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travel

I just bought a new car…..well not toooo old anyway…..

Here she is, let me introduce you, yes she is an Audi S4 Avant (B6, 2005). I frequently scout Flea Bay and other UK sites searching for LHD UK registered cars. Many come from Spain as the UK has some half a million expats in the south of Spain as the weather and the living is sooooo good I guess, on a UK pension in Spain everyone becomes richer. I have always loved Audi and BMW as well as VW, and this S4 recently caught my eye at a London dealer.

LHD. Tick. Wonderful engine. Tick x 3. FSH tick. Good nick for her age as well as great value for money tick. Interesting. So what else? A V8 4.2 engine in an A4 is a wonderful start as personally I am a big fan of cubes and normal aspiration. For 4 years I owned an A5 with a 3.2 V6 engine and that was fun too, but this sounds almost too good to be true. Full Audi service history with loads of stamps in the service book. Great condition for her age. Goodness.

I phoned and chatted with the seller, London based Transeuropean Carriage Company, see https://www.transeuropean.co.uk/contacts. I chatted with the owner a truly charming fellow, and I bought the car based on his word and the photos of the car on his web site. “A fool and his money” I hear you say??? Well maybe, but lets say so far so good. I firstly studied how to collect her cos I have a trailer plus my trusty van BUT the cost of motorway tolls with a trailer are prohibitive. So Ryanair over and drive back?? Sure but I need to take 3 days off work so….Transeuropean??

I asked them how much to deliver the car and guess what??? The boss drove it down the following week!! I collected her from Roma airport and yes, I am in love again!! WOT a car, amazing, 15 years old but feels and drives like a much younger car. A few more pics follow and a fuller report when I start to get to know her…..

Categories
France Hotels Motorcycle and Bicycle travel

Another trip from Amalfi to the Midlands (UK) and back, by van…

Well, the fiendish plan was to take my beloved 2015 Yamaha TMax scooter plus my sweet 2013 Honda CB500 back to sell in the UK, and to collect my brand-new TMax 530DX which was waiting for me at Alf England (www.alfengland.co.uk). Yamaha have just launched the TMax 560 so many dealers were caught with stock of the 530 and I managed to get a good deal from Martin, he wanted to sell his last one.

Unfortunately the only one left in stock was black which is NOT my chosen colour for cars or bikes, (my old one was white which I much prefer) but beggars and choosers and all, the deal was excellent so I could not resist mainly because my old one did not have ABS which I personally regard as essential for 2 wheelers. You may not notice until its toooo late.

So I set off from Roma on a Saturday morning at about 7am, destination Chamonix for my overnight stop cos I love Chamonix and the Mercure Hotel is lovely, just a few kilometres after the Mont Blanc tunnel. When I arrived at about 5pm the temperature was already sliding below zero so I decided to park the van in the hotel garage for an extra 10 Euro, to avoid having to scrape and de-ice in the morning as I was planning to leave fairly early tho’ not at dawn! Well, I pulled out of the hotel garage at about 6am at minus 8.5 degrees and the climb up to the road was all ice and snow, the van however was great on her wonderful winter tyres. I headed north and as usual in France the motorways were excellent, not too busy and totally clear of ice.

I hit Calais at about 4pm and was put on the next P and O ferry leaving in 30 minutes, I headed up to the Business Lounge for my free newspapers plus tea, coffee or champers and as usual I had two or three coffees and read several newspapers. At Dover I then headed to Cambridge and luckily the traffic was fairly light, I hit the M2/M25/M11 and was soon in Shelford for beers and rest.

So the next morning I headed north to the Midlands to see Martin and the gang….some pictures below!! By the time I returned to Amalfi the red van had covered 5150 kms and averaged almost 11km/l, not bad for an old girl. Great trip, zero oil consumed too cos the van is only running at 2300rpm at 130 kph, very relaxed.