mercredi 21 septembre 2016

Nous sommes arrivé

At last we have arrived! On Saturday in fact but internet/phone problems have put us offline until now.

By lunchtime Friday we were packed and ready to leave the UK. The ferry wasn't until 11.00 p.m. so at 8.00 I hitched the trailer only to discover that the trailer lights had stopped working.

An hour under the car in the twilight with a neighbour holding the torch whilst I rewired the hitch and the trailer lights and all seemed to be working. The trailer must have weighed nearly 3 tonnes, so gingerly we headed for Plymouth. At the check-in someone pointed out one the trailer tyres was almost flat and in the next 10 minutes it was completely flat!

No time to change it so we drove onto the ferry with it flapping. We weren't allowed to change it on the ferry either so it had to wait until we disembarked.

The ferry was huge and comfortable and the sea calm. We had a cabin, so had beds to sleep in but the cats had to stay in their boxes in the car below decks. By 3.00 a.m. the swell had increased and awoken me. I'm not good with boats so got dressed and spent the rest of the night on deck in the breeze. We arrived at Roscoff at 8.00 a.m. French time and got on with changing the tyre. Unfortunately the wheel brace and jack were under the floor of the boot so we had to unpack the rear of the car. The trailer was also exceedingly heavy so we bent the jack handle. Two further problems now presented themselves: Firstly the direction of rotation of the spare suited the right hand side of the trailer but the flat was on the left. The weather was reasonably dry so I ignored this. Secondly, on close inspection I discovered that two other tyres on the trailer had nails embedded in the tyres (we must have run over some nails in the road). They didn't seem to be going down yet, but we had used our spare already so things were looking decidedly dodgy. I didn't share this information with my already stressed passengers.

We stopped a few times at garages trying to find tyres of the right size but without success, so we just pressed on. It was a long way - 14 hours on the road in all! The car did amazingly well pulling the trailer but on some of the long steep long hills we were down to under 40 miles an hour.

At the house after dark we found we had caught a loire in one of our traps but it was now full of maggots and stunk to high-heaven. The cats were super relieved to get out of the boxes and stretch.

Several loires were still at large but after a couple of minutes eyeballing the cats from a beam, they may have departed.

In the morning the mountains showed themselves with fresh dusting of snow.

We have spent the last couple of days unpacking and tidying up after the SMDEA who came and installed the water meter to the barn.

More later!!

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