Friday, 3 December 2010

Nearly a week...

... since I last blogged! I'm not sure how that happened, but I seem to have been rather preoccupied with other stuff and suddenly Friday is here again. So crikey, what have I been doing for the past week? Well, car stuff for one thing.....I finally managed to get onto the small matter of sorting out the Rav's power loss issue. It is pretty disconcerting and well, pretty dangerous when you put your foot down to overtake or to get up a hill and the engine simply doesn't respond and appears to lose power! The computer at the Toyota main dealer in Pamiers failed to pick up a power management problem and they suggested that we should start by giving the car a comprehensive service because, quite frankly, these filters are in an appalling state and, oh, the timing belt should be changed along with the water pump which appears to be leaking and HAS to be changed when you do the timing belt and we'll have 1300 euros from you for the pleasure, thank you very much. To coin a French expression.... pffffft, not on your nelly matey! I took the Rav into the little garage down the road in Belesta yesterday. A quick look at the water pump circuit and ....what leak? There's no problem with your water pump, Madame. The timing belt? Yes, you should consider changing it within the next 6-12 months but no urgency if you are doing low-average mileage.... this is a Toyota after all. A quote for a service and also for undersealing the Rav (which, it is true, must be done this winter as the underside is in a pitiable state and decaying rapidly) came in at less than the service at the Toyota garage alone! Result! The Rav is booked in for Tuesday.

Today, we had planned on heading down to the Mercedes garage in Carcassonne in the van to get a certificate for the lights and speedometer that is required by Mercedes before they will give us a European Certificate of Conformity which will then enable us to get her French registered. Bloody paperwork. But the arrival of the snow put paid to that plan. Next week it shall be, then!

Whilst the UK has been struggling with exceptionally snowy conditions, it is only today that we have seen snow below 1000m in these parts. But yesterday, we went in search of snow just up the road, above the Col de Montségur
There was enough consolidated snow to warrant the deployment of crampons but not snowshoes from 1300m upwards
The clouds were building quickily and our plan to gain the Cabane de la Taula at nearly 1700m were thwarted when we were engulfed by the clouds that heralded the arrival of the weather front that brought us snow today. Tant pis. It was nice to get out for some good local exercise anyway and the pooch thoroughly enjoyed himself too, coping well in the snowy conditions.

The forecast for the next few days is good and I could really do with an outing on the roadie if road conditions are OK. It would also be good to get up into the mountains again. The Mont d'Olmes ski centre opens this weekend and a visit with Pat is on the cards for sometime next week ... I can't wait!

1 comment:

gabriele gray said...

What fantastic photos! thanks so much