Road on the way up the south bank of the Geithellnaa

Landrover Breakdown

Woke up very early this morning in a terrible sweat. We all brought winter down sleeping bags from Rab before we left, but that is now looking like a poor choice. The sun is hot on the tent at 3am. Surely this weather and good fortune cannot last.

Rear diff plate of the Landrover off

We set off in the morning for the Geithellnaa, a river we ran in 1989, and a road on which we broke the front spring hanger of our Landrover. Driving up the track to the put in on the Geithellnaa is almost as tricky as paddling down the river. It is also much further up the valley than I remembered. We get to a small rise in the road and the Landrover suddenly stops wanting to go forward. We get out and check, the front wheels are spinning, but the back are not…. Hmmmm we are another victim of the Geithellnaa track.

It is now midday, and we have worked out that one of the rear half shafts has sheared off. We are well prepared though, and have a spare, although none of us has fitted one before, we pull out the Haynes Manual and set to work. The main problem is that the sheared off end is stuck in the back differential, so we have to remove the other half-shaft and poke the bits out. Almost sorry that it was not the front half-shaft that had gone, Alan, from Alan’s Landrover Spares in Sheffield promised to personally come and repair a broken front half-shaft. By 16:30, we are ready to set off again, leaving a bit of an eco-disaster on the road behind us.

Broken Salisbury rear half-shaft

Tom is feeling a bit under the weather, and retreats to bed, while Andy and I take a look around the valley. It is so sunny and warm, we take a quick dip in a side stream, and despite the freezing water, we come out cleaner than we went in.

We have made it to the top of the river though, and are ready to paddle tomorrow.  Fingers crossed the river will be simpler than the road.