Sunday morning starter?

Nigel mentioned he had a problem with his Discovery (1). It’s a V8. Sounded like the starter motor to Adrian, so off he went to take it out for him.

It took some time when he first took ours out from the Series III many years ago, he didn’t realise that it wasn’t just two threaded bolts, but that they are allen head studs, so an allen key/socket is needed to remove them.

But with that at the back of his mind, he went over there this morning fully equipped.

‘It shouldn’t take long,’ he said. A famous Land Rover quote. With that in mind I printed off some geocaching info, although realised that was unlikely to happen.

And some three hours later, he had finally got it out. No geocaching but a successful starter motor day. When Nigel gets it fixed, he will put it back in for him.

A couple of comments. Adrian was working on the street under the Disco which is much lower down than our Series and our Santana. The three hours includes driving there, and loading and unloading tools.

It’s not a difficult job, it is awkward, it can be frustrating, and you have to clean out any crud ie oil, gunge, dirt, before you can get the allen key to fit. If anyone doesn’t know where it is, it’s under the manifold on the driver’s side.

One of the difficult things was to remove the electrical connections to the solenoid, he had to take out the starter motor before he could remove the nuts.

There was also a stud that he couldn’t see. There was one that came out of the top, one wasn’t there in the bottom (but should have been) but the starter motor still wouldn’t come out. So then he had to feel around to eventually find the third one.

Finally, the starter motor is the original factory fitted one from 1991 – even had the original cable tie holding it together. Eighteen years – not bad value for money there.

Nigel – didn’t lose patience and was great at passing the tools.


Macharaviaya .. and some travel updates

Macharaviaya is a tiny village in a cul-de-sac. Or, to be more accurate, it is not far from anywhere, but stuck in the middle of nowhere, and there is only one road in and out (unless my maps and navigation misled me)

It seems to have enjoyed good times in the 18th century when the influential Galvez family (who came from Macharaviaya) built a playing card factory there and sold the packs of cards in America. Strange tale. There is a large church in the village – San Jacinto – and a mausoleum to the Galvez family.

We went there some time ago, when we were exploring our local area. It was the sort of place that when you arrived, everyone stared at you because you were obviously so out of place. It felt rather intrusive to get out and do the whole tourist thing in somebody’s face so we cleared off.

Apparently it is home to lots of artists because of its tranquility and peacefulness. Isolation is the word.

Anyway, last month it suddenly acquired a geocache. Even more interestingly, no-one seemed bothered to dash there and claim the First to Find. We clearly haven’t quite got the geocaching bug because the first thing we did on arriving at the finca was not to dash off to Macharaviaya. In fact we had been back four days before we went to hunt down the elusive FTF – on my birthday.

Now while we had been before, my memory had clearly hazed over the detail. I remembered rolling hillsides covered with olive trees. I did not remember a vertiginious narrow road (it had actually improved since our first visit) that snaked along the top of the ridge with steep drops on either side and hugged the precipitious hillside on the ascents and descents.

‘Oh that’s it down there isn’t it?’ said my helpful chauffeur.

‘I don’t know and I’m not looking,’ I said, eyes firmly fixed on the reassuring hillside to the right of me, rather than the vomit-inducing drop to the left.

Pretty place, nice location, great views …………. but if you have problems with vertigo and heights – be warned.

The cache was fun. I was glued to the GPS and announced we were getting near. A convenient parking spot appeared and we pulled in. We set off down the road and I suddenly realised we were getting further away from the cache. We turned round – and realised we had parked right next to the location. Duh.

It was well hidden and in a good spot. I hope other people take the time to go and find it.

Other Landy travelling news: well, we have now tried out all the toll road stretches between Gib and Málaga. The toll road between Sotogrande and Estepona costs 2.90€ and in my opinion is not worth taking. Plus it has some horrid viaducts and tunnels. Even more horrid than normal. And the alternative coast road is pretty and usually not busy.

On the toll road between Marbella and Fuengirola, the cafe/restaurant at Los Altos de Marbella does great sandwiches – we got a bocadillo de tortilla para llevar (to take away) and it was great. They really had some excellent looking tapas too: some potato salad, a salad with tomato, onion and olives, and yet another delicious looking vegetarian one.

Down side, it is increasingly busy at this rest area at the moment, and the once tidy and clean toilets are no longer immaculate.

The rest area on the toll road that by-passes San Pedro is pretty quiet, and a great place to stop. I’ve only used the shop, so maybe I need to test out the bar food next time. It was pretty busy today though. The car parking area was quiet though.

Oh, and we sat in the border queue for half an hour today. No idea why. A first for us, we have usually been incredibly lucky with no queues.