Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Grape Left Unpicked (part 3)

by guest blogger Sami

One hour and thirty minutes later and a dyed in the wool farmer pulled over to give me a hand, his empathy perhaps arising from the wellington boots I was wearing. To my pleasant surprise the car started and I was back on the road, down hill all the way.

Got to the vineyard, late, and asked 'monsieur patron' where everyone was and whether he would allow me to start late. "No problem", and the day at work went off without a hitch. I was upset to find that there were no virgin maidens in the sunshine, but rather cackling alcoholics under a grey sky.

However, the work did me good and I returned to my less than trustworthy steed at five thirty that evening feeling like an accomplished semi-Frenchman.
The battery was still unresponsive. Oh well, jump leads please, and back off down the road on my merry way back to the campsite. Three kilometres later, another slow halt, this time with the motor smoking like a dry ice machine. I popped the hood to assess the damage, I couldn't see a thing for all the smoke and so decided to wait.

It was at this point that luck decided to play a little game with me. Within five minutes of waiting I had three cars parked next to me with three French countrysiders falling over themselves to help me and my useless engine. The engine wouldn't start, and the countrysiders began a little debate which escalated in volume within a matter of minutes. Needless to say, I had no idea what was being said but suggested timidly that a mechanic might be a good idea. Immediately, I was whisked off, by the more sturdy of the three, to the local Citroen garage, with barely enough time to lock the car and secure my belongings.

The garagist then drove me back to the car and popped the hood again.

"Well I have never seen anything like this, I'll have to take it to the garage" he said.

My confidence in finding a solution to this growing transportation problem was rapidly fading.

"Do you think you could give me a lift back to my tent?"

Another night spent in the tent, dreaming of a car suspended on meat hooks in some back country garage. To pour salt on the wound, the next morning my mobile and charger both malfunctioned due to extremely cold night time temperatures and refused to work again for the remainder of the trip. Then it occurred to me...

"How the hell am I going to get home?" 

No comments: