When Svan hit a gate
- 29 Jun 06, 04:55 PM
HAMBURG - Disaster struck this afternoon.
We were on our way to visit Ricco's grandparents, almost there, when an approaching car forced Ricco to move over to one side of the narrow lane.
As Svan pulled away, at an extremely modest speed I must say, an unmistakable and unwanted sound could be heard coming from the rear of the vehicle.
A quick inspection confirmed our worst fears.
The rear right corner had indeed had an unfortunate collision with a metal gate and I have to say that, as seems to happen when Sven meets Big Phil Scolari, our Svan had come off the worst.
A decent sized chunk was missing from the side of the vehicle. That I could live with.
The real problem was a grey panel that runs along the rear of the vehicle hanging limply towards earth looking most sorry for itself.
The grey panel houses the rear indicators - and a mass of electric cables has been dislodged.
We parked up at Ricco's Grandparents. They seemed somewhat bemused by the whole incident and started a lengthy search for the number of a mechanic.
Ricco's Grandad is 92 and only stopped driving two years ago. Needless to say, he is no stranger to a mechanic who specialises in bodywork.
The first guy we tried could not help - had the look of a man who decided upon first glance that this was not the jo for him - and by this time bumps in the road had resulted in the entire gray panel hanging loose.
Ricco removed it completely with a screwdriver and disconnected the few cables that remained intact.
We then drove 20 kilometres to Hamburg without any rear indicators in order to find a garage that can help.
Maybe in time this whole episode will seem quite amusing but I was not laughing as I stuck my arm out time and again to indicate a right turn.
We're currently parked on the forecourt of a Fiat garage somewhere in Hamburg. Tomorrow we hope they can do a patch-up job to get us through the rest of the trip.
They seem confident enough and like many Germans we have met have gone out of their way to help us. A cable with electricity, for example, now runs from the garage to Svan.
It is very much a case of fingers crossed as close 350-odd kilometres lay between us and Saturday's kick off in Gelsenkirchen!