We finally arrived home in the UK last night in our Cobra, soaking wet and bloody cold! We did 1,661 miles, more than half of which was in really bad weather.
The first part of the drive, through Spain, was very good, in hot temperatures under blue skies. Then it all went wrong. Due to a faulty connection on the alternator, the battery wasn’t being charged properly and as the power dropped, the fuel pump cut out, leaving us stranded in the pouring rain, with no roof on the car, on a motorway, just 15 minutes away from getting our ferry back to Portsmouth from Northern Spain. Bugger!
After that, all subsequent ferries were cancelled due to the bad weather, or full, and we ended up having to drive through France in miserable weather to get a ferry from St Malo. Not normally a problem, this was a huge issue in a car with no roof – I don’t mean a convertible, I mean no roof whatsoever, which is no fun in the rain. The bad connection on the alternator turned out to be the alternator had a quickly failing terminal disease and another stop at another garage confirmed it was a specialist alternator and yes, they could get one in 4 or 5 days. We decided to drive on anyway, charging the battery whenever we could, so we could keep driving.
We got into Portsmouth last night in heavy rain and started driving on sidelights only in terrible spray, only turning on the wipers every few minutes in an attempt to preserve what little power was left in the battery. I really didn’t want to break down at the roadside in pouring rain, so headlights were out of the question. At least keeping moving causes most of the rain to get blown over the top of the car (okay it then blows backwards into the cockpit so our backs were pretty wet) and somehow, we made it back in 2.5 hours of hell. People were waving and honking their horns at us in support, but most were probably thinking we were crazy, which of course we were. I was wearing my Harley-Davidson motorcycle waterproofs and Jackie had the car cover over her to keep some of the water off.
Our son Jeremy had put up the gazebo so we could park the car on the drive under cover, but the wind was blowing it away, resulting in us having to tie it down. Anyway, we got home safely and a warming cuppa soon sorted us out, with clothes and gear dripping everywhere in the house. What a journey it had been, driving as we did from near Gibraltar in southern Spain, all the way to near London in the UK, in some of the worse weather I have seen. Madness!
Many thanks to Jackie for once again being a real trooper. She hates the cold and went the whole journey without a single complaint – I am so lucky to have her as a wife! Next time, let’s hope for better weather!
Day 11 - Tucson, AZ
7 hours ago