The Adventure Begins


Less than 48hours in England & I turned it around with a little lot of helps from my friends.

I took delivery of the 54 plate Merc Van & wondered what the hell had I done? 2nd gear is over rated if you ever wonder.

But bit by bit packing started; pallets were reformed to make a stage for Chester’s big cage so he could see what was happening during the trip but also making lots of extra storage space.

It was like playing Jenga in reverse, the majority of my stuff is now spilling out of boxes in Melriça.

Friday evening arrives so does the gang & Yes there were tears but Sarah volunteered to drive in the UK so she could get used to the van.

The time was approaching 9pm by when we eventually pulled off, got round the corner (sort of out of site) & she stalled it – 2nd gear is overrated remember😊.

And we were off, by the time we were out of the village the Van had a name; well it was a girls road trip. He was Victor the Vito, wait for it we even invented the Victor Fixer by the time we landed. It is very similar to a Vodka & Orange cocktail.

Chester was suitably knackered before we left thanks to Keevagh & Mike so he went to sleep almost immediately & was amazing good for the whole trip.

We arrived at Eurotunnel with time to give him a run, a quick coffee & the 1st collection of sugar sachets for the pot.

Onto the midnight train & France was a doddle, the GPS (aka Thelma obviously) for once didn’t cause any arguments; we kept swapping until about 5am when we pulled in for a sleep. Both of us looking like Cousin It – Sarah with a blanket over her head, Me with a sleeping bag in the same place. God my back was killing me & 2 more days to go.

An hour later & we were off, Pomme D’Or here come, an idyllic Gite perfect for the Red One. Just outside Poitiers one day I will go back & explore. A local walk later to a serene spot on the river where a hot dog could swim to his hearts content we went exploring in search of food ending up in a Medieval town where Sarah’s French Vocabulary was put to good use, I would not have had a clue. We ate in a local restaurant cum bar just a snack we were exhausted by now but happy to be on schedule after the last week. A quick supermarket shop for Sarah we had a picnic for that evening & a quick phone call for me, during which Phil & I had a very sensible conversation about the sad news that his dad has acute leukaemia with 3 – 6 weeks left to live.

The road trip continued, Sarah & I had a lovely evening drinking wine, eating bread & cheese – well when in France. We crashed by 9pm, but the plan was to hit the road by 8am next stop Spain & that was exactly what we did.

Toll booths were are bit of a pain by the end of Sunday, every time we opened the passenger door the plastic facia came a drift, we knew the air con, central locking & passenger window were knackered along with the missing 2nd gear when we took delivery of our jalopy but nobody told us that the door was going to end up buggered as well. This is when we invented the Victor Fixer, one of my finest screw drivers! The technique is kick the door open with both feet then after escaping bend down whack the panel into place & wiggle the little lug with the Victor Fixer & if you are called Sarah simultaneously land on your backside. Palencia eventually arrived & here we are, the day had gradually got warmer & warmer & Sarah’s language skills became poorer & poorer the further we got from France so by the time she was trying to order a de-caff coffee at a truck stop that came out as an iced expresso which I thoroughly enjoyed we swapped roles; my pathetic Portuguese became quite useful by the end of a Gin fuelled evening. Sarah was Drunk! After 3.

The hotel was beautiful even though the car park was in the bowels of the earth, as I went lower & lower I did wonder if we would ever get out of there with our dodgy 2nd gear but the next morning I did it. Admittedly there was a little bit of lie in the next morning before we ate up the miles to Melrica. Home by mid-afternoon & so importantly for me Chester recognised it.

I am now sitting in my new home with just my amazing hound & a G&T for company. Phil & I got 6 good days together before he got in Victor with Sarah to return to England before our new life has even begun.

But you have to make the best of life because this is the reason for the move in the first place, no one knows when life will be over.

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Tel: (PT) +351 918 874 752

     (EN) +44 788 753 3053

2020 bookings now being taken.

Quinta Do Centro, Rua do Pinhal, Melrica, Vila De Rei,

Castelo Branco 6110-138, PORTUGAL

VAT Reg No: PT265658102

Número de registo: 90743/AL

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