Monday, 22 September 2014

Day 139 &140: Caceres to Madrid; around Webasto - Sun & Mon 21-22 Sept, 2014

Day 139 &140: Caceres to Madrid; around Webasto - Sun & Mon 21-22 Sept, 2014
Have plotted location of Webasto and located closest Aires and caravan park – better to check out whilst there is less traffic on Sunday afternoon. Nice sunrise, chatted to fellow free campers before heading towards Madrid on highway. Passed mountain range - Montes de Toledo, Arrocampo Reservoir. Road kill mostly rats and foxes. 

Morning tea stop - bar full of dashing Spanish horse riders in breeches and thigh high boots (GirlRob would have liked to stay, but sadly we couldn't read menu, no food pictures....) Castle de Orepesa on hill; impressive art piece - storks in flight. Electricity poles have elaborate spiky tops to prevent nesting birds, but the crafty storks nest on the lower levels! Solar panels in bush- look like worshippers of water tower. Marquesa Castle - conveniently beside road! 

Day warming up. Weirdly angled bridge strut- glad we are not travelling on that one. Toll gates approaching spaghetti junctions of Madrid - heaps of rabbit burrows in embankments! 

Followed Garmin but were on wrong side of cemetery for Aires, so plugged in caravan park and went to check in. Two vehicles were already waiting, and receptionist was on phone for 15 minutes on obviously a private call. Then she argued with the Frenchman in verbose Spanish with many gesticulations for another 15 minutes. If this wasn't so close to where we want to be early tomorrow morning for Webasto we would have walked out. Finally she got to us, booked in with no dramas in 2 minutes including taking down both sets of passport data. On to find Webasto to facilitate tomorrow's booking through weekday traffic, but the street address turned out to be in suburbia in very narrow lane, with no signage in sight. Bugger! Webasto rep had confirmed coordinates GirlRob had forwarded by email previously - turns out he'd blithely agreed without checking... Took another hour to search and drive to find real premises. Given that the Webasto heater sensor will be relocated tomorrow to a more central location in-house (thereby turning itself off before all inhabitants have suffocated from heat stress!) took the rest of afternoon to sort out "stuff" that has accumulated alongside bed, on top of and inside lockers. Once again removed valuables from electronics well in vehicle cabin to be locked in rear cabinets, and packed both backpacks for a day in the customer lounge (although we don't expect to be treated as well as we were in Portugal!)

BoyRob cooked chicken and vegetable satay with rice, very good for GirlRob's mild, but ongoing traveller's diarrhoea (which started weeks ago, pre-Spain) and finally succumbed and took Dr Deb's stage one medication "bomb".
What does Guy always say? "...and so it begins..." (or hopefully in this case, ends...)


Spent 10 hours at Webasto workshop (supposed to be finished at 2pm before their long lunch break, but it was not to be....). Javier was very obliging, consulting with Alessandro in Munich, with mechanics, and his boss on site, interpreting, explaining and demonstrating what they found/repaired. We ended up with a new fan/ engine which then had to have new hoses and fittings customised to fit our space. Much to-ing and fro-ing about the positioning of the exhaust air intake - in Australia this was internal due to the problem of sucking in dust on outback roads whilst travelling. Webasto was adamant this risked carbon monoxide poisoning. (A potential solution of combining with another intake hose in vehicle was discounted because of the possibility of an explosion with flames sucked back up??). In end exhaust was positioned externally as originally designed. Alessandro says they have never had problems with their units fitted this way on Kimberley and Aussie Swag campers in their Australian markets... only time will tell. The office staff were courteous and curious, traipsing into the workshop throughout the day to look through Ozzie and admire. A long day for BoyRob in workshop but GirlRob got invited to sit in manager’s office on laptop editing blog notes and photos in the morning, before moving to foyer to get the baby knitting started (much delayed with pace of the trip to date). The nice surprise at the end of the day was no charge - Alessandro accepted the job under warranty. Back so late we called into taverna next to caravan park for their special Tiki burger and beer.


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