Tuesday December 9th 2008

We have all finally arrived safely in Romania with the Christmas shoeboxes. And all round the trip has not been problem free, but each time we have managed to cope with it.

The minibus arrived first with Phil, Martin and Rose (me). Our trip has had a few problems the weather delayed the boat by half a day, then the battery collapsed on us and we managed to limp to a French service station just before it shut to buy a new battery at the high price of 107 euros, but we were desperate as the lights were like glow-worms! We expected that had solved the problem, but no! By lunch time on Sunday we realised the new battery was flattening that had to mean the alternator was faulty (which was undoubtedly the problem all along). So now we have a new alternator as well and the minibus has gone just great since then.

The lorry too was affected by the weather they left later than planned also, but when Ian and Chris (the drivers) arrived at St Malo they found a flat battery and a cloud of smoke when the tried to start it. The battery connections were loose. All very concerning and we suspect that while it was waiting in the park at St Malo someone must have tampered with the new batteries (new in April) what gives it away is the loose connections as we know they were checked and fine on leaving. But after that they had no more problems.

Sadly Pam has a respiratory infection and to her disappointment she was too unwell to come. It is such a shame as she could not come last year as illness in the family made her decide against travelling.

Because in the minibus, we have the over-flow boxes of shoeboxes from the trailer we had no space to pick people at Budapest airport, so Alex collected them instead.

We are all safely in our rooms at the hotel at Cefa and should be ready for a busy day tomorrow, unloading the lorry and then distributing shoeboxes.




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