Bristol - Dover
We almost didn't make the boat.
4am The van was packed. We'd cleared the flat out and posted the keys through the letterbox. We were off!! Started driving out the car park. Flat tyre. Shit. Got the wrench out. Only it wouldn't fit properly on the nuts. Double Shit. It was a very old looking wrench and the nuts were on really tight. It kept falling off each time I tried to turn it. I got Tricia to stand on the wrench and jump up and down while I tried to hold it in place. It wouldn't work.
5am. A car pulled into the car park. Two guys. They stood and looked for a while. Scratched their heads. Then turned on their headlights to give us more light. Then they tried turning the wrench. All to no avail. More head scratching. The weed was intercepting the neurones.
5.30am Eureka moment! One of the guys went and looked in his boot and came back with a shiny new wrench. He fitted it on and turned. It worked. Job done and we were off. But not before the guys had shared a baby wipe with us to clean our hands, and these two super heroes turned round and drove away into the night. I'm not sure why they were driving into our deserted car park at 5am (although I could have a good guess)...but they came just at the right time.
But it was when we were on the M4 that I realised that my favourite relaxing CD had been forgotten: Brazilifcation. An argument ensured over whose fault it was that the CD was not where it should be. Well it wasn't an argument over this exactly – it was clearly Tricia's fault that the CD was gone but we argued over whether or not she was the worst girlfriend ever for not having sorted the CDs out properly. Outcome: not the worst girlfriend ever but she came pretty close. Surely I wasn't just being childish?
Calais - Barcelona
But soon we were cruising through France...when this light came on in the dashboard of the van. At this point, Tricia declared that perhaps it was time to turn round and go home. Nothing was working out. She was stressed out anyway: taking a 2-month old baby to Mallorca in a van isn't what everyone does and sometimes she worries about her life not being conventional enough.
But the van seemed to be driving ok so we carried on. Phew!
Barcelona - Mallorca
Finding Barcelona port was a bit of a challenge. And despite being 6 hours early we somehow almost missed the ferry. But luckily the police thought our camper van looked a bit “dodgy” so they came over to check out what we were doing parked between two massive lorries. And then they escorted us into the right queue. Phew! Or that would have been a wasted journey.
The ferry ride was lovely. So smooth compared to an Irish Sea crossing. Or the ferry to Lundy...!
Port d'Andratx Mallorca
We arrived at our apartment at 5am. It was lovely. We fell on to the bed into a deep sleep.
8am. The biggest pecker I have ever seen in my life started digging up the road right outside our flat. The whole flat shook. It was so big!!! You wouldn't believe it if you saw it! And I'll tell you something funny about this pecker. It was with us for the whole two months that we were in Mallorca, apart from the weekends and the times the guy was on his breaks. Tricia didn't know what a pecker was at the start of this holiday but she knew by the end...! On day one we said there is no way the digging can last more that a week..., then two weeks..., then three. And after that point we accepted it was here to stay: it's Spain and they love digging up things and they don't have the concept of noise pollution. But Tricia, ever to look on the positive side, was pleased that it meant we got up and out climbing early everyday!