Day 26 - To the Worst Spanish Service Station

We all fall out of Elsa after a fairly restless night. Luckily none of the local police took much interest in us.

So now we have to sort out this dodgy wheel. We drive to the mechanic where we got the wheel fixed on the way to Africa. The guy there isn't the mechanic, he just sells petrol, and because it is Saturday there won't be a mechanic until Monday.

Sam disappears off to call his EuropAssist emergency number. All he really wants is for a mechanic to take a look at the wheel and tell him if its safe or not. He comes back in an hour with the news that they are sending someone out in an hour from Spain, so Abbie and I go off exploring the town. We come back with a pocket Spanish dictionary, and frantically learn words involving car parts.

We get back, and shortly afterwards a tow truck arrives. The driver is not a mechanic, and doesn't speak english. The man in the garage translates. He is going to take us to a garage in San Roche, Spain, where a mechanic can look at it. Sam says he'll follow the truck back there, but the driver insists on winching Elsa up onto the trailer and strapping her down. Sam forbids me to take photos.

There's only room for two people in the tow truck, so I sit in Elsa, seeming to be about thirty foot in the air. I have to duck down since he's not supposed to take anyone in vehicles being transported. At the Gibraltar border I covertly get out because the border guards are more likely to check Elsa. Abbie and I cross the border on foot and meet the rescue truck on the other side. Then I'm back crouched down on the Elsa's driving seat, hoping the driver avoids low bridges.

He drops us off in a quiet street and the mechanic comes out. He tightens up the nut on the hub and goes off to fix the dust cap. After ten minutes Sam pops in to see what's going on. The mechanic is gluing the cap back together and it'll take 10 minutes to set. We wait around, Sam getting frustrated with the inactivity. After an hour the thing is ready and it pops back on. It costs us 1000 pesetas.

Now Sam is eager to get on. We head north, stopping only to fill Elsa from the jerry cans when she gets low. Moroccan diesel is very frothy.

its frothy man

Sam drives until it gets dark and then pulls over at a petrol station somewhere in southern Spain. We eat cold beans and sleep in the back.

- A Grotty French Service Station