Jensen Monday Club

Day 12: The Journey Home


Top Touring Tip 11: Ignore any odd noises from the car. It WILL be all right!

Well here we are. After 18 months of planning, saving, and getting the car ready, it was time to go home. It had been a long gestation for a relatively quick and painless birth, with only the forceps delivery of the gearbox to add a little drama.

We didn't even need the smack on the arse.

We sat in the conservatory of the Astoria hotel in Ghent a little dejected. It had been such fun, and such a good time that going back to day jobs and the real world was not going to be easy. Why couldn't we win the lottery and spend the rest of our lives touring the world in a Jensen?

S'not fair!

To lighten the mood I told Chris of the first time I had stayed in the Astoria. The owners wife had served breakfast in a leather bustier, leather mini skirt, and thigh length boots, and had been affectionately nick named "Madam Whiplash". She brought the toast to the table and said to my mate Braggy:

"Knob of Butter?"

Without blinking an eye he replied:

"Mind your own Business"

We all fell head fist into the cornflakes laughing.

The hotel owner had a classic Mercedes, but he was hugely impressed by the Jensen and brought his mate out to have a look, so we had a 15 minute question and answer session on the car as we did the pre flight checks.

All the fantastic packing Chris had done before we went was now in disarray from the German police search and getting the tools out of the car to fix the gearbox.

It was with a heavy heart that we left Ghent and headed for the Channel Tunnel. We used the time to recap on our adventure, and relive some of the things we had seen and done, which reduced us to tears of laughter.

We had spoken to Mehmet Payne the night before and he had told us of the awful weather the UK was having. We were still enjoying T shirt weather, so it seemed all the more depressing going home.

Still, we had got in flight catering of to a fine art, and Chris did a bit of scoff to cheer us along.

Note the napkin. How civilised is that?

We were soon back into France and picked up the signs for "Tunnel Sous La Manche"

As if compelling us to stop, the speedo gave up the ghost. Should we check into a hotel, order a new speedo, on a VERY slow delivery, and have a few more days....

It turned out to be the drive cable, so it would have been a very long wait!

When we arrived at the tunnel there was a train due almost immediately, so we just had time to get some duty free shopping in. When we came back we found this.

It turned out to be a split radiator, but we didn't even bother opening the bonnet as we knew the old girl wouldn't let us down, and she didn't, and we soon saw the signs for Blighty.

Other than being back on the right side of the road (the left side!) the journey home was uneventful. We stopped for fuel and saw that water was running out of the front of the car, but we were international, transcontinental, drifters, and a puddle of water was nothing to us, so on we went regardless.

Chris dropped me home to my place in the sticks in Worcestershire.

Chris had said he was never going to clean the car again, the grime, and dirt being a medal for service up and above the call of duty, but she was absolutely leaping!

The interior was not much better, with bags of dirty washing getting very ripe in the heat!

I put down my hand woven, silk on silk carpet in the front room, and when I came back I found Boo the dog and Mulder the cat enjoying it. *** Euros for them pair to lounge around on!

Chris made the 45 minute journey back to his house, and 136-8801, after 5000 plus miles, 14 countries, and 1 gearbox, was back home!

P.S Chris didn't keep to his word about not cleaning the car. I went round a few days later to pick up some stuff and it was all shiny again!


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