So after making ourselves homeless in Cyprus and heading back to the UK to wait for all our belongings we had shipped home to arrive and store at Dave's house near Aberdeen we took the opportunity to spend some time with all the family.
It was Dave's birthday whilst in the Aberdeen so a surprise party was arranged with nearly all the kids and grandkids managing to make it up for the party and the whole weekend. It was a good time with lots of laughing, catching up and spoiling the grandkids.
After all the fun and games it was time to start getting on with the jobs we wanted to complete whilst we were home. We had decorating, gardening and shed repairs to complete and also took a chance to help out Ryan and Alex with their house rebuild, fitting TV aerial and helping to move their stuff from Dave's house to their own.
Angela sorted out maintenance for her house which is rented out. This should hopefully mean no real dramas at home whilst we are travelling.
As for all our belongings, they arrived in Aberdeen the day after we flew out of Aberdeen to London and Yeovil. A 3 week delay in Limassol due to industrial action over the port privatisation then a week for customs to release our stuff once it arrived in the UK and then the truck taking 5 days to drive from Ipswich to to Aberdeen conspired against us and it was left to Angela's kids to receive our belongings and get them put away.
After leaving Aberdeen we flew down to stay in Yeovil for a few days with the other kids Daniel and Ellie and also catch up with Zak who Dave had not seen since he left Cyprus in October 2016.
The time spent in Yeovil did not disappoint with Zak certainly remembering us both and acting like a lunatic then a day spent up at Longleat Safari Park and House. As we had a rental car we gave the monkey enclosure a miss which going by the state of some of the cars this was a good choice and saved us our £1000 excess.
The following day we went out and explored the Jurasic Coast visiting amongst others West Bay of Broadchurch fame.
Finally it was time to head back to Cyprus. So early Sunday morning we drove up to Heathrow and caught our flight to Cyprus. We collected a few items we had left with friends and headed to our small rented apartment for 8 days until we leave for #thebigtrip2017.
Monday we should have been collecting Wilson who had been in at F&E 4x4 in Paphos getting a new gearbox fitted and a few other jobs done whilst we were back in the UK.
However Monday morning it was found the water pump had failed so a new one was fitted. and we would collect Tuesday morning.
But this was followed by the Oil Cooler leaking. The Land Rover dealer on the island had a gasket in stock in Nicosia so this was couriered to Frank and Liz at F&E 4x4. Sadly it did not turn up as it was lost in transit by the courier.
Additionally in our apartment we could not get the washing machine to run. Dave checked the meter and straight away spotted the problem, the meter was removed so clearly the owner had not paid his water bill. We therefore had no mains water and had been draining the tank on the roof since we arrived. The bill was paid and a meter replaced that afternoon but now we had mains water but no water through our taps. The roof where the tank is situated was locked so we needed to get a key. Finally the pump had tripped due to the tank being empty. A quick reset and we were back in business.
The Gasket not turning up was not such a big problem or so we thought, as the Land Rover Dealer also had one in their Limassol Garage. This was sent out by courier and they lost this one also, how incompetent can they be, only 2 gaskets on the island and the courier has lost them both!!!
It was now Thursday morning and with no more gaskets available on the island and our ferry etc booked for Monday evening things were desperate. Dave spent the morning phoning around suppliers in the UK to see if one could be sent out on an overnight delivery
but no one will guarantee an overnight service to Cyprus.
Meanwhile Liz whilst also chasing the couriers and the Land Rover Dealer added a gasket to her regular order which will arrive Monday or Tuesday. Too late for us to catch the ferry but at least we know one is on its way so Dave started looking into if we can reschedule our ferry booking.
With all this going on and not being able to prep Wilson we got on with continuing trip preparations and planning. Sorting what boxes we could and collecting the Green Card Insurance etc to cover the trip. Funnily enough the Green Card is not green and is just a memorandum to the insurance to cover the countries we intend to visit.
On Thursday at around 3 o clock Liz called to say 1 of the gaskets had been found by the courier and they would collect it Thursday night and install it Friday morning (tomorrow). Finally a chance to relax a little although until the job is complete we will not be comfortable.
We went to a local bar and had a couple of beers to try and chill out.
So far because of a €20 gasket we have had to extend car hire until the end of the week but hopefully we will not need to extend it further, or extend our apartment rental or pay to reschedule or replace our ferry tickets.
So tomorrow is a new day full of hope that we will finally get Wilson back. But based on the last few days we will not take anything for granted.