Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Breaking down

Not emotionally.

I had to make a mercy dash to the airport when a pal left his passport at home. I got there and handed it over.

On the way out of the airport car park the car didn't seem too happy to go into gear but it wasn't until I got snarled up in some roadworks just outside Monóvar that it decided to give up the ghost. The hydraulics on the clutch had given way and I couldn't select a gear. I coasted to a halt on the hard shoulder.

I put out my warning triangles, donned my fluorescent jacket (compulsory items in Spain), looked under the bonnet, found the clutch reservoir was empty and took a stroll to the nearest garage where I bought some fluid. I got quite warm with the walking. Of course it wasn't going to be as easy as just putting in more fluid. The stuff spilled out inside the cab.

I called RACE, the RAC or AA equivalent in Spain. I was pleased I'd kept up my membership. Apart from the chap in Madrid who I spoke to on the phone at the RACE rescue centre having no idea where Monóvar was my Spanish held together and it all went quite smoothly. About half an hour later a tow truck turned up. The driver winched the car onto the back of his lorry and we were away, at full pelt. "Doesn't it make the lorry a bit difficult to handle with the weight of the car on the back?" I asked. "Yes" he said but he didn't slow down at all.

The windows were open, the radio was on at full blast and he was yelling at his hands free mobile phone to tell RACE he'd got me. An interesting little ride.

He couldn't just drop the car at my house. It had to go to a recognised dealer and that's where the old MG is now. Outside the Fiat workshop in Pinoso. I walked back to work, I had to stop for a drink along the way as this walking lark doesn't suit me at all.

Now all I have to do is to pay for it to be repaired or give up and buy a bike.

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