Todo Terreno

Our old Mitsubishi Montero

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.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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