Spanish Resort or Soft Drink 🥤

The Buggy hasn’t passed the road test, the drive is now smooth and the change from Hi to Lo gear is transitioning nicely, but there is a front wheel vibration that could be a prop-shaft or steering wishbone issue. Work to do.

Karl and Trish are back with us in the sun. The part I needed for their generator arrived with them. After sitting open in any weather, the generator ran first start after rebuild …. and produced 240/115volts

Luckily they brought back another generator that was broken to help keep my skills up

All broken toys and wiring jobs are on hold until after Barcelona. A getaway five days to sort out the Catalunya independence.

The first part of the journey, after ruling out trains (11hrs) and flights (only from Alicante 2hrs away) is a drive until the coffee stops and sightseeing is over due to bad light.

Temperature in the car was going up and down – I asked Prisci if she had a problem setting the control. She answers that she was trying to tune the radio but it wouldn’t keep on station 🤷🏻‍♂️

Overnight was in a city that I’m told I’m mis-pronouncing

It is a beautiful city, the morning stroll for breakfast had a choice of clean cafe’s on pristine streets. May well be the overnight choice on the return journey

Odd Jobs, Another Paddle’r and Taxi days

The boiler fit at Camposol sparked (not literally) a few more tasks for the new home owners. All completed now with new gas hob, electric oven, washing machine, dishwasher and fridge freezer plumbed/gas/wired in

Other little jobs of replacing electrical sockets and some heavy lifting have left a panicked couple at ease. They had a finite time to vacate their rental and make the shell of a house habitable, they just made it.

No time to work on the buggy these last few days, so the final ‘grease and go’ will be later in the week.

After the busy days with tools, Garth was having a beach BBQ for his 14yr old son on his last night of a weeks visit. It was nice to be invited and meet all his brood.

Ollie was really good on the paddle board, sailed off into the sunset happily

I’ve taxi’d a few people around over the last few days, picking-up after they drop off cars at the garage and airport runs, it’s been a good way to meet up, chat and share a few breakfasts.

It’s getting quiet and dropping into the lower 20’s now. Good to keep up with the surrounding Hill Billy’s

Although Margaret and Deryk have only three arms between them (an unfortunate slip on a wet surface that has put Margaret into a sling for a while), they hosted a beautifully prepared meal for Valerie, Prisci and I. The arm damage is a prompt to them to relax for a few weeks after their UK drive, family visits, Bridge weekends in Mojacar – over enjoying their retired life!

I’ll have the Wednesday volunteer day with Stu and see if we can come to a final point on the Radar project. It keeps luring us into upgrading work we complete.

Karl and Trish should be back in Spain soon. They will bring the part for the generator that’s laying stripped for repair.

Only event of note is the great job of preparation I did on the C30 ready for the airport runs. The sandy paddle board kit taken out of the boot, seats wiped clean and where else to temporarily put something for safety until the cleaning is done ??? Ahh put the insurance, MoT, log book pack on the car roof. Back home a few hours later and a lady had chased my address down and had the important document pack to hand me. Didn’t realise I’d lost it and couldn’t speak enough Spanish to tell Irene how thankful I was. Seems I have a monthly momentary memory lapse, mint time …..

Nationality, where’s your baby?

After a few days of fitting a sink, boiler and other small plumbing jobs, I spent Friday with Prisci to take her to the Spanish Register Civil.

Her Ecuador nationality could now become dual with Spanish.

Spain only recognises Ecuador for duality. Other nationalities have to relinquish their passports if they want Spanish.

We arrived in Cartagena to find the registry for the 09:20 appointment stated in her letter from the Totana administration.

The counter clerk confirmed the appointment but asked where the baby was. The appointment was requested by Totana to give the child of Priscilla Spanish nationality. Prisci’s letter showed it was for just her, and she explained that she does not have a baby.

Spanish administration is protracted and inflexible normally, today they excelled. No Baby, No appointment. Prisci will need another day off work to attend an appointment in her own name (only hers was on the forms and letters).

She asked for a note of attendance to give to her manager at work. Ahh he said, As there isn’t a baby present the appointment can’t happen and so attendance hasn’t occurred. They can’t give proof to people who visit babyless.

Prici’s morning was not getting better, a coffee stop so she could use the bathroom was the next let-down. Ladies loos were in a bad state, so she had to use the gents. Then the cafe served her the wrong breakfast. She was sent a gif that summed her morning up

I had a cracking day, my breakfast was perfect, shopped for clothes and tech stuff and had a Cerveza at Vicky’s on the way back, introducing the ladies to each other – I never understood a word of their Spanish conversation though.

