So as I said in the last post, Pablo’s exhaust had totally cracked due to some industrial rubber band snapping and causing too much pressure on the already rusty exhaust pipe.
We killed a day at a small lake near St.Gilgen, this area of Austria – Salzkammergut is their version of the Lake District and very popular with family’s. We couldn’t even find a spot to swim in as the shore was all taken over by restaurants or private lawns. Eventually we found one patch that we had all to ourselves, the lake was very blue thanks to it being so shallow, but it had the occasional unwelcome piece of algae floating on its surface. After a swim using our hands to push away the kale and boggey like substances we went back to the beach to find two middle aged ladies had pitched up right next to us, geez do they not understand space here?
Never mind, we started eating our pack lunch and then one women got out a fag and the wind was blowing right in our direction. That’s it! I had to say something, how can you be so oblivious, if it was in England the person would most likely turn around and say “do you mind if I smoke?” And out of politeness you’d act all cool and say “nah, it’s fine!”. So I said to these ladies “allo, we are eating our lunch and your smoke is blowing right towards us!”. Then we had two very baffled faces stare at us “reaaally?? In Austria you can smoke in public, same like England no?” “Yes, we have the same rules but this is a 2km wide lake and you’re practically sitting in our laps smoking my peanut butter sandwich with tobacco essence!!” Ok I didn’t say it quite like that but we won, they apologised and the smoker sat on a bench behind us.
Then the lady infront of us thought it would be a good idea to get her tits out and sunbath infront of us. Did she not get the point that we were eating and the sight of 60 year old baps might make us regurgitate our food? Alas, we ate in silence, smoke free but with two erect nipples interrupting our lake view.
The next day we drove to the nearest garage which turned out to be Opel, otherwise known as vauxhall. They didn’t speak much English, but a man who was clearly the manager came out to see us. He had a huge smile on his face but looked so odd in a knee length lab coat jacket which totally covered his shorts so it looked like a dress. He sort of reminded me of the crazy guy from the first human-centipede film…all ready to chop you up in his lab coat!
They went to put Pablo on the ramp and started to raise her up, at which point the van wobbled and there was a horrible noise. The manager was laughing away “haha! Nein problem! Is just ze rust, we find another spot to jack, haha!”. It was like watching dumb and dumber, they narrowly avoided crushing the underside of the van, plonkers. Then they found the right jacking spots and raised Pab’s up. There was an old man waiting for his car next to me and almost in slow motion we noticed that mechanics were taking Pablo far too close to the ceiling. I turned and looked at his worried face, turned back and shouted “STOP, stop, stop…!” They stopped, and laughed!! What the hell, I had no choice but to laugh along with them – I’m sure they forgot it was a van and not a car they were lifting.
The manager looked at the exhaust and said “ok, ve veld here, no problem” and we replied with the daunting question “how much”, “err €25” AMAZING !! So he got his dungaree clad apprentice to wheel over a trolley and get to work. It only took 10minutes, and the clanking noise had stopped, we were back on the road!!