Nick and Sue Hislam decided to take the plunge and head off for an adventure to the sun. Here is their report:
The thirteen day trip was with Scenic Car Tours and we opted to do the drive through France rather than the crossing to Bilbao. (MISTAKE!!)
We met up with some of the other participants at the two overnight stops in France staying in Limoges and Dax before meeting up with the rest of the contingent at the first of our four Parador Hotels in Spain. This proved a little tricky to find after a day's driving of nearly 300 miles. We stopped very near to the hotel to try to consult maps and sat nav to find the elusive entrance to the old town where the hotel is. Then the car wouldn't restart. Clearly an electrical fault as I couldn't hear the (non-standard) fuel pump ticking. Sue walked the few hundred yards to the hotel and summoned help. One of the other drivers, Lee, travelling in an Aston Martin has a TR2 and TR3 at home near Aberdeen and also ran a garage for many years. Together we made a temporary fix connecting the pump to the side light circuit and the following day made a better job by bypassing what we decided was a faulty relay.
After that, the car was fine. We drove many miles of hairpin bends up and down mountain roads often without seeing another car for miles. In fact there were sometimes more cows on the road than vehicles.
All four Paradors were excellent, often historic buildings in their own right. Food was very plentiful and of good quality. We made friends with a number of the other participants though apart from a 1960 MGA we were the only classic.
At about 2000 metres.
And outside the final hotel in Spain.
The time came to start the drive home leaving Santillana del Mar for Bordeaux, about 290 miles, mostly motorway. All was fine until we hit the traffic on the Bordeaux ring road about 10km from the hotel stop. At road works everything came to a stop, including us, but not the car behind us. All emergency services arrived, statements were taken, documents inspected and we and the car were taken to a breakdown company's compound in the suburbs of Bordeaux. We took what we could from the car and a taxi took us to the hotel. From there the breakdown insurers got us taxis and hire cars to get us home. They were excellent. We've heard that the car is now being repatriated and is due for delivery to TRGB who will assess it. The body tub is twisted but the condition of the chassis is unknown. We hope that MLB100D will once again rise from the ashes. Fingers crossed!
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