What was supposed to be nice day, became a terrible day. We had nice and relaxed morning, and wanted to visit a nearby village to go to the local market. I wanted to buy fresh local foods to make some wonderful Italian dinner, and at the same time enjoy the surroundings and make pictures.
Before we even left the dirt road, we got a flat tire. Ramon managed to drive to the main road, and then tried to fix the tire. But a sharp stone from the dirt road made a huge tear, one that couldn’t be fixed with the repair kit. So we had to call Audi-service. And from there on in, everything turned from bad to worse.
We had to wait for over 5 hours in the hot sun, on a street that felt like molten lava, until a pick-up arrived. A roughed up small Italian man, who was pretty irritated by the fact some stupid Dutch people couldn’t even fix a flat tire, scratched through his un-brushed, un-washed hair, when he saw the tear of at least 7 cm wide.
After some irritated conversation with the Audi service, he waved us with heavy gestures and very broken English-Italian to jump into his car, and loaded our car onto his truck. I couldn’t believe this truck was going to bring us save and sound to the dealer 40 miles from where we were stranded. Everything squeaked when we sat down next to the driver. A terrible scent of sweat and body odor filled the cabin, even with both windows rolled down because of the heat. No seatbelts where available, and Kuzco and Malha had to sit on our laps. Even though his totalizer was stuck at 15mph, we were thrown from side to side racing through the steep hairpin bends. Ramon sat in the middle with Malha on his lap, trying to hold his balance, and I sat next to the fully rolled down window because of the lack of air-conditioning, holding Kuzco ears tight to his face, scared of a possible ear infection. That would just be our luck…
Once at the Audi dealer, luck still wasn’t on our side. Ramon had to pay for two tires they needed to replace, because otherwise we would have to wait three more days for them to order the specific tire it needed, with no car replacement. Very conveniently the salesman acted like he didn’t understand a word Ramon was trying to say, and made his very best, we would feel like a burden with two dirty dogs who drooled over his ‘clean’ office floor, while we waited when they switched the tires.
Almost 8 hours later we could drive back home to the monastery. Totally run down, angry, sad and tired we dropped ourselves in the lounging chairs after a simple dinner at home. We got a bottle of Grappa containing at least another four glasses, from the owners. Such a nice gesture! A nice way to end a terrible day. I enjoyed the nice strong taste of the alcohol that washed away the bitterness of the day, but Ramon didn’t seem to let it go so easily. His heavy frown stayed put. We promised each other, tomorrow we would make it up to the doggies, by going to one of the dog friendly beaches. I took a last sip of the Grappa, and even though I worried about Ramon, I was looking forward to tomorrow. This was just a minor setback, that’s all.