Thursday, 18 March 2010

Bye-bye Bertie... hello Pema!

The news from the Caravan Hospital was not good.  Poor Bertie... all his appliances were too old to repair and all of them had something wrong with them.  You may notice the past tense of that sentence, because we did decide that we had to give up on Bertie the bus.  The final straw that prompted the decision was the need to have a lot of welding done to sills and wheel arches to get him through the MOT.  We lack the time or the skills to take him on as a project, so we had to let him go.

So now on to the good news.  Bertie had a good engine and from this aspect he passed the MOT without any problem, which meant that he was saleable.  We had a lot of fun in Bertie so we knew we wanted to replace him rather than give up on the idea of owning a motorhome.  On a recommendation from a friend, we contacted Knight Motorcaravans in Kidderminster and they agreed to take Bertie in part exchange without an MOT.  So on Saturday 6th March we drove up to Kidderminster in our car and had a look at their stock of motorcaravans.  The vehicle that we initially went up to look at was an S reg Mercedes Vito.  The idea was that this vehicle would be compact enough to replace both Bertie and the car.  However I felt rather uncertain about replacing my beloved and totally reliable Corsa, with an unknown vehicle five years its senior and with four times the mileage on the clock.

We took our time and had a really good look around their selection of motorcaravans.  The place is quite small, but they pack in a lot of vehicles which range in size, shape and price.  Eventually our interest settled on the vehicle that we have now bought.  It is a Peugeot Expert conversion, registered in 2003 on a 52 number plate - so pretty much the same age as our Corsa.   It has a small kitchen at the back, an elevating roof, two passenger seats with seatbelts, two swivelling front seats, and a table.  Knight Motorcaravans also agreed to take our Corsa in part exchange at a price we were happy with.  Having agreed our terms we left, with delivery arranged for a week later after the Peugeot had received a caravan and vehicle service and been MOT'd.

On Monday, two gentlemen arrived in the Peugeot Expert and drove away with Bertie the Bus (on trade plates) and Sky, the sky-blue Corsa.  I am still mourning the Corsa a little - it was such a lovely little car.  I know it is silly to get sentimental about vehicles, but I do believe that even supposedly inanimate objects respond to being cared for.  Unfortunately I have been ill all week, so I have not had the chance to bond with the van - which 'ö-Dzin has named Pema the Peugeot.  I have driven it once and it is nice to drive and surprisingly lively, being used to a 1 ltr Corsa and an ancient bus.  I must remember... I really MUST remember... that Pema the Peugeot is a sophisticated beast and drinks diesel, not petrol.

So our transport of delight continues with a new vehicle providing the transport, and our delights are quite possibly going to be more frequent.