A Big Red Addition to the Family

I don't know whether statistics exist that inform on the average number of cars that someone owns within their lives. I suspect that if they do, there is a chance that I'm slightly above average with twenty-five vehicles in twenty-seven years of driving.

I've been fairly brand loyal with half of those being BMW's. But the adventurous side in me has led to some experimentation with two each of SAAB, Mercedes, Ford and Mazda and a solitary Renault, Fiat, and Morris. Lastly, who can forget my trusty Land Rover which accompanied me on my Galician adventures in 2011...certainly not the locals who still talk fondly of the blue goddess and her breakdown exploits, whenever I visit.

Tomorrow heralds the arrival of a new chariot, and he’s already got a name, I’ve decided to call him Hercules.

When I was a young teenager there were three vehicles that I always wanted. While I’m sure that normal teenagers had posters of Ferrari, Porsche or the hottest of hatchbacks on their bedroom walls, you’ve probably already guessed from four years of blogging, I’m not particularly normal.

My teenage dreams were of climbing behind the wheel either a BMW or two totally utilitarian vehicles; a Land Rover, and a Ford Transit. Peer through my executive saloon facade and you’ll soon find that a frustrated hippy is lurking inside, just waiting to get out.

Previous blogs have detailed my, not entirely successful, Land Rover escapades, but my van itch was still to be scratched...until now.

HerculesAfter investigating a multitude of options for getting our chattels and treasures to northern Spain I came to the conclusion that the most practical and exciting was to buy a van. I’d then make a couple of road-trips through France and northern Spain before finally bringing the vehicle back to the UK to re-sell it later in the year.

The advantages, in my mind at least, were many; we get to leisurely transfer our stuff to Spain; clear the house in the UK of junk so that I can decorate it before we put it on the market; have the use of a van for the first couple of months in Galicia; and above all...to have a couple of brilliant adventures. As I’ve said since the start of the Galician project, it is ‘all about the journey, not the destination’.

Extensive internet research convinced me that I was going to have to sacrifice my Ford Transit dreams and seek out a Mercedes Sprinter with a diesel engine and a long wheel base. With some excitement, tomorrow I collect a 2004, deep red, LWB Sprinter from a dealer in Bury with just two weeks to spare before the first planned excursion.

He, for a van must surely be masculine, has been given the name Hercules due to being 3.5 tonnes with a load capacity of around 1,200 kg. I’m now trying to work out how much we can get on the first trip without being over laden when we inevitably get pulled over by the police, gendarmerie, or guardia civil (or possibly all three).

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