The super yachts in the puerto Cartagena were amazing. Biggest yacht in the world and only €40 Million.

The visiting Pirates of the Caribbean looking ship seemed minuscule against them

Valerie has completed the refurbishment of her eight outdoor dining chairs, done comfortably inside her weeks deadline. I think she is understandably pleased with her efforts.

Boiler job, Electrics, on wavy roads and Birds

The tools are out again in Camposol. Helping a new owner on the inland housing estate – must be the attraction of the golf course – I’m hanging and piping his new boilerA simple job after drilling through the concrete and iron bar reinforced wall. The boiler is going to connect to a gas bottle, so it’s been more brute force to fit rather than any tech skill.

The house is on a series of estates labelled Camposol A, B, C and D.

My seaside birthplace on the Wirral peninsula and career in the RN followed by settling in The Port of Mazarrón, is probably a clue as to why this inland gigantic housing estate is not my cup of tea.

The estates started 15 yrs ago and have been problematic as to planning permission, council adopting roads and land shift. Owners have in some cases walked away and the banks now have hundreds of sets of keys. I’m told the banks cannot sell-on until 10yrs after the house has been vacated. Seems true and explains why there are so many empty properties without Sale boards.

The best, or worst, example of the streets state is one that seemingly had prime position. On the outer edge and clear view of the mountains that blocked the way to the coast, the street had imposing homes. Now you can see the garden swimming pool and shower through the gap where a wall once stood. Other properties in the road are still being lived in

The job done, and some additional electrical work (sockets, light fittings etc) completed, I had a Military Museum day to prepare for. Nothing notable to do there, just tidy up the work done so far on the Radar.

The Buggy is back together and after greasing the new suspension bushes will be ready to test drive

There is a lack of calls from U.K. now, saying how the weather is the same as Spain, I wonder why that is??

Here the weather is presented by zip dressed, ankle bracelet wearing dolly birds pointing to Puerto’s high 20’s Brightens up the morning👏

The lady At Vicky’s who arrived with her pet Raven on her shoulder reminded me of a workmates comment when we noticed two starling flirting then making out. I said the lady starling had been playing hard to get, then my mate said “yes but soon gave in, that ones rigged like a blackbird!”

All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) – CF Moto, Variator Clutch Refurbished

I think I used 250 pounds/foot on the nut that is stated as 80 lbs/ft torque. After lots of attempts using lots of advice didn’t get the job done, I rigged a bolster and lock arrangement using the recesses in the casing. A thick shafted screwdriver fitted a casing hole and a ring spanner on it that jammed the opposite end jaws to the buggy frame helped steady the clutch. Then extended the socket driver using elongated spark plug sockets to join the extender bars. Once the nut was off I could see the sliders (yellow pieces originally) were in a poor condition, with one really jammed. Rollers seemed to be reasonable enough, but on using a micrometer they were a little oval

Fitting the new belt and putting the clutch together was a 30 minute job

The re-build will take another day, with the front suspension bushes to replace (matching the rear suspension that seems perfect now).

I returned the extended socket to Raul and asked him his thoughts on the old parts. He confirmed the observations I had made, but showed how the belt was in a worse condition than I had said.

There was cracking between the toothing on the inner race. Failure of the belt was probably a few thousand miles away at most.

As I had arrived in Raul’s workshop his staff had explained he was in the showroom just along the road. I saw they were working on a very similar engine. Raül arrived and pointed to the shredded belt on the customers buggy.

A new belt was at least a week away, with a customer needing the transport back ASAP.

Old belt off the CF Moto could be used for a week to help out the man who had given me time, advice and tools. A nice end to a day I had made progress on three projects

Test drive will be Thursday morning 👏🎉🏎

La Manga, Mar Menor/Mediterráneo

Feedback on the pump refurbishment at Deryk’s isn’t good. I think it needs a strip-down for the umpteenth time. But not at the weekend. I’ve put some bits back on the CF Moto Buggy, and then put the tools down until MondaySunday is a trip out day, not a long drive as the weather isn’t too great. I’ve seen the strip of land that creates the lagoon looking ‘Sea of Menor’ from flights in and out of San Javier airport. Taking a drive along it appealed. The road to La Manga strip is an autovía and the coast road itself looks to be new from google mapping the day ahead

Morning coffee and cake was on a concrete ship. The cafe is near one of many points you can throw a stone from one sea to the other I liked the ‘castles-in-the-air’ design of a hotel group, lining the beaches, great views across the seas and Islas Beach strolls all along some 15Km of the strip were quiet at the close season and windy cloudy weekend.

