At last we have purchased a robust 4×4 vehicle and are able to ford the river to escape to civilisation whenever necessary. It took a while to locate one that was cheap enough, but also good enough, to serve us as a multi-function motor. Second-hand cars are expensive in Spain, particularly 4x4s, and most of the cheap ones offered to Digby were rubbish. These included a rusting Jeep Grand Cherokee which originated in Germany and had a 5.3 litre V8 petrol engine, and an ancient Range Rover with dodgy gearbox and transmission and 270,000 km on the clock.
Digby spoke to Javi, a young mechanic who has a workshop in Huétor Tájar, and last week he came up with an old Mitsubishi Montero. The car is 17 years old but in excellent condition. It is also a long wheelbase top spec model. We have never had a car with heated seats before! At 5,500 euros Digby thought it was 1,000 euros overpriced but agreed to the deal as Javi offered to put 4 new tyres on, give the car a thorough service and guarantee it for 1 year. Digby spotted that the aerial was broken and Javi agreed to replace it. We were supposed to collect the car on Saturday morning but Javi took all day to fit the new aerial as it was an extremely complicated operation, it being electronic. In the morning, Javi said he would deliver the car when he had finished the job. At six in the evening we heard whistles from the other side of the river, and when we went outside, we saw that it was Javi and 2 of his friends with the Mitsubishi. They were nervous of fording the river, but Digby assured them it was OK and so they came across. They were amazed that we had been able to cross it in our old Renault Kangoo and when Digby told them that Rufi had braved the torrent, in all weathers, delivering building materials in his lorry, they commented “Rufi es loco”.
By the way, if there is anybody out there looking for a cheap van they can have the Kangoo for 2,000 euros. It is 11 years old but has 4 new tyres, a new exhaust and has only 56,000km on the clock.