FOR SEQUELThe Continuing Tale of the Fabulously Fantastic Alfa Romeo

It's 1983 and here I am, in Andorra, trying to sell the fabulously fantastic Alfa Romeo. With our imminent departure for the United States, and the upsy downsy interpretations of Spanish regulations, I decided it best to go over the border to try and sell the fabulously fantastic Alfa Romeo. Or, at least get rid of it somehow. Nobody in Andorra wants to buy it from me, not even for parts. I guess I can't blame them. This poor car has a really odd pedigree - an Italian car, manufactured in Brazil for export to Poland.  Somehow, it ended up in Heidelberg, Germany where we purchased it.

I have to think really hard to try and come up with a solution of what to do next. No matter how hard I think, I can't come up with any solution!  In the end, I do what drivers do best - I drive. I just drive up the Pyrenees. Up and up and higher and higher I go.

I climb so high that there is no longer any vegetation. I climb so high that the road peters out to just a goat trail. Oops. I've been thinking so much about what to do with the car that it's  somehow escaped me that I'm driving too high up the mountain.

Now I have another problem to think about - how to get back down the mountain!  The trail is too narrow to do a three point turn. There is no guard rail. The only thing to do - is to reverse down the mountain.

I hug the back of the passenger seat with all the passion and strength of someone about to meet her doom. All the while my neck is twisted, straining to see where I'm going. Where am I going? Down would be good. Over the mountainside down into the valley, not good. Concentrate. Just follow the dirt road, low gear, feet in control, calmly guide the steering wheel.

I try not to look down the mountain into the abyss below. I think of only one thing, reversing down the mountain, however slowly I have to do it. There's nobody around. Imagine if I fall off the mountain?! Who would find me? When would they find me? What about the car? It has come all the way from Brazil to Germany, to Spain, to Andorra. I owe it to make sure it stays in one piece.  Don't I?

Maybe not. Must be the high altitude that's weakening my brain.

I make it far enough down to where the goat trail becomes a sort of a road. Suffice to say, there's enough space if I breathe in, to turn the car around. Not much room for error, but, tired of reversing I figure it's now or never. Three point turn! Here I come! I pull sharply on the wheel, bring the car horizontal, bumper bumping the mountain. Rev up gently, move forward deftly, without zooming over the mountain. Reverse once more, swerving. Let's get the hell out of here!

This Alfa Romeo talks to me. It's been enjoying the drive up the mountain, the exhilaration of the mountain air, the fun of reversing down a mountainous trail, and finally, the thrill of the race downhill. And here was I, not so long ago,  calling it nothing but a pest.

What to do with this fabulously fantastic Alfa Romeo?   TO BE CONTINUED








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