A stop on the way back to Puerto Mazarrón to try Restaurant Martinez Just past Perin, found it to be a top dining place the menu del día was delicious, with the desert I picked a bonus. The pudding with whisky wasn’t a laced mix but a plated pudding that was accompanied by a bottle of whisky that a serving is at least a double shot poured over. The bathroom is down impressive marble stairs, with the planter a nice indicatorThe Restaurant sits on a sizeable estate that draws you to a post meal walkabout.

Refreshed for a busy week ahead, I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed La Manga as much on a sunny seasons day, the street and plentiful hotel/apartment buildings probably gridlock the narrowish road and make the casual stop-and-picture trip a parking nightmare. But a place well worth a visit and one for taking my paddle board later in the year on quiet sunny days

Take a seat, an old pallet re-used

The eight veteran chairs at Valerie’s have lost their seating cord. Each giving way over the last summer as the heat and flow of visitors took their toll. The metal scrolling makes the chairs ‘keepers’ for Valerie. Her brother-in-law, Ron, had made a cardboard template with the idea of some type of board to be used. Ron returned to U.K. before he and Valerie had decided on material.

I took the template to see if I could give an option, and in-between other projects produced a seat from an old pallet on my roof terrace. The work on the pump at Deryk’s was on hold for a few days as he had pressing businessValerie was pleased with the idea of a seat that was rugged, low cost and she could treat/paint/varnish to suit. A replacement would be easy to make if there was any problems too.

Stu had a lot of ready broken down pallets that we had done for a project a few months back. Ten lengths were enough and we met at Pablo’s for the exchange of material (and a Cerveza). Back on my roof I cracked on with ‘production’ (and Spain v England repeat during my coffee break)….The padded cushion covers Valerie has should make the chairs comfortable, but I’ll sand down and edge the wood before passing them on in case anyone sits down without a pad on. If they did and cut their bottom it could be death by Arsenick!

All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) – CF Moto, Parts and Tools

“Wednesday, si, Miércoles, for the parts”. But a delivery problem put this promise from an apologetic Raül back a day.

Thursday and everything is ready and collected. It’s not a cheap job – parts circa €500

Raül also dug around the workshop to find me his adapted socket that I was having a problem getting hold of.

The 32mm socket I had was the standard size, the nut was 32mm as I had checked with a graduated wrench. Sooo, why wasn’t the socket sitting correctly? After looking into the socket and noticing the markings it was clear that the shaft through the nut was longer that the socket. I shopped around for a longer 32mm tool but none in the region!

At Raul’s he explained the function of the parts I was to fit, and how the worn parts give symptoms that you would not easily associate to them.

Raül explained the €300 belt is produced for CF Moto by Banda, but in a year or so it will probably be a direct Banda spare at a lower cost.

The shape and drive of the transmission cones (variator clutch) was another interesting talk. Then he told me the importance of the new sliders and how when worn give a standing rattle in the drive (they are yellow in the pics, but new ones are black).

The new bushes for the suspension arm didn’t need comment, other than be careful tapping in as they look tough but are only composite.

I’ve replaced all the grease nipples, after using an easy-out on the broken one that had left half in the thread. The easy-out tool seemed too long at first, but I found moving the holes in the aerated brake disc allowed it to fit, while I turned it with mole grips.

I’m good to go now with the battle of the Variator Nut

Quiet Roads, Beaches, Rooftops, Pump and Thoughts.

Cycling up the mountain in pure air and hoping I don’t follow it up with the painful inner-thigh cramps of last week, I passed the roof I had been working on a few days ago.

The cable that I had run overhead from it’s previous course of running around the patio, just needed clipping up at gutter level. It had looked messy from Pablo’s when I sat with a beer. A neater look now from the bar, and it would stop any movement or slapping the brickwork in the wind. Valerie and her guests had also missed ‘Dancing on the Ice Strictly’ and something with Stars due to losing the satellite signal. Les and Linda helped with the roof job, so I was glad I could sort out the highly technical Sat TV fault for them. I checked the cable, all connections, satellite dish direction, using compass and my satellite signal meter looked professional. The fault still persisted until I remembered the Horn was uncovered. I poked my finger into the hole and pulled out a mini-nest …. shouts went up straight away that there was music in the house. Signal restored 🤷🏻‍♂️

On my way past, I dropped the refurbished pump at Deryck’s for us to test and hopefully fit one last time, see if my modification was successful 🤞

Back on the post-holiday empty roads, The cycling views are worth the effort of missing two morning episodes of ‘Pawn Hunters’The bike has seen a few miles and is the one I used everyday at work, also for charity rides….

