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Friday, 25 November 2016

Wyre Way in sections (4), and Thursday "walk" with Pete

Wednesday 23rd November

Just for the record:  a pleasant but muddy walk starting from my last finishing point in Garstang and finishing at Great Eccleston - I caught the bus back to Garstang from there.

Approaching Lancaster Canal aqueduct from Garstang. The canal is carried over the River Wyre here.

What a superb construction that has lasted for over 200 years, and carrying water at that - unbelievable!
My route went across the aqueduct and up the canal for a hundred yards or so before branching off to follow the river again on the opposite bank

Right of way blocked. There is a huge housing development underway here on the outskirts of Garstang. 
I managed to squeeze through the metal fencing to the left and...

...continued to walk awkwardly - the way was slippery and muddy and obstructed by trees further along

St Michael's church

Toll bridge back over the Wyre to Great Eccleston and my finish - free for pedestrians


Thursday 24th November
Sometimes the course of a day can be predicable. Not so this Thursday.

Daughter Jill had phoned me last night to say her car had croaked and could she have a lift to school at Barrow so I was off at 7:00 am.

On the way back the warning lights came on Yeti again after I had only picked it up on Tuesday having payed the £780 bill - oh dear! Well, my actual unspoken language was a bit stronger than that.

I phoned Skoda at Morecambe and drove there with my Thursday walking day with Pete now under threat - It was 9:00 am - I usually pick Pete up about 10:30. I was given a horrid little Skoda Citigo courtesy car, but at least I was mobile and drove back to Arnside for Pete. We set off driving to walk on Scout Scar south of Kendal, but on the way my mobile chirped and  Skoda informed me that they had only needed to re-set the warning light system and Yeti was ready again so we turned and drove back to Morecambe.

By now I was beginning to feel disenchanted with Skoda after my ten year relationship with them, and also after reading prophets of doom here on comments on my last post. A few hundred yards from Skoda we passed Rayrigg Motors and I said jokingly to Pete, "we'll call in there on the way back and waste time with one of the salesmen."

There was no way in the world that I thought I could afford to change the Yeti for a new car, but I had been wrestling with the dissatisfaction of having a car that was out of guarantee with the potential for further costly repairs. I was shown a Kia Soul Connect 1.6 petrol demonstrator that had only done 2300 miles reduced from an original retail cost of £16,000 to £11,995.

After several enjoyable rounds of haggling with the salesman going back and forth to his boss I  reduced his original offer to change by £1000 and including £400 worth of towbar to be fitted and six months road tax. That was a bit under the maximum amount I had in mind for changing the Yeti so I signed up.

OK, it is not 4 x 4 or automatic as I would have liked, BUT it has a seven year warranty and a good service plan and is well appointed - in particular, a rear view camera in lieu of reversing sensors and cruise control, and Bluetooth hands free mobile phone facility with voice command, and above all provision of peace of mind for a number of years.

πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš—πŸš— (mine is white not red)


Roderick Robinson said...

Cars do seem to be more of a buyer's market. My previous Skoda had a two-year warranty, the one I bought in September is now up to three years. No match for the Kia, of course, but I have noticed that several makes from the Orient do offer seven years - Suzuki, for instance.

But the point I wanted to bring up is your phrase "several enjoyable rounds of haggling". I am full of awe even though I realise the enjoyment has its roots in your working life. I cannot conceive of anything less enjoyable and I'm fairly sure I'm not alone. My attitude towards the trade-in was far more wimpish; much of the preparation was remote and done on-line, centring on various dullish magazines that no one would ever read under normal circumstances (eg, What Car?). As I drove to the Skoda dealer (on the fringe of the Forest of Dean) I had one fixed idea: that unless I was offered a certain round figure on my old car I would rise out of my chair and simply walk out; haggling I fear is beyond me, on the rare occasions I've tried it I sense my body shrinking about me, my mind descending into pathos. Rapidly I become barely one-third of the man I was before entering the showroom.

Several things happened in rapid succession. The sales-person turned out to be a charming and intelligent woman in her forties of Irish stock and with whom I shared several political opinions. The round sum I had in mind was offered without my having to suggest a figure. By manipulating some dates she was able to take advantage of a nation-wide scheme by Skoda which saw a further £1000 lopped off the purchase price of the new car. And I also received a credit card with £500 of credit for spending on fuel.

