In an effort to rejuvenate the van I changed the fuel filter plus oil and oil filter which seems to have done the trick. A disintegrating fan belt was spotted and later replaced whilst down at Bristol. During this work I spotted a badly worn suspension bush and arranged for it to be replaced on the Tuesday thus imposing on the hospitality of friends for longer than planned. With my MOT only a month old this was an alarming oversight on the tester's part and highlights the shortcomings of these safety inspections.
Good weather and access to a few tools enabled me to give my bike a much needed clean and service, exchange the waste tank tap for one with a larger bore and continue to transfer my various settings to the new netbook.
Saturday saw us walk along the bank of the Severn to the original crossing on a crisp and sunny day whilst the poor weather on Sunday saw me scanning a decade of farm photographs on to a memory stick and then disposing of the bulky and rather tatty old albums. I was pleased with the results and will deal with the remaining dozen or so other albums covering the 1980's over the next few weeks. Around 2000 slides also need attention but that will be an even more labour intensive task which may keep me occupied whilst down in Europe this winter.
I plan to leave in late December and head to Spain over the Christmas/New Year period and then slow right down once it warms up.
As part of the pre trip preparation the excellent PC Motors (01179424746) in Bristol will be asked to replace the same bushes but on the offside and do a cam belt - much easier to have this done early here in the UK than over on the continent. The last change was done in Auckland!
A new clutch is being fitted this week after which I travel to Sheffield by train for a long weekend, return south for the bothy muck digging and then have two cosy weeks up in the Lakes.
It is good to be drawing all the various loose strings of the last year together and I am looking forward to setting off once more with a rough route but no timetable - just how I like it!
A few piccies here cover the last week and these here look at a few highlights of my smallholding experiences.
Errant locations via the Spot here.
Fond Oz memories epitomised below.