When will we go!

Matt’s Week 6

“When will we go”….well there is good news and there is bad news…..The good certainly outstripping the bad. Having landed at my aunt and uncles house on Friday the following week was a bit of a waiting game. After the mechanics who didn’t have a big enough ramp to fit Heidi on we entrusted AML automotive of Plymouth to install a new cam belt and bearings and re-set the timing which would allow them to start the engine and see how serious are problem was.  So after six nights we finally got a phone call saying the job was done and THANKFULLY there was no engine damage.

It turns out the cam pulley (the highest cog carrying the cam belt) had broken and the metal that had come off of it had got stuck in the belt causing the diesel pump to skip two teeth on the belt. This caused the black smoke. Unfortunately they could not get a new pulley from Fiat so we would have to phone around scrap yards until we found one as if the old pulley broke further  it could cause major engine damage.

So we got on the internet and then on the phone and called around salvage yards and emailed details of what we were after to many others. After a few hours we had found one at a breakers in Essex and they were willing to go and remove it and send it out to us in Plymouth via next day courier.

The package arrived about 11am on the next morning and after slowly removing the packaging praying it would be the right thing I got a glimpse of the final piece of the puzzle that would get us back on the road. I jumped on my bike and rode the 7 miles down the A38 to the garage and after a few minutes of cajoling they agreed to change the pulley by the end of the day.


So later that day I went and collected Heidi and paid the very reasonable invoice for the work that was done. In total including getting towed from Dartmoor paying for the replacement pulley and having the cam belt service we were down £595 which although did sting a bit the costs that were being muttered if there was engine damage made it seem like we had got off lightly.

So just over a week after we had arrived we finally said goodbye to Annie and Steve and got back on the road. We were heading back home, well to Sussex at least to tie up the last few bits of paper work and say final farewells to family before heading for the continent.

On the way up we received a call from a good friend of Ell’s, Alicia, inviting us around to watch the rugby, so we popped in and after the inevitable beer, cider and food it was decided we would be staying the night! Alicia and Phil own a beautiful farm (Conies Farm) and have recently set up a glamping area  which consists of a converted shepherds hut and shepherds hut style dining room which is where we enjoyed coffee the next morning nursing slightly weary heads.

matt alicia at connies farm

From there we got even closer to home, back in Ashurst Wood at Kenny and Alice’s (my brother and his partner).  We had wanted to see them before we went as they well Alice was just about to have her three month scan which was booked in for that Monday.

On the Sunday we  popped over to see my sister and her husband (Mel and Andy) and her family and got to hang out with them, playing football and aerobie with Tate and seeing Lyra dressed up in her cat Halloween costume.

On The Monday  we were so happy that everything went well with the scan and the baby had even put on a bit of a performance appearing to be doing somersaults! To celebrate the four of us headed to pizza express.

From here we would be heading to my mum’s to get ourselves “Organised for Europe”!



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