OIL, OIL EVERYWHERE
19.06.2013 - 19.06.2013 64 °F
We are up with the lark (the birdsong in most of France has been extraordinary, just like our Suffolk garden) and, after noticing a marked drop in temperature as we breakfast outside, we speak softly to Bianca in the hope we will ALL make it home tonight.
Things start well because she starts first press of the button. It is cooler. Scenery mainly consists of yet more vineyards. Then...it pours with rain. Thunder and lightening...very, very frightening. Big, fast, dirty trucks...very, very frightening. We stop en route more times than we can count. (N.B. Do NOT turn off the autoroute for an engine-check thinking you will use the loo too unless wearing a plastic onesie and oxygen mask!)
We are very worried. Bianca 'drinks' 6 litres of oil before we reach Calais and is still spraying it everywhere. Her bodywork is covered in a fine film of the stuff and at one point I even discover some inside. Strangely, however, all her vital signs (temp, oil pressure, water level) are A/OK. I want to hug her and like some barm-cat keep telling her she will soon be home warm and snug in her garage if she could, "just please hang on a bit longer". (I feel quite emotional just telling you about it.)
We discuss 'it'. The possibility of breaking down and conclude that the other side of the Eurotunnel would most definitely be preferable. Even in the train would be better than the hardshoulder of the A26 to Calais. Ben speaks to Ian Button, who quite possibly loves Bianca almost as much as we do. "Try putting the seal of the oil tank filler cap on the other way," he suggests. Now, Dear Reader, I know this seems ridiculously simple but by this stage we were feeling desperate. If Ian had suggested I strap myself to her bonnet singing Rule Britannia I could quite possibly have given it a go.
EUREKA Bianca seems to have stopped guzzling oil and spraying it all over her innards. We plough on and 8 hours after leaving Puligny Montrachet we reach Calais. Somehow we are only an hour late for our designated train. Once inside Ben gets his good old dipstick out again. I can feel it Dear Reader...Naughty...your suspense I meant! You are dying to know aren't you... WELL - GUESS WHAT - NO DROP IN OIL LEVEL! I haven't felt relief like this since....oh, I don't know.
We've only been away a week but have forgotten just how godawful traffic is in England. It's not ideal for our girl but at least if she says, "enough is enough" we will all get put in a Big Yellow Lorry and taken home.
WE MADE IT! I don't know who is most relieved but I swear Bianca sighed when we turned her light off tonight. After all, 5,100+kms (3,000 miles) is an awfully long way for a 1962 Volvo Amazon.