Day 3 – Santana Trophy

Madrid to La Carolina (near Linares) – 170miles

Day 3 was suppose to be an easy 270km heading south from Madrid down to a hotel near the start line ready for d-day. A quick check of the vehicles before leaving found the 110 had lost one of the three bolts that hold the alternator on, so ensued a bit of Land Rover maintenance to replace the bolt.

After a late start we began the amble southwards on the motorway, we have started to measure things in Land Rover hours now because everything just takes longer, much longer.

At lunch time the team in my support Defender 110 were complaining of a rattling at low speeds but couldn’t locate it. The 110 was sufering from waggling wing mirrors which had only been put on a few weeks ago, so we were in for a maintenance afternoon.

We arrived at the hotel at about 3:30pm, put our bags in the room then started checking the vehicles over. Having laid under my Land Rover for the best part of 6-months now i would say I am familiar with all her warts and moles, so it didn’t take long to notice something didn’t look right with the universal joint on the front prop shaft. As we slowly pushed the vehicle backwards so i could watch the prop rotate it was clear that at least one of the cups with bearings in had shattered and had meant the prop was rubbing on one of the bolts.

Uh oh this is not good, we didn’t bring any prop shaft spares figuring them to be too big and heavy. The irony is we brought enough parts to build a new Land Rover just not that bit. So a quick google finds a Land Rover dealership 40kms away which was open until 19:30 but then closed until Monday, so we pack away the stuff and take both vehicles and head off.

The Land Rover dealership were not sure what to make of two British Land Rover’s appearing out of knowhere and driving straight into their servicing bay (this is not a tourist area of Spain). We then proceeded to mime prop shaft since our Spanish didn’t quite get beyond another beer please. Ten minutes later the Defender is on the ramp being fixed, got to say not sure we would have got the same welcome and treatment from a UK Land Rover dealership. While we waited for the Defender to be fixed Stuart realised he had light and fuse issues, the dealer happily gave him a bulb and because they didn’t have any old glass fuses went to another business down the road to get him some – Above & Beyond.

€110 later and we were back on the road with a shiny new UJ joint, back to the hotel for food and to see if we could fix the 110 lights.

To say the wiring on Stuart’s 110 is interesting in an understatement, there are more connectors and wires that lead to knowhere than you can shake a stick at. So 3hrs later we have found two bad earths and a fusebox with a short circuit somewhere, but we have working lights again, time for bed.