It is difficult knowing who or what to support as a deserving case when Charity requests are made, sponsorship asked for and international disaster appeals flash up on TV.

And, if you chip-in to a charity does that mean a government functioning body can now re-direct funding (your taxes) to its own pet project.

Street beggars have been known to hide their flash cars around corners, or head to a crack den once enough cash is in the tin. Are you helping or funding drug habits?

In the U.K. the street beggar sometimes sit with a dog and plead for money on its behalf for food. A hidden benefit it seems is being able to claim social security support to care for their dogs? So they may not be the animal carer they portray. I’ll double check this next time in U.K. and if true my pockets might be an extra inch deeper.

“Deserving” is the watch-word.

My favoured charities are, in order, for the Children – Heart – Cancer – The British Legión.

I’ve cycled from London to Amsterdam for ‘Children with Cancer’

I’ve …… Ran The Santa Dash in Liverpool with my daughters

Cycled across Scotland, 450 miles in four days for the British Legion.

Completed 24 hours cycling race at Brands Hatch.

Ran the:

Stockholm, Paris, Boston, London, New York, Sydney and Niagara Falls Marathons, paying my own travel/accom/entry, to raise money.

Ran Snowden Marathon barefoot.

All charities seemed good causes and checked out for legitimacy and passing-on maximum pence per pound.

Being a house sitter for owners with animals, I have contributed and attended sponsored events that aid them. Not a devout animal lover, but I am happy that they give companionship and security to folk.

Very close to home, I was surprised to find dogs being mistreated and living a short term life (weeks) in volunteer cleaned kennels, awaiting destruction.

Beaten with sticks across their hips for not performing in the Oct – Feb rabbit hunting season is an example of their canine value in some quarters. It’s hard not to put your hand in your pocket to help keep them from being cremated and pay towards the kennels.

Choirs and bands perform locally at venues that rattle the ‘collection tin’ for the animals support.

Charity money being drummed up I hoped for the most desperate, disappointing if it’s diverted.

Monies need to be going to the needy cause you donate to.

The guys I met in Canada were a great example of this.

Mazarron stroll, Cycle La Cuesta and ‘Pump-up The Volume’.

A shopping walk around Mazarron for parts for different projects also gave me chance to visit one of the monuments on its hillsThe mines surround the hill opposite, and is a great tour to take. The mines tour last year told of the different minerals and silver there that was sent direct to ships in the port (Puerto Mazarrón). Some of the housing and works buildings are still standing and free to walk about in.

The surrounding hills are dramatic and make good walks. The hill with Christ points the way to the port.

Maypu, a brilliant parts place, had the grease nipples I needed. Then onto ‘Raul’s’ to meet the owner and order parts for Stu’s ATVThe new Clutch Variator rollers, Drive Belt and Cone Sliders will be here Wednesday – ATV blog post standby👨🏼‍🏭

The street architecture in all places of the world fascinate still. Here you can seemingly string electrics anyhow. A Communications mast at the top of a building should have trunking to street level and catenary wire to support it to a connection box. Or – just throw the cable off the roof and find somewhere to join it

The heat over summer, above 40 deg’s, had an impact on Deryk’s irrigation pump. The pressure had dropped steadily over the summer and it had needed re-priming a few times. Losing all suction to draw from the well, it was time to check it properly. The view while stripping the pump in the workshop is pretty decentAfter a few false ‘fixes’ I noticed the inner rim that steadies the seal had expanded at the top and compressed at the bottom. An air leak and water leak! The moulded-in nuts had also moved forward, impressing a serrated ring in the housing that showed it could not seal face-to-face now.

My Mazarrón shopping trip included six 100mm size 8 studs to drill and replace the cross headed bolts that pulled on the moulded nuts

Before returning home to do the drill and stud fix job, I had coffee in the port to assess my shopping – it is the good life ….

The break from work that I’m enjoying doing, is the Thursday 3 ‘o’ clock cycle of 25Kms to La Cuesta and a Cerveza halfway back down with Stu. Pablo’s is comfortable and it is enforced Spanish practice with him. No English nor mobile phones tolerated.

Stu has weekly reiterated his promise to get his electric bike on the road and enjoy the exercise to his home 500 metres away – pictorial evidence is here to show how his transport mode has progressed

Back at the apartment and the visit to the port for coffee’s in future might be easier, let the train take the strain…