Madrid and Barcelona via Irun

Hi guys and gals i set off tuesday week ago from oxford and headed for Bridgewater for the first delivery…and parked for the night before tiping the next day…then it was off to Cheltenham…what a nightmare…i had to go down a small country lane and negotiate a low bridge (dont worry…i checked the height before)…but this bridge was on a bend…and they had bridge supports under it cos they were doing repairs…and this narrowed the already narrow road somewhat…luckily…there was a turning to my left that i needed to swing into in order to get through the a straight line…but there was a truck waiting to come out…and i was in the way…and he was in my way…so after explaining to the driver what i wanted to do…he agreed to reverse…once i had asked the car drivers to reverse also…of course we got hooted at by the irate inconsiderate drivers…and i managed to complete my manoevre and get on my way…well i found the industrial site…and the company i wanted …of course…had no name on the building at the front…so after a difficult turn around at the end of the road i eventually managed to drive into the yard…and then i pointed out their lack of a sign and told them it could only happen in the u.k…after that delivery it was off to wolverhampton to a very large transport company called Baileys…this was my last tip.before re-loading for spainof course when i arrived i went to the office to book in…the jobsworth there asked me what time you booked i drive
dunno..what you got on drive…dunno..well i suggest you make a phone call cos there is 4 warehouses to choose from…so i made the call and was told i had chewing gum on…and i was given a reference number…well this helped a great deal cos the guy told me i was booked in for 1pm…it was now 3.30pm…and i would have to wait…hours…so give them their due…there was a shower…and restaurant facilities so i didnt mind the wait…but i eventually got tipped at 19.30…and managed to park i the next turning…with a pub opposite…and a chippie up the road…and so back door open…night heater on…off i went…but it was snowing…well it wasnt in the pub…and so after a couple i walked to the chippie…and sat back in the truck with 2 pieces of fish ( they didnt have a large piece…and enough chips to feed a family of asylum seekers…next day i managed to get back inside the firm for a hot water wash…and then awaited my instructions…the first collection was in Ilkestone…Derby…a T.D.G. site who stored for amongs others …Boots…so i collected 6 pallets for Madrid…and then headed for Avonmouth…for a further 6 pallets for a place called Fraga…which is between Zaragosa and Barcelona…so all i had was 12 pallets…half a trailer…and i was off for the boat out of Poole to Cherboug…the 23.45…which i made in good time after meeting my boss in Chievely services to collect a bit of cash and a much needed fuel card…i always manage to get the old rust bucket of a boat…or ship…never did manage to learn the difference…any one know ■■..anyway with the cabin found…a nice meal…a bottle of wine…and it was off to bed about 0100…but the crossing was rough…it kept me awake and i couldnt help thinking of a tv program i had seen about a ship that sunk after breaking its back whilst riding between two waves and sunk with all hands lost…anyway i must have dozed off for a bit for at 0600 the crew was knocking on the door for everyone to get up and go and have breakfast…which we did before embarkation…once off the old tub…it was a short drive to the edge of the port and head down for a little sleep…i set off at 0900 and made my way towards Bordeaux which would be my first overnight stop of this trip…i pulled into the services…full up…then the next parking area…full…the next services…full…it was like this for about 6 stops.and eventually headed out of the town before i found a parking place in a forest…next to the services…but all was ok and in the morning i never forgot to write this fact on the back of the tacho…i dont suppose the french will understand english swearwords anyway…but i had recorded the fact that there was no where to park and i started looking at least an hour before i needed to…the next day saw me heading for the border between Spain and France called Irun…id had my lunch and headed straight through the border and started to climb the huge mountain..which was covered in snow..the sides of the roads were full as well so i guess they must have had quite a down fall of the white stuff..i arrived in madrid and luck must have been on my side cos as i headed into town i turned off at the right place and right in front of me was the name of the road i wanted..i had to walk down this road because it looked too small for a car let alone a truck..i managed to find a security guard..and he asked me what i wanted..when i showed him the c.m.r...told me to bring the 6 boxes in..not realising it was 6 pallets..after a phone call he told me to come back on monday at it was off to find a place to park for the weekend..just down the road was a very large service station with lots of parking and a supermarket with toilets