Miles travelled: TBC
Weather: 28ºC – Cloudy with sunny spells
Today we mostly listened to: Paul Simon (Today), Tunisian music in the front of a recovery vehicle (yesterday)
Although Tunis is quite a nice place we woke yesterday glad we were going to get moving. We picked up Monty from the garage at about 3pm, the new clutch had been fitted and we were ready for the road.
Then the noise came back, not the same noise but more of a heavy squeaking. Eager to get on and convinced it couldn’t be the clutch we pushed on. 37 miles later there was a big bang then a lot of rattling from under the footwell and looking in my mirror and seeing a large piece of metal skipping along the motorway confirmed we had a big problem.
We pulled into the side of the road, which isn’t a safe place on an English motorway let alone a Tunisian one. I walked back up the carriage way and picked up the missing piece which was part of the front Universal Joint off of the front prop shaft.
We now know that the Universal Joint had sheared off of the prop shaft leaving it spinning with the wheels and beating against the foot well and chassis, not a good situation at all.
With no form of recovery in Tunisia we were stranded at the side of the road and it was getting dark so we phoned nice man at the Land Rover parts shop. He listened to the problem and told me to stop being such a girl and fix it. I’d already found out that the car would still move forward with Diff lock engaged but because of the loose prop shaft made a huge amount of noise and was damaging the chassis so we decided to remove the whole front prop shaft and drive back to Tunis with Diff lock engaged essentially just using the rear wheels.
Being beside a car on the side of a motorway is risky but being underneith one is even more perilous so I tried to be as quick as possible while Charlie looked out for anything that might hit us. I was onto the last bolt when a dude turned up, apparently in Tunisia if you break down you just wait and eventually someone will come with a truck and pick you up. Being taken back to Tunis with a local was a much better sounding idea than driving a damaged Monty back so we obliged.
To say that it was depressing to be in a break down lorry going back to Tunis is a bit of an understatement but we were and there wasn’t a lot we could do about it. We phoned the garage and he agreed to stay open for us. A quick look back at the garage showed it was relatively simple to fix. We booked into a hotel and went to bed.
Monty was fixed (again) this morning by 12pm and we set of again. It’s going to take quite a few trouble-free miles before we feel confident in Monty again and as we drove along the motorway out of Tunis every bang squeek and wobble made us a tad nervous.
The day went well and we got a fair few miles behind us, we’re now in Sfax and ready to tackle the Libyan border tomorrow.