Europe 2018- End of the van

It’s happened again.

A miserable week of breakdowns and speeding fines has ended with a transmission issue that will be the nail in the coffin of this road trip. Unable to put the van in gear, this breakdown has demobilised Fanny and her way home now is on the back of a lorry.

After a slow journey up the motorway with less power than normal and an unwelcome grinding sound coming from gearbox I turned off into Malmo fearing that I would not make it much further. A feeling that was proved right as the engine cut out at the roundabout. I struggled to get it going again whilst searching for first gear, much to the annoyance of the queue behind, unable to detect the breakdown due to the hazard warning lights not working and the inability to deduce that the unmoving, silent van may not be enjoying life. Eventually first gear was forcefully found and after crawling along a main road the nearest turn off was taken and I parked up outside a McDonald’s to wallow in self pity, already knowing that this wasn’t a quick fix.

Showing the same symptoms of the breakdown two years ago when the gearbox had to be replaced I dreaded the worst case scenario of a week at a mechanics, but still went in search of a garage to get a proper diagnosis.

Luckily, such an establishment was situated just around the corner and after speaking to the manager, who didn’t seem too arsed, pushed the van along the road and into the yard of his work shop. This is where I stayed all night after nobody was available to assess the problem. I briefly escaped to McDonald’s for some comfort food and after I processed my options over some nuggets, returned to the locked car park to stare at my home through the rain and the high barbed wire fence.

It was a fitting end with yet another obstacle to overcome after a turbulent day and after climbing a lamppost, leaping over the prickly fence to land in a soaking puddle I vented all my frustrations at an inanimate collection of rain water in a colourful display of loathing language to a surprisingly successful cathartic release.

The next morning the fallacy was as pathetic as my situation as I listened to the hammering rain whilst eating my coco pops in bed, waiting for the mechanics to return. Reluctantly, the boss agreed to inspect my Fanny if that’s what it took to make me leave his office and after jump starting it to drive around the yard he agreed with the inevitable conclusion that I was fucked.

His offer of salvation through new parts and a days work in the following week left me in a pickle as the extortionate Scandinavian costs would require me selling another kidney and as I had already promised one to the Norwegian Police Force in reparation for my speeding ticket I didn’t have a spare lying around.

Therefore, the other option sadly considered over nuggets was to call it a day and sort out rescue service to repatriate the vehicle. Last weeks efforts to mend the van in Norway have fallen in vain and Fanny will be chauffeured home on the back of a lorry. The previous post after my speeding ticket alluded to the boat still floating despite the wind being taken out my sails but this problem has blown a hole in the hull that requires it being towed home to be fixed up, and on that sour note this years journey has come to a shuddering, whirring halt.

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