28. Herrera Volkswagen Specialist (EN)
So, where is this technical problem at?
To put it simply, we noticed once again that the oil level was low, too low... The coolant has also emptied out overnight and is almost empty; in short, all great news!
Therefore, one mission for the day: Reach El Paso and fix this setback.
In view of the name of the city, you understand from its Spanish sound that it shares a border with Mexico. To be honest, it’s not what you would call a “beautiful” city like Dallas or Austin. In addition, as it is located on the US-Mexico border and serves as an example for the new #BuildTheWall policy of the United States. For a European, this border can be similar to the one between West-East Berlin.
But let's stay positive! Despite the technical damage, the big Bertha held on and we arrived safely in El Paso. Also, we decide to take a hotel in the city center to stay close to civilization, we should not test the devil at this point of our adventure!
So, with the comfort of a hotel comes a bathroom, king size bed, television, breakfast, Wi-Fi... #WhatElse. We also take advantage of this "luxury" to maintain our couple's flame burning and share an old-fashioned "date night". Of course, relaxation has its merits, but tomorrow, we must solve this technical problem!
However, I challenge anyone to find an honest mechanic the first time! Add to that a need for an immediate solution, just to avoid spending a week at the hotel, and the task becomes more complicated. On the other hand, if you own a Volkswagen van, these complications can be easily resolved thanks to the vast VW Vanlifers online community. Thanks to these guys with whom we share the same passion, you can get advice and recommendations during your adventure on where to repair your 20, 40 or 60 years old VW van.
By relying on the "Road Haus" website, which lists all the Volkswagen garages with the opinion of consumers, we were able to find the perfect mechanic! We thought that we were lost, but all we needed was a bit of faith in one's neighbor.
Since the van is my responsibility, I am going to meet a certain Alfonso. So I arrived with the big Bertha, to the Herrera VW Service Specialist, which seems to be The Place To Be for Volkswagen van!
Directly, Alfonso, the director of the establishment, takes me under his wing and takes care of me #GodBless. Even if he doesn't know a word of English, I can assure you that he can speak Eurovan! Despite everything, given that Emily is bilingual in Spanish, her company would have been a great help. But let's go back to the garage. After a few minutes, Alfonso's reputation seems to be the right mechanic and the mysterious leak is finally found!
Also, because of the language barrier, I have to admit that he made a real effort so that we could understand each other. Alfonso slipped under the car and took videos, which he then came to show me, to educate me on the Volkswagen mechanics. It is true that I give him a lot of praises which may seem forced, but he was so devoted to helping me, that it seemed normal to return it to him.
Subsequently, he made me understand that these repairs require the purchase of two rare pieces, at least in El Paso, and that it is possible that we remain stranded for several days!
Fortunately, it seems that my lucky star has shone once again, the two pieces are on their way! While I'm waiting, I take this time to call a few customers and don't forget to tell the good news to Emily.
About forty-five minutes later, the parts have arrived! Alfonso can get back to work and the sun is uncompromising with him but, he seems to be tireless #NoPainNoGain.
It still seems important to me to clarify the situation. The Hererra garage knows that I will not become a regular customer, it is very likely that my visit will be the only one. And yet, the garage is entirely devoted to its customers, regardless of whether they are recurrent or exceptional! After five hours of work, the big Bertha will come out completely fixed-up and this recurring problem hopefully won't happen again.
In general, just thinking about the amount of money you need to spend for the workforce might give you a headache. But, to my surprise, I leave the Herrera VW Service with a bill of $ 350! As a thank you, I even came back the next day to offer a gift to Alfonso. All work deserves wages, but a beautiful soul deserves a personal effort. At least that's my opinion.
The van is now fully repaired and we are ready to hit the road! Take note, if you ever have a technical problem and you can reach El Paso, go immediately to the Herrera VW Service, you will not be disappointed. Anyway, once the engine started, no leaks under the engine and the joy of seeing all the lights off on the dashboard, we can say that our mission was accomplished!
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