Being immobile, the continuing story!

15 October and the Ducato has yet to be painted, though it is ‘bogged’ and primed. Until today I haven’t pushed it;  I figure that there are lots of nice people with only one car who need their vehicles repaired before me. When I spoke to the Boss on Wednesday he said he would do his best to get it done by Friday. When he rang on Thursday night I weakened and said it was OK, I could wait until next week but I HAD to have it by Thursday, I have things to do before I go. I have booked it in for a service on 1 November (I leave on 5 November) and have been to look at and choose a decal for the sides.


They turned around, saw me coming and left! Am I scary 😉


I have problem with the pronunciation of “decal”.  It’s one of those words you immediately recognise when it’s written but rarely have the need to say! I  Googled it, of course, and got some audios to choose from – “dee kal” but in some there is emphasis on the “dee” in others on the “kal”. Then there was the “dek ul” option, especially if you are Canadian, it seems. I gave up and called it a sticker, until today. I went and saw the sign writer to choose one and learned it can be called a vinyl graphic. I’m comfortable with that.


I have chosen a pattern, picked out some colours, 3 shades of blue (surprised?) and the lovely guy will go and measure the Ducato,  magically change it to fit on the Ducato and email me a preview of three colour combinations for me to choose from. Seemingly the pattern was someone’s tattoo! I could have purchased one, ready to go, on the internet. I have no faith in my ability to apply it without getting wrinkles, breaking it or something equally as tragic.


I’ve also been thinking about the fridge, a 3 way gas, power and battery model. It’s far from new, 14 years old, like the Ducato. I’m not sure it runs properly on battery and I would never leave it on gas while I am driving. I had it looked at in March and the auto electrician said she had fixed it. I looked at new ones and was very surprised to learn they are $1700 plus $300 for a new gas certificate. It’s not going to happen.


I have already brought a reversing camera, an absolute necessity without Dasha being with me, and a small inverter. I also need 2 new house batteries. I have been to the auto electrician, who has been to visit the Ducato ‘in situ’ at the panel beaters and sorted it out for me. Everyone has been so helpful.


It’s been there a long, long time 😦 Spiders have taken up residence!



HELP! I am immobile.

During the 4 week South Island adventure in April 2016 the Ducato sustained some damage; I was absent when it happened. I am pleased to say that only twice have I been at the wheel when two minor incidents happened.
The first was a ding when I was reversing (at snail’s pace) unfortunately misjudging the distance and lightly hitting part of the garage. The resulting minuscule ding was only apparent when I observed it with the binoculars (it’s at the top of the rear).

Looking through binoculars
The second was while going over the dreaded narrow bridge at Blenheim with the truck driver misjudging my size and not waiting until I was across to enter the bridge. I had to pull close to the bridge to avoid the truck hitting me; the result a light scrape on the passenger wing mirror. I can live with both.


I am much bigger than the vehicle on the left!

The Ducato has scrapes down both sides, one worse than the other. The insurance company was happy to cover it but as two seperate incidents with an excess cost of $300.00 each. I can’t argue with that I really don’t know what happened. I thought it may have been entering the motel at Punakaiki. We had followed the sign to the entrance but found it full of huge rocks, HUGE rocks to help combat erosion. We had to use the other entrance which was quite narrow, with huge trees on both sides.


My photo of the sea at Punakaiki. The access to the motel is on the far right, the one with the bush in the middle. The HUGE rocks can’t be seen.

There were several similar situations, very narrow entrances or parking spaces, at other motels we stayed, most motels don’t have camper van patrons.

The driver's side (there are more but they didn't show on the photos).

The driver’s side (there are more but they didn’t show on the photos).

When I went to see the panel beater I asked for a estimate to have the remainder of both sides done, at my own cost, and the small area of rust by the front window also done. Although the Ducato is old, 2002, it’s my baby and I’m proud to own it.

The passenger's side.

The passenger’s side. (from the top to the bottom).

Last Wednesday, 7 September 2016, I dropped it off expecting to have it returned on 23 September.

I had ordered a few little gadgets for the Ducato that have arrived in the post since it has been gone. Buying online has become a (cheap) hobby. This week I have received a gas detector, a spare thermometer to add to the first aid kit, an iPhone armband holder and am waiting for more “stuff”. It’s been fun setting it up, making it ready to leave in at a moments notice.

I miss it! I miss not seeing it, I miss not being able to go away, I miss not being able to go out and ‘borrow’ something tasty from the cupboards. We had a storm and I missed not having the reassurance of knowing it was there if I was flooded or we had a power cut. I missed it when I didn’t have water (including the toilet) yesterday when the plumbers came to repair my leaking waterline.

I miss not being mobile. 😦