Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ryanair to La Rochelle

I have never flown on Ryanair and we were supposed to fly with them to La Rochelle. I say "supposed to" because we never made it there. I am actually typing this from my house in Coventry. I guess I am lucky because I nearly died today. If it sounds dramatic, it isn't.

We started off around 2pm from our house in Coventry on our way to Standsted airport. As we were about to go off from M6 to A14, I suddenly saw this truck on my left slowing inching towards me. I was in the middle lane and I was well within my lane. The truck continued overtaking the truck in front and was going to hit me. I moved to the right. All this happened in a few seconds and I didn't even have time to horn. I think the driver didn't see me but he actually nudged me into the fast lane. At the speed we were going I almost hit the metallic road divider. Fortunately there wasn't any car in the fast lane or there would have been a major accident today involving our family.

I overtook the truck and gave a few angry bursts of my horn but it just drove away as if nothing had happened. Stopping later along the A14 I actually noticed scratches on the front passenger door meaning it had actually scrapped me. That's not the end of the story. A few miles later I started hearing some noises coming from the engine and experienced a loss of power. I also noticed the temperature gauge rising. Before long smoke started pouring from underneath the car bonnet. The engine died and I used the momentum of the car to pull over to the hard shoulder.

The scratch

Called up the RAC and had a hard time describing our location. Fortunately I suddenly realised we had our TomTom and was able to tell them our rough location. They told us that their roadside recovery vehicle would be with us in about an hour. The place we had stopped was not the ideal of place as it was overgrown and sloping down into some wheat fields. So we took some of the stuff and moved to the parking area about 200 yards away.

The RAC guy arrived about half an hour later and found out that the engine had blown a gasket and the coolant was flowing out the exhaust. He ultimately towed us to the Premier Inn Hotel in Kettering. I had tried calling a few guys but the only one I got through was our landlord. We had hoped that we would be able to reach the airport in time as the flight was at 7:30pm while the RAC guys towed our car back home.

To cut a long story short, with the help of our landlord we finally reached the airport around 7pm and as expected, the Ryanair guys had closed the counter. The next flight was tomorrow same time but we would have to pay £50 pounds each for four of us. We were tempted to take the tickets but that would mean staying at a hotel nearby. The cheapest rates for a hotel nearby was £185 for a family room without breakfast. That was it. We finally decided to go back home.

I never got the chance to fly Ryanair and as for La Rochelle, maybe later one day.

It was tiring and sad but I am glad that we came back home alive. I am also really lucky to have such a great landlord. Thanks for everything Sajad.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tamo,

Ima told us about how things went that day- very sorry to hear that. But like you said, you guys came home safe and that was the best thing as things could have been worst. Glad to hear that you guys are still going and after all the mishaps, this trip better be worth it!

Jules, Jade & Fred

*lynne* said...

yikes!! pity about the missed trip, but I think being safe and sound is a much better situation!!!!!


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