We are home in Dublin since 11.30 today Monday 23rd February. Fourteen hours behind schedule but then again we did arrive by breakdown truck.
We are back in Dublin almost 11 months after the adventure began. We left Neil and Bernie’s house at 8.30 am on Sunday to catch the 14.30 ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare (another blog later about our visit to them). As per my last blog Nuala’s car had been making funny noises 100 km before we had reached Caen, in France. I chanced continuing to drive the car and we made it to the car ferry and got to Portsmouth. Neil and I set out to try and get it repaired. Looks like England is starting to boom again as the first four garages we went to were too busy to fix it for the following two weeks; they all said the problem was that a seal was gone on one of the injectors. The fifth garage said they could do it but it would cost £ 450. I did not follow the advice in my own previous blog- which is go with the flow and don’t force something. After the forth garage said NO my head said leave it and chance driving it home as it is. But then I said we will try one more garage.
Well the garage either did a botch job or a bad one because when I collected the car on Saturday morning just before they closed for the weekend the car seemed very sluggish. On Sunday after about 30 minutes into the journey the engine started to make odd sounds again, different ones this time. I decided to keep going and the car got worse and worse. Eventually the engine suddenly stopped on the motorway (a scary experience) but after pulling in to the hard shoulder it started again. About five miles further it stopped again. I tried to restart it, a big black cloud of smoke came out the exhaust and some diesel leaked from under the car. We were only 21 miles from the port. We called AXA Insurance and they send a tow truck. It arrived fifteen minutes later, but despite heroic rally driving by Carl the driver from Millbrook Recovery, we arrived at the ferry port at 14.29. I had rang Stenna to say we were on the way but as the car ferry doors were shut, it was too late to board and all we could do was sit and watch the ferry pull out.
Stena Line staff were great they agreed to tow our car on and off the ferry and booked us onto the night sailing leaving at 2.30 am. Carl dropped our car in lane 7 and waved his good byes. He too had been very helpful and did his best. There was no charge for the tow- AXA agreed to pay the full cost and told me to ring them the next morning when we got to Rosslare and they would send another tow truck to bring us to Dublin.
So we had to hang around Fishguard until we could be pulled onto the ferry at 1.30am. High winds and a rough crossing did not help. At 6 am as we docked at Rosslare I rang AXA and when we were pulled by tractor from the ferry to the public car park. Paul Brogan, from Rosslare Car Repairs, was there to meet us. Car back up on another tow truck and off we set for Dublin. Again at no extra charge AXA agreed to pay for the cost of bring the car to a garage in Santry also agreeing that they would pay for the tow truck to drop Nuala at Donnybrook, to collect her mother’s car.( I had to agree to pay the toll costs- a small price) So the car is now in Santry and we will know tonight if it’s worthwhile repairing. My sister says it should go to car heaven or wherever old cars go!
A trying few days but again everybody we met were friendly and helpful (both of the tow truck drivers helped up load up and then unload our bags from the car- not their job and Paul dropped me back to Donnybrook from Santry) and the service from AXA was amazing. Still we don’t mind limping home we have had an amazing year.