Camino minus 14 – A Fast Driver Prepares for a Slow Walk

Today was probably the last chance I’d have to take the car out for a spin before I leave for the trip.
I’m not a car nut. I don’t know anything about cars and I don’t like taking care of cars. I like cars that effortlessly take me from point a to point b with little input from me, except my applying gravity to the gas, brake and clutch as needed.
We have a spacious mini-van that has been amazingly useful and comfortable here.
But I also have a nice little car.
DH got it for me years ago after having spent the previous 20 years driving mini-vans. Moms on the go with kids, pets, and constantly changing households need mini-vans.
But my little secret weapon has no power anything. We upgraded the sound system to a cassette player when we first got it.
The passenger seat always flops back during a trip, although it always feels sturdy when you lean against it. Therefore, the car only really seats one, although it is a two-seater, and I think one of the kids once rode in the space behind the seats when we first got her. It has a rack on the trunk for luggage since the trunk is only big enough for the battery.
It is an orange 1978 fiat convertible.
It has spent years in storage when we were overseas and couldn’t take it with us. It has spent years, I suppose, in the shop becoming street worthy.
There is nothing like driving it along the highway, being passed by cars, buses, trucks, horse wagons, carts, and Vespas, with the wind in your hair, windows down, just you and the open road.
Did I mention that the visor refuses to stay up and blocks your vision every few feet?
Today was the last day to take her out (is it a her? I’m not sure) and let her rip on the fast lane. And, on the Autobahn, the fast lane has a whole new meaning.
But, although the sun was shining and the birds were singing, the tank was full and the to-do list was done (not so much done, actually, as ignored), my hope of a last time out was not to be.
Tomorrow is a German holiday. I didn’t realize that this meant that all of Germany would be on the road today. During the day.
Every road was jammed up. Whether vast highway or tiny local road, exit ramps, turn lanes, whatever, no one was going fast in any direction. I saw people jockeying for space in a driveway.
Instead of feeling the wind in my face, I felt my heart in my throat as I watched the temperature gauge slowly climb up, up, up. Click, there goes the fan. Is the temp gauge holding steady? Great, here’s another stop light. And a bus. And a truck, all trying to get into my lane.
I had to go the most roundabout routes I’ve taken yet to try to get a few fast miles out before heading home. She did well, smooth and quiet, obedient yet anxious to peak into a turn, her low body ensuring that the tires stuck to the ground.
A fun run.
But it’s over. Tomorrow the packing must start in earnest. It will rain. And I am almost at the point where I can count hours rather than days before departure.
The street outside is quiet. It would be nice to take her out in the night. But other needs have taken the place of the need to get on the road one last time.
That will be one of the pleasures I will have waiting for me when I return.

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2 responses to “Camino minus 14 – A Fast Driver Prepares for a Slow Walk

  1. Today is Christ’s Ascension, a national holiday also. Many Germans can take tomorrow as a bridge day, a day off work, mostly using comptime, and have 4 days off work this way. I am very glad to read that your little car did not give up!! I very much look forward to read often from the camino! Yours Gudrun

    • Hi, Gudrun! Yes, I knew that today was a holiday. But I didn’t know that so many people took yesterday off, also, LOL!! Tomorrow should be quite a day, too. Thanks for following along 🙂

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