Wildfire seen from my home on August 13th,2016 in Souto Rebordoes, Portugal. There is music played from church nearby and this makes the scene even more eerie.
In San Sebastian, Spain close to the French border, I was looking to find a Lidl store. My smartphone showed me two Lidl´s, one close by were I just was. I was driving around to find it and was looking for the typical Lidl with a big sign and large parking lot. But it was in the middle of the city with small streets and lots of traffic. I asked two or three people where the Lidl is nearby, everybody said around the corner. But I still couldn´t see a Lidl sign. At the end a lady I asked again said come with me I show you the store. And there it was. I must have driven by there several times, the sign was so small and it was not lit, it was a Sunday evening. The lady said its not open today. I told her I knew. I need to go there tomorrow morning for beer and dog food. At that evening I went to a Tapas bar for a beer and tapas. San Sebastian is a very beautiful city, expensive and very busy. Every street sign is written in two languages, Spanish and Basque, which doesn´t make it easier to navigate through. Well next morning I got my Beer and Melvins Food. The beer in Spain is very cheap and it was on sale too. A 0,33l can for 0.20 cents, so I got enough for my trip through France for a week, where beer is more expensive, in fact all is more expensive there.
Coming from Santiago de Compostela with sleepovers in Lugo and Gijon after long driving along the beautiful Costa Verde, we arrived late in the evening in Bilbao. Next morning was a Sunday and beautiful weather to see the famous Guggenheim Museum and enjoying the park. Leaving Bilbao in the afternoon trough the mountainous area of the Basque Country always on small country roads to busy San Sebastian, which is the European Capital of Culture in 2016.
I wanted just to change my coat and stepped outside the Ape. Back in, starting a gain, the gas throttle was gone. Wow.. what´s next.? I used a little plier to dismantle the lose cable from the coating to pull out the gas cable and drove for 25 km to the next city trigging the gas with a plier!! Next morning I went to a Cafe Bar to ask for a repair shop. Ramon the young man behind the bar told me there is a repair shop just around the corner next to the church. I found the place and waited one hour till 9 am. The owner came and I told him about my problem. He said just wait. He pulled out of his garage about eight cars to tend to my problem. First I waited and then he said it´s complicated to replace the gas cable. So we went for a walk for 4 hours to come back at 1 pm. It was done, the bill was just 50 €!!!!. For four hours work with assistence of his employee. !!!
The church of Padron, Spain next to the repair shop, just before Santiago de Compostela
On the 29th of February 2016 we started a trip with an Ape 50 to see Matt in Bad Ems, Germany. In six weeks we drove 5000 km throughout Portugal, Spain and France. The Ape 50 is a three-wheel vehicle with maximum speed of 40 km/h. The Piaggio Ape sometimes referred to as Ape Piaggio, Apecar, Ape Car or just Ape, is produced since 1948 by Piaggio. You have to remember that this is a vehicle which you cannot use to go on the „Autobahn“. You have to use secondary and third class roads. Driving through cities, neighborhoods, villages and countrysides on forests-and field roads. Once in France the field road ended up in a river. Point of return. Without the Nokia HERE Navigation app on my cellphone, this trip would not have been possible, also that the Ape was almost brandnew. I bought it used with just 2000 km. The only problem I had was that the „Gaskabel“ broke. Fortunately I had already passed the busy city of Vigo in Spain and it occurred on a street outside the city.
Cabo da Roca & Ursa Beach in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Portugal