I’m coming to the conclusion that there isn’t a nasty, unpleasant or even bad tempered person in the whole of Galicia, be they Gallego, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Ecuadorian or English, and what a great place it is as a result.
As you can probably tell from my ‘what a wonderful world’ opening paragraph, I have got the Landy back, well before I expected it and for much less of a financial dent in my pocket than I had feared.
Fear of not getting the car repaired before needing to set off for the ferry from Bilbao in a weeks time had me awake at the crack-of-dawn (around 8:30am) and on the Internet. I found two possible in-country suppliers with the required part at a reasonable price and rather than try and explain myself on the phone I elected to go to the garage in Castropol, a thirty minute drive, and give them the details face to face. On arrival the mechanic (called Domingo – Sunday) was out but his nice receptionist took the details from me, smiled sympathetically and said she’d call when she had news, knowing I was stressing about the time it was likely to take to get the part to this Spanish outpost.
I’d been at the house for a couple of hours when my Spanish mobile rang. The receptionist explained that the work was ‘finished’. My initial thoughts were that the ‘car’ must be ‘finished’ as in not going anywhere anytime soon, but I double checked and she did mean that the work had been done. The total cost was just under 150 euros, and I was a happy man.
On arrival at the garage this afternoon to collect the Landy, Domingo explained that it was a reconditioned part off a Landrover TDi but that the universal joints were both new and it should be fine for another 100,000 kilometres. When I had visited that morning he’d already set off for Lugo to collect it but the receptionist didn’t want to get my hopes up in case it wasn’t any good. I think he ‘pushed out the boat’ for me and did everything he could to get me back on the road. He was nice, and his receptionist was nice too.
I’ve had help over the last couple of days from Stephen and Neil and they are both nice, happy to give freely of their time and assistance, and drop what they were doing to come to my assistance. Galicia must attract a nice type of Brit.
Dolores heard about my troubles and called offering assistance, and Pepe passed me on the road to Ribadeo when I broke down on Wednesday and stopped twice to see if he could help.
The friend of Stephen with the SEAT garage in Ribadeo could tell a motorist in distress and was very kind to hire me his courtesy car. When I returned it today he gave me his personal mobile phone number and offered help in the future should I ever need it.
Carlos is nice, so is his Mum. Miro and Elena are really nice, and the young couple and their kids from Madrid who have a holiday home in Liñeiras were nice. And all my builders have been nice.
Forget the spectacular countryside, the great food, the fabulous local wine. Come to Galicia because everyone is nice. Even the policeman who stopped me and checked my documents Vegadeo, and the woman I accidentally reversed into in Pontenova were nice!
What’s the betting that I find someone ‘nasty’ tomorrow?