I’m losing track of the days. Today is Tuesday and I am writing about Monday, but now its Wednesday because I was so busy on Tuesday. My head hurts from all the logistics I have had to try and deal with. It’s probably best to look at the options and then worry about the expense.
I could get the bike repaired and carry on. Only I don’t know any garages, mechanics or even where the bike shops are. To the rescue come Horizons Unlimited. I use there web site a lot as it covers all aspects of adventure overlanding. I put up a question and within a few hours or so I was in contact with a guy via Tap Talk.
However whilst that was in the making I looked at option 2. I could ship the bike home and repair it. I could rent a van put the bike in it and get it home. I searched for van hire but there were none available in my area. The nearest would be Hertz and they want £1000 to take a van one way to UK. Ok I’ll strip the bike put it in a hire car, rebuild it at Santander, drop the hire car in Santander, push it on the ferry, push it off the other side and get it collected from Portsmouth. I called Brittany Ferries. They were very helpful with the changing of dates should I need to, but you cannot push a bike on and off. It has to be on a recovery truck. The recovery truck want £600 from Santander to UK. Ok I’ll do a one way hire to France where a friend will store the bike until I can collect it. The hire car will be £700 one way. OK I will get a hire car drive it to France and return it to Algeciras, £400 plus fuel and four days. Ok I’ll get a man and a van to do it. It’s not easy finding a man and a van travelling to UK with an empty van anytime soon. Ok I’ll go on eBay.es and see what I can buy. Whoops of joy as I find a UK registered car for £350 with 3 days to run. It’s a Ford Focus with 56000miles and two owners. I call the dealer who is confident the car is in great shape and will remove it from eBay and sell it to me for £600. I can drive it home with the bike in the boot, sell the car back home and still have a holiday. Oh yes, the car is on the other side of Spain, still its an adventure, right? I book a train ticket £60, its 11 hours by train and then I hope to find a great little car, oh wait this is a bus ticket! OK 11 hours on a bus and then a clean little car with MOT and everything, it does have an MOT doesn’t it? No, and its not had either the UK one or Spanish equivelant for 2 years. I can’t risk that. OK I’ll put the bike on a train to France and then get home from there. Only you can no longer ferry a bike by train in Spain. OK I’ll buy a Spanish car and take it home. Spanish cars, even the bad ones, are hugely expensive. I need to eat. I walk to the local shop, passing the little bar and hearing English voices. I stop and introduce myself to Nick and his three mates. One is Spanish and a motorcycle mechanic, he loves the pictures but cannot help. Nick takes my number as he has contacts who may have UK cars for sale. Great, things are looking up. One of the others suggests a man in a van as they often return to UK empty. Back at my room I am trawling the web when I find, Jimbothescot.com the man with a van and an e-mail address. Email fired off its time to go to town and see what’s about.
In the middle of all this stress and honestly quite low times my only little bit of fun is that the saddle adorning my room floor makes the cleaner jump every time she comes in. I’ve named it Shep, my fake pet. I’m so getting googly eyes and a nose for it.
By now I am in contact via Tap Talk with a guy called ‘Choutos’, he is a friend of a friend on H.U. and he lives in San Roque. Only it transpires he doesn’t, he now lives in Austria, but he knows people and can assist somewhat. He suggests contacting ‘Rotorrmotar’. They are excellent mechanics, very capable of an engine rebuild. In the mean time I have caught the bus to town. £1.20 for a 5 mile journey on a clean, air conditioned mini bus with plush seating. Why does that not happen back home?
On getting to town I find my phone is agrophobic and no longer wants to leave the safety of wifi. So now I have to WiFi hop around town. Standing in doorways to get signal and making my way towards my destination with out mapping until I stumble accross another WiFi spot. Anyway I called Motorotar. They had already seen the pics and were quite impressed, however they are very busy and cannot assist. They give me the number of another mechanic. I call him but he doesn’t speak any English. OK I have time so let’s map out and WiFi hop round the bike shops. The first two are about 2miles apart. It’s hot and although they love the pictures neither can help, in fact one isn’t even a bike shop. So I flag down a taxi and in my increasingly growing Spanish vocabulary I ask him to take me to a motorcycle mechanic. He drops me at a Yamaha dealer, they in turn indicate with a flapping arm that Honda is up the road. In fairness the flapping arm was aided by a scrap of paper with GC Racing written on it and an address. Well it looked like an address to me only no one else thought it did. Eventually a guy in a plumbing shop gave me a better idear of where I was headed and then a bicycle shop followed by a Repsol petrol station, a few random dog walkers and hey presto up a back street with a tiny Honda flag was Honda official servico. The guy was great and very positive that he could get the job done. He asked me to e-mail him the frame number and some pictures so he could price the job, at last progress. I walked to McDonald’s and had a veritable feast on hot spicy mexican burger. There was a kids party going on and if I closed my eyes, smelt the spices and ate it could almost be a Moroccan souk, only without the snakes. After that I walked back to the bus station, it was a long walk and I was knackered. The bus depot was empty, I had to get a taxi. I don’t mind the opulence of taxi travel but I do mind having to pay and give turn by turn directions. No tip for you Mrs taxi driver.
I crashed into bed mentally and physically exhausted.