The blog has a new name. Instead of “Adventures in Avalon” it’s now “Old Age Traveller”, the same as the Web address. That should give you a clue to the sad news I’m about to impart – Ava has gone to provide adventures for someone else. Yes, after she paraded around eBay for 5 days Ava’s new owners came to drive her away into the sunset last Sunday.
You’re entitled to ask why. Well, it’s like this. As I reminded you in the last post, it’s been exactly a year since Andrew and I completed the Monte Carlo or Bust! Rally 2013 driving Sara the Xsara, kindly prepared by Springfield Citroën of Gateshead. In the intervening time I’ve received e-mails from time to time with special offers. And so it was that a few weeks ago I got the proverbial offer I couldn’t refuse. Springfield was offering a C3 Picasso Selection at a considerable discount of £4,500. After a bit of umming and ahhing, to-ing and fro-ing and a test drive, I decided the deal was a go-er. Yesterday, Bastille Day, 14th July, the day we arrived in Monte Carlo at the end of the 2013 rally, I was given the keys by Andrea.
When other agents (like Cookswell in Pegswood and Wingrove in Wallsend) turned up their noses when asked to sponsor Sara on a charity fund-raiser, Springfield stepped in and quietly and efficiently did us proud. So I’m more than happy to give them my custom, and special thanks this time to Louise, Andrea and Owen who smoothed the path to a satisfactory conclusion.
Why did I do it? Well, the experience in the rally showed that travelling long distances (which is what I want to do) would have been a struggle in Ava. The best she could sustain was 50mph, whereas in France we could do 80mph on the autoroutes and should Germany beckon it will be as fast as my little wheels will carry me. For example, we set off from Villeneuve Loubet Plage, near Cannes, on Monday morning and arrived back in the north-east, 1250 miles later, on Tuesday evening with one overnight stop. It couldn’t have been done in Ava.
Secondly, Ava was doing around 20mpg whereas the Picasso does near 70mpg. Again, over the distances envisaged, the saving on the cost of fuel is enough for an overnight in a motel. So, at my age, do I want to be tramping to the toilet block or servicing the toilet cassette in the rain, or do I want to be wheeling my case into a hotel with the prospect of clean sheets and en suite facilities? To ask the question is to answer it.
The blog continues. This is the diary of an old-aged traveller. The means of transport on the travels is not important. Stick around. I’m on the ferry again next Monday.