Our June trip to Spain got off to a flying start when the utterly useless and never to be used again Ryan air sent us a refund on our plane tickets, having decided the trip was not worth doing! We quickly rebooked (at additional cost and hassle) with Jet2.com and on Friday we started our long trip to Spain via Edinburgh.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Edinburgh – it’s a vibrant city with lots to do… but like most cities it has its share of DUMPS and that’s where we found ourselves on Friday night. After a very pleasant drive up the A68 we arrived at our hotel and headed off in search of food before going to see the new and much-anticipated 3D movie "Prometheus".
No matter where we drove the place was a mess and we ended up at a Kebab joint before heading off to the cinema. The movie was, as you’d expect from a Ridley Scott production, EPIC and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maureen by way of contrast found it a tad gross.. well, with Alien-type movies you do tend to get that, but EXCEEDINGLY well done and something I’ve not seen for a long time, presented some ideas to ponder about the origins of mankind…. all in all excellent.
First thing Saturday morning (like, 5.30am) we headed off to Edinburgh airport and that’s where things really started to go badly – the computers were off so the airport staff were operating in headless-chicken mode, we had the entertainers coming round for friendly chats hoping we would not notice we were in very large queues… so that was the relaxing breakfast out of the way. The plan took off only marginally late and we found ourselves wishing to hell we’d brought noise-reduction headphones as the plane was full of exceedingly noisy babies! Not nice for 3 hours.
Other than the landing – which I’ll bet costs the pilot 3 month’s salary as he slammed the wheels into the ground so hard that passengers were, for a second, somewhat alarmed… apart from that it was as you’d expect, SUPERB weather and a relatively friendly welcome.
Our Spanish car was waiting for us (the one we bought last year) and we set off to visit friends on the coast, but not before filling the car wish shopping from a nearby supermarket. We did notice the car seemed to be less keen to start that normal.
Our friends are on a week’s break at a golfing resort and we popped in for a very pleasant lunch, their apartment overlooking the (massive) resort as you can see in the panorama below. Very calm and peaceful.
And that was fine – we set off mid-afternoon at a leisurely pace for the 2-hour trip to Galera. Less than an hour up the road, the car started to stall as if it were out of fuel. It just kept getting slower and slower, the more I pressed the accelerator the more it slowed down. Eventually we stopped on the hard shoulder right on an overpass and contacted the insurance company who after some translation issues eventually sent someone off to come and have a look. After half an hour of waiting I tried the car again and hey presto it was fine. We set off to see how far we could get before updating the insurance company… and managed a few miles – ending up on the RM-15…. same again – slowing down to a half.
The roadside service eventually turned up at teatime and the guy put his jumpstart leads on our car which then appeared to work. We drove off – only to find the same thing happening within half a mile and thankfully he was following us. He’s convinced the battery is to blame, Maureen and I are more inclined to believe there is a problem with filters as the battery had PLENTY of power to turn the starter motor… it didn’t help that the repair guy didn’t speak a WORD of English and our Spanish is still rubbish.
And that was that, after many phone calls and semi-decipherable discussions, the car headed off in one direction and a taxi turned up courtesy of the insurance company to take us and our bags to Galera, about 100Km away!
Being the weekend of course there is NO way anyone’s even going to look at the car until Monday so I expect we’ll be stranded here until mid-week – we’ve plenty to do but as some of it involves cement we don’t have, the logical choice would be to enjoy the sun and get the wine out – sadly – we don’t have any of that either. The plan was to attend to all of that stuff today (Sunday) at nearby Huescar. Our neighbours up here in the mountains have come and gone and so here we are.
To add to the problems, the electricity people appear to have "improved" the electricity as promised however in the process, running the hot tub triggers some kind of reset and so we can’t put the hot-tub on! The upside is, as promised the broadband speed has increased and so now we have faster broadband in Spain than we do at home – and better mobile signals!