The sense of relief (that I'd had to come nowhere near to haggling) was palpable but we still weren't done. During her inspection of the old car she pointed to a worn area of carpet on the driver's side abraded by my heels."You should have bought a mat," she said. I nodded. thought nothing more. Later, during the "negotiations" she suggested I might like to buy a mat for the new car and cited £40. Emboldened now I said that that was far too expensive. VR, from her expression, suggested this was a foolish economy. When the sale was completed the Irish lady with the delightful accent returned with a large plastic bag; "This fits the new Octavia and it's been reduced to £30." Still far too expensive, I said. Then I'll pay for it, said VR. And the Irish lady went to fit it on the new car, to tune the radio to BBC R3 and to attach a post-it to the filler cap reminding me that the new car ran on petrol not on diesel.

When I got into the car I discovered that VR's £30 had not bought just one tailored mat, stylishly embroidered "Octavia", but a set of four, all now installed.

This will probably be my last car, since insurance companies may well have a say about driving in the future. If so, it was was nice to have my apprehensions allayed. Oh yes, and when I play the 32 GB chip through the radio, the CD labels appear in colour on the screen.

Anonymous said...

Wow that was some day, puts Black Friday into shade. Good motoring.
However having read your brother's comment why can't all garages trade along those lines?
Not that I know anything about cars.

gimmer said...

I'm sorry to see the (once) trusty Yeti sink into the (Himalayan ?) snows - it was a good vehicle in which to be a passenger.
It always received top rank in buyer's satisfaction surveys in Which? - I never read about faulty EGR valves - which seem a bit like cam belts on Alfas - hit you where it hurts at 60,000 miles; ignore, and end up stuck with a blown engine at 3am on a wet motorway in January.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - There are endless techniques, don't get me started. One of the best is to think of a figure to change that you wouldn't expect to achieve and then tell the guy that if he can match that he's got a deal and go on from there.

Whilst my previous employment taught me much about negotiating I learnt more from selling caravans for a year after my early retirement. They were using the same methods here more or less, so I had the advantage of knowing exactly what was going on from the salesman's side when he went away each time to consult with his sales manager. I will be interested to see what happens when I put my copy of your 32gb chip into the new media system. I'm hopefully picking up the car on Thursday.


Bowland climber - Unexpected impulsive purchases and the like by me always shocked Tony - we often had a laugh about it.


gimmer - I have been fond of the Yeti, but when I have a major problem like that, coupled with rumours about the dual mass flywheel thing, or whatever it is called, I find myself loosing faith and living in anticipation of further drama. That will just not do.

gimmer said...

You mention rounds of haggling, but did you have a few rounds of the block ? - i hope your sudden conversion to oriental handling characteristics is a successful one . . .

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - Yes, I did take it for short test drive, but that is only like trying on a pair of shoes IN THE SHOP, but it seemed fine. I have found out since that it has three different settings for the steering which will be interesting. What you should understand is that if I had unlimited funds I would have probably bought a Porsche Cayenne or top of the range BMW 4 x 4. This purchase's main advantage was that it got me into a decent virtually new car which ticks about 80% of my requirement, combined with a much extended guarantee period WITHIN MY BUDGET. Limited funds force some compromise, e.g. 4 x 4 and automatic. These days I am much less interested in the finer nuances of car driving. So long as the thing goes without breaking down for the next few years so be it. Discrimination is for the wealthy?

gimmer said...

I fully understand that background: my experience of 'eastern' cars (other than sports exotica) is that their idea of good handling would have even a 1960's Renault running away with the prize (not my favourite car !) ; after your comments on the Skoda Rapid I did wonder if you were trending towards sporty again.
I had those A6 quattros far too long: despite their being fine cars, progressively rebuilding them only to have the camshafts pop was not good for the pocket or the temperament - hence since keeping to new/newer ones, as you say, within their guarantee periods.
We will see how long that policy can be sustained !
I know a man who turned down a new Cayenne for a birthday present in favour of a 2nd hand Citroen Berlingo combi - more practical ! Now there's a thing.
I'm please you have completed the WW - would have found it hard to say no to helping you celebrate with that mud fest finale !

Sir Hugh said...

I'm a way of finishing the WW. There is section 5 already posted here, and then onwards to Knott End, across the ferry and back down to Shard Bridge.