It was an early start today, we were picked up by Peter, one of our neighbours at 8.15am and were in our bank when it opened at 8.30. Knowing I have MS, Peter loaded and unloaded my wheelchair and even pushed me from his car to the bank and back. He was really helpful.
The early start was because today is the day that Lisa and I have been so looking forward to arriving. At long last our car is on its way back from the repair shop where it has been for more than two weeks.
Mind you, we have been without our own transport for more than a month altogether as the Christmas, New Year and Epiphany public holidays delayed our car being collected by the specialist repairers.
It was all going fine until Christmas Eve when we drove into the nearby town of Vera. After we turned off the main road and motored up the hill, we heard a strange higher-pitch sound. We went over a roundabout and saw somewhere to stop. At that point, I realised the problem. It was just as though the clutch had worn out in a manual car. With an automatic car, it meant gearbox trouble.
I made a couple of phone calls from the car, hoping that I could avoid the cost of a recovery vehicle. That’s when I discovered that in Spain it is illegal to tow a car. Even recovery vehicles have to carry stricken cars; they cannot tow them.
A short while later, once the gearbox had cooled a bit, I was able to restart the car and drive it slowly back to Cuevas del Almanzora. There we were lucky to be picked up by a recovery vehicle in just 15 minutes and were soon on our way back home. The usual wait time here is closer to two hours, I have since been told.
Obviously, living in a place that is a bit out of the way, we have not been out and about as much as usual in the last month but we have been doubly fortunate. First of all, we live in such a wonderful rural area, we have no problems staying at home and, despite it being January (and supposedly winter, even here) we have been able to enjoy lunch outside on the terrace most days. I have even been shirtless in the sunshine.
Our second piece of good fortune is having some wonderful and caring neighbours. One came by, having noticed our car was not outside, to ask if we were ok. Once assured that we were fine but the car wasn’t, they offered to take us shopping and anywhere else we needed to go. Although we don’t like to intrude, we have taken them up on their kind offer more than once. Now, we’ll be sure to offer help to others in a similar way. Sort of ‘paying it forward’.
Anyway, now our car is fully repaired, with new disc brakes on all four wheels as well, left Malaga for its four-hour journey on the back of a truck and is due to arrive here today, Tuesday, at around 1pm.
The very good news is that the repair company has also completed a thorough inspection of our car and declared it to be in good condition and, despite the gearbox problem, was well worth the money we paid for it.