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My Friday Drive Home

Staz Dec 19, 2006

  1. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut Moderator VCDS Map User

    Thought you all might be interested to know how it went....

    I'm a squaddie based in Germany and on friday I started leave.

    I left camp at 1300 and was trying to make the 1600 ferry from the Hook of Holland. I had a full tank of super plus and I wasn't afraid to use it! 120-140mph for about half an hour and pop! Puncture. F*&^

    Can't get 18s repaired I found out by the way. It's illegal. In europe at least anyway.

    Pulled over and fitted the space saver. Figured I'd have to limp and just get the 2200 overnight ferry and pay the difference.

    I knew it was a silly plan so I left at the next exit and went to the nearest town, Bad Bentheim. I drove around for ages looking for a garage but it was a small town. Figured I'd go back to plan A.

    Got to the Dutch border and they were stopping everyone and checking their cars. Think they're trying to clamp down on us bringing tax+duty free fags into the UK.

    The very nice man told me I was crazy to try and drive all the way (about 150km) on the space saver and gave me directions to a tyre place just inside the Dutch border.

    Got there and found the place. The guy there had to ask his mate, who eventually came out and said he didn't have Pirelli but he'd see what he did have. Turns out he didn't have ANY 18" tires anyway!

    He gave me directions to an Audi garage. The directions turned out not to be very good but I found it eventually. The bloke told me straight away he has to order 18s in. Not til monday. He told me to go to this car wash down the road where they do tires too.

    Got there and they didn't do Pirellis either! He said he had 18" continentals though. I asked how stupid it'd be for me to drive to the Hook with the space saver and he said no way man.

    SO, half an hour later, TWO new rear tyres, a bill for 370 euros and I'm driving the tyre man to the cash machine as they don't accept card.

    Not used my UK bank card since I was on summer leave so I had forgotten the number. Had to use my credit card (had the pin stored in my phone). That cost me nearly 6 quid (+interest yet to be calculated) for the privilege.

    So….I drop the guy off again and I’m away. Decided to take my time a bit as I had plenty. Obviously my foot got heavier and heavier as I went though.

    I arrived at the Hook at around 1900 and it turns out that due to the check point at the border, loads of soldiers missed the ferry too and the 2200 was already fully booked!

    The nice lady gave me directions to a B&B, a trip to the super market later and I’m sat watching tv drinking Herfest Bok beer from Grolsch. I had a nice sleep and eventually got the 0720 crossing. Landed in Harwich at 1010 and finally got home here to Wales about 5pm Saturday.

    At least the snow hasn't arrived yet.
  2. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

    Sounds like your Friday turned out to be very interesting!.

    I must admit when I go all the way across France and into Germany near Strasbourg, stop the night and then on through Germany to a holiday in Austria, my biggest fear is having a puncture and having to run on the silly space saver. I usually start the journey on a Sunday and finding anything open, especially in France, on a Sunday would be impossible. I usually come back across France on a Sunday as well.

    So much so that I've purchased a steel wheel the same size as my alloys and had a new tyre fitted. Whenever I go on holiday, as the boot is full of cases, I put this wheel and tyre in the large plastic bag provided in the toolkit and then put it behind the passengers seat. When I get to Austria and unload the cases into the hotel, the wheel and tyre go into the boot. At least that way I have some piece of mind.

    Space savers always were a stupid idea.

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