etc and a bar selling snacks as well..that will do for me mucker i thought..and found a nice ■■■■■■■■■■■■ along with other trucks of various not having been to madrid before left me short of places to go..especially where the other brits may i had no choice but to stay where i was ..even if the washing facilities were of the cold water least i had a kettle to be able to have a hot water wash if i wanted..the weather was quite warm but not warm enough for the shorts and t shirt..besides i never packed them anyway..i was content to sit in the cab and watch the car drivers as they washed their cars..this was something else..there were 10 bays each with its own wash gun..10 bays with which to leather off the cars afterwards..all under there was a wash bay if you wanted your car washed by hand..and of course the automatic bay for those less energetic..but it was an eye opener..and i couldnt help thinking that in england even just the one car wash manages to break down..i joined some others on the saturday night at the bar and stayed on the beer till 110/c and went to bed..sunday saw me walk into the town and i visited the huge department store complete with supermarket..but everything seemed so much more expensive than here in the fact all i bought in spain was cigarettes.and that was on the way out of the country at La Junquera..i managed to visit a local bar in the town and had a snack of Tortilla (omelette) in a french style stick and a beer..and went back to the hotel camion for a sunday siesta before paying my last visit to the local bar on the forecourt..i went on the whisky at this point..well they have no measures and just tip the bottle upside down and stare at the ceiling whilst pouring onto a glass of ice cubes..probably equal to 4 measures in england..i had 2 more re-fills before heading back to bed at the un-earthly hour of nine o clock..monday soon arrived, and the first problem of the trip..the red air line became entangled around the handle on the trailer..bringing me to a very quick the centre of the rush hour..across a major junction..i looked in the side locker and low and behold there was a spare, as i was i the process of changing it, and trying to get the ends off the air line with tools that wouldnt fit..along came the parking they said..■■■■■■■■ i mumbled, i am not parking…im broken down..once they saw the pieces of broken airline they drove off.leaving me in peace to finish the job..which i did after 30 minutes, and i headed back to the delivery point and once again walked down the road rather than driving..i had no choice but to park in a bus stop..all the roads were ful of cars parked and even all around the roundabouts they were parked as well..amazing..i went to the second floor of this skyscraper and spoke to the receptionist..who in turn spoke excellent english and explained that this was only an office..the delivery address was 10 miles away..i explained politely that it would make life easier for the truck drivers if they could put the delivery address on the c.m.r. when ordering goods from england..i mean it was boots england to boots spain..not difficult is it..and i told her that i could have made this delivery on saturday instead of being wekended here..her directions were excellent (for a woman)..and i went directly to the company concerned following the little map she had drawn up for me..soon i was heading for last drop of the two.this delivery was so easy that i believe i can honestly say it was the easiest of my entire career..on international work anyway.i saw the sign on the motorway..came off..stopped at the peage..and asked the attendant where the delivery was..showing him the c.m.r...over the next roundabout..on the left he gestured..and that was it..but they have jobsworths over there too..who made me give him the trailer the registration he could give me a little badge to wear whilst on site..that just amazes i had a 45 break after tipping and headed for barcelona..but stopped just outside in a service area..with lots of room away from the hustle and bustle..complete with bar..and once parked found a fellow brit from Davies..and we both headed for the bar to talk basic you do..he told me he was in the T.A. and had not long completed a tour of Baghdad..well done that man..and of course i educated him to the wonderful world of if your reading this..good luck..the next morning he was gone as i didnt get my re-load instructions until 11am..although i had missed a load in madrid..cos i was told to go there first..i ended up loading at a previous collection point.which made life a little i knew where i was was a 30 minute load.and didnt have to go into Barcelona once loaded i headed for the border of La Junquera and couldnt help thinking of all the brits who would be coming on holiday soon as i passed the signs of gerona..felieu..the costa brava etc..and hoped that it wouldnt be long before the sun started getting very warm..after a brief stop i continued through the border..and headed for the route taking me back towards Bordeaux..however i made a blunder when i tried