I had a lay in, nothing to do, no tech to slave over. It was going to be a good day. Showered and spruced up it was getting to mid morning and the clouds were lifting, I’m going out, I’m just going to go and see what I can find to look at. Then the phone rang, yeah I kid you not, an actual phone call. “Hello?” “Hi I’m Frank, you want to see the Rav4”. “Yes I really want to see the Rav4”. “And I would love to show you it today, but the clutch has gone, I mean I can get it fixed if you want to wait”. Frank must have heard the slap as my forehead struck my palm “And how long will that take?”. However all was not lost as Frank had another UK car. A Volkswagen Polo, for around the same money. If I could get to Sabillinas today I could view it a full 24hrs earlier than expected. “I’m on my way Frank”.
I knew Sabillinas was towards Estapona, but where the hell do I get the bus? Easy I will bus into Algeciras and then bus to Estapona. All very easy. I was sat on the bus to Algeciras when Frank called again to ask how I was getting to him. He laughed when I told him, “You are going the wrong way”. He went on to say that he could have picked me up. Anyway he would pick me up from Estapona. At Algeciras I boarded a bus that travelled right back past my hotel and on to La Linea and then onto Estapona. I dived into McDonalds as I had not eaten that day and shortly after Frank turned up. Frank is Dutch by birth and had spent 20years in America buying, selling and exporting classic cars. Anyone who knows me will know my inherent distrust of car dealers. But Frank was a nice guy and he drove better than any Spaniard. He told me how he had decided to come back from the States and set up in Spain because the weather is so much better than The Netherlands. He wanted to start refurbishing houses but it was 2007 and the property market had collapsed. He tried a few times but money was eaten up and not much was made. He had to start making money again and for the time being at least he deals in a few cars. He lives in a gated community, bloody car dealers! But in fairness it was a nice place and so far no hard sell. Alejandro turned up and was pleased to finally meet me. We all had a good long chat. had another day to waste before I may or may not hear from Alejandro’s partner.
The car did look quite good, despite no badge on the front and a dent in the rear offside door. I crawled all over it and had a test drive. I couldn’t really fault it. Let’s face it the car has 60,000 miles with one owner from new and an MOT until next July, it should be ok its a VW or ‘dub’ to those in the know and they are bullet proof, just what people say about the XR400!. So there I was stood at the side of the road contemplating the various options. I could spend the £450 and get the bike recovered, buy a mechanically sound mountain bike and go to Morocco fairly cheap, or I could buy the car and go home with the bike in the back stripped down, sell the car once home and I’ve hopefully not lost too much money. At this point my phone bleeped and it was my sister saying she had a quote to pick up the bike and deliver it home this week for just £400. It’s an omen! So I bought the car.
As we climbed the hill out of Sabillinas I was trying to think of a name for the car with no badge. Then it struck me ‘Dubless Badger’ and just like its name sake, World War 2 veteran flying ace Douglas Badar, this little car with its 1.2 eco friendly, planet saving 3 cylinder engine, also had absolutely no legs! As my dad used to say “It couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding”. But if it had even a hint of the determination shown by all troops in service around the world, it would get us home safe, and why not its German!
Back at the hotel I took another look round it. Even the spare tyre was good with the original tool kit. The engine was still dry and the oil still on the dip stick. The water levels and fluids all seemed ok. I could relax, tomorrow would be a new stress free day.