board well under way and currently on the Rhine which is having a flood crest as I write and is providing about 8-10 kph boost to our travels. Barbara will undoubtedly cover some of the disaster potential moments that we have experienced.
The Rhine running a crest at 10Kph
So another segment of our journey done. The new journey has so far had a few familiar moments as we set up our internet and phone in yet another country, Germany. So far we have been sold a T-mobile SIM for my IPad which was a complete dud, a fraud even, followed by an O2 SIM for a rocket stick which does not work with a Mac OS X.7. So €100 in and still no reliable connection. As one salesman said “One Europe is still a long way away”. I can’t wait for Virgin to create a one Europe SIM.
It’s funny that the Euro was and is such a big deal when nowadays the conversions between currencies can be so quick that it probably wouldn’t matter what currency was used as input. What is more important is the internet access that enables the flow of interaction and trade. So while Germany is saying that Internet access should be a right, Canada will not sign the UN agreement that says water is a human right. OMG how Harper, Baird, Oliver, Kent and the rest of the thugs, bullies and yes men have moved Canada into the International press as representing who we are.
We are a Petro state with a group of Petro turds with blinders on in power. I say this fully conversant with the irony of being a Petro user. And I apologize for the description but they do need to abandon their greed and stop to respond to actual information. But then they are now going out of their way to eliminate actual scientific information. The joy of being in Europe was brought home when we passed by the European parliament in Strasbourg on the canal. ‘Your Peace, Your Prize, Nobel 2012’
So if you are thinking of being in Europe this summer consider dropping by.