Today dawned bright and cloudless and we had planned a trip to the nearest large town, Loja. The water level in the river was just about low enough to cross and the Renault Kangoo, which has lain idle for the last eight days, fired up immediately. Unfortunately, it would not budge. The brakes had clamped tight on the rear wheels and the handbrake would not free them.
After fruitless efforts to free the car, Digby climbed the steep olive grove behind the house to call the emergency recovery number. Car insurance in Spain includes a free breakdown recovery service but as we have no house phone or mobile coverage, it is necessary to go to the top of the land to receive a rather faint signal.
An hour later, the breakdown truck, driven by a jovial, portly Spaniard called Paco, arrived.He shouted across that he couldn’t ford the river, but could load the car from the bank and indicated that maybe the neighbour could tow it across. As he spoke, Stephen was already on his way with his dumper. Despite the locked rear wheels, we managed to get the Kangoo to the other side. Paco loaded it onto his trailer and said that he owned a garage in Loja and would have the van fixed on Monday. He also said that he had some 4x4s for sale. We desperately need one.
Although we missed the outing to Loja, the sunshine today has been a real tonic. With the almonds in flower and the birdsong all around us, it is an idyllic spot.