to come off the autoroute to run back along the national roads..i was greeted by a local gendarme who politely told me to turn around and stay on the motorway..there was a 7.5.limit along most of the route..but as i was turning i must have caught yet another air line in the trailer handle..i never realised this until i approached the peage..and put my foot on the brakes and heard the sound of escaping air..brown trousers time..i had a problem stopping..but managed to..just in time.fuel card flashed..i was on my way..and being as the roads were very quiet.decided to run to Bordeaux..i took things easy and although it is normally against my better judgement..i ran to the other side of the town..mainly because i had the same parking problem as i did when on the way over hours again..i wrote on the back of this tacho as well..i found an empty parking area and stopped for the night..obviously i had to leave it in gear..for the trailer air line (yellow) also operated the hand brake all i got was a swoosh of air whenever i applied it..or the foot morning i had to get out of the cab and put the trailer brake on (manually)..i had forgotten the night before..but i normally like to fire up the engine before starting the night heater..a feat i couldnt do whilst it was parked in gear..i searched the side lockers again..and found to my excitement..yet another spare air line..a yellow one..which i promptly changed with the help of a hacksaw..a wrench.and a pair of pliers..and all this whilst boiling the kettle..i told my boss i was staying on the motorway until we get this problem sorted..a makeshift system would i suggested a few bungees..elastic stretchy things adapted to keep the airlines up higher and out of the of the problems was of course the lack of a sliding 5th wheel..this one is fixed..but i had to try and avoid roundabouts or risk the threat of yet another catastrophe..and i had no more spares..but luck was in and i made it back without mishap..i searched for diesel on the way towards the port of Cherbourg..i was told that because of intending industrial action by the french..i had to go this way..and i was 7th on the waiting there were a lot more people crossing this avoid the action..and also the problems in calais with the loading ramps..of which there were 3 people killed a couple of weeks ago..and on inspecting the other ramps found that they too were in danger of there is only one in use..however as i got closer to the port i was told that now i have a definite booking and given a reference number..i noticed that approaching some garages the price of fuel has risen fact at one garage it was showing 1.22 euro a litre.thats 90 pence..which means that its cheaper in england..i declined to fil up over there and continued towards the port on my 59p a litre spanish fuel..i arrived at the port..booked in..had a beer.and went down to the loading lanes..there was a lot of activity going on down there ..lots of police ..customs..dogs etc..and it wasnt long before i got a visit..bonjour messieur…authorisation?..this i duly showed..all in order..may we look in the trailer?..on the way they were asking do you work many trucks does he long have you worked for him..what are you carrying..etc..they climbed in the trailer.made a quick examination of the boxes..(bushes for land rover).and they were on their way wishing me a bon voyage..i did notice another trailer had the dreaded asylum seeker taken from it..and another where the dog was put in and started barking madly..but by now the queue was moving and i had to get on..i ended up in a cabin with the loudest snorer i have ever or i should say he annoyed me so much that after shouting at him loudly to SHUT UP several times..i tried to get the upstairs bunk ladder with which to hit him with..thank god it wouldnt come out of its holder for i would have killed him..this snoring lark is a serious problem..and drivers should go to their doctors and get it sorted..or face the wrath of others..and some of them maybe wouldnt be so they say..a smack in the mouth often offends` :unamused:

Another excellent story truckyboy :smiley: .

well done trucky cracking tale… i know what you mean about old tubs i was on one crossing the baltic in a gale once i just wedged myself in the bunk and laid there for 10 hrs :cry: :cry: :cry: and that ship WAS ROLLING you look at the watertight doors knowing any problems and the bridge shut them straight away and with a big list on you wouldnt be able to open them anyway.

a nice tale keep em comeing trucky,

alas my memories are being exhausted at the moment…i need inspiration…or a drink…but the big one coming is the trip to america on the 26th march…so hopefully some good tales to share with you all…rikki phoned me when i was on my way back from madrid to say the flight out has been delayed…by one minute…yes the airline actually e.mailed him to tell him that…but the good news is the flight back is running 5 minutes early…thank god for timetables eh !!

Many thanks for an excellent read,can almost feel the sun,thanks again for your tales
regards derek