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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Klaus Hurting in Belgium

Klaus parked at Omaha Beach
It is too soon to give details, but we are temporarily stalled in Belgium, following Klaus' overheating in two intense traffic jams yesterday.  We had hoped to have dinner with Raluca T. and her mother in Breda, NL, but in Lille the traffic was stop-and-go for about 40 minutes, and Klaus' temperature gauge went into the red.  But, as soon as we could again go to cruising speeds, it returned to normal.  Then we got to Antwerp, and spent over an hour in the snarl.  I had taken the wheel, so that if Klaus had a further problem, it would be I and not Alex who would be responsible for not stopping.  Hence, it was all my fault that we had to have Klaus towed off of E19 into Brasschaat, Belgium, at 7:00 PM last night.

We have not yet determined the extent of Klaus' illness.  We know that the electric fan that is supposed to keep air flowing through the radiator in such slow conditions was not functioning.  That may explain the initial problem.  But now, I fear that the water pump may also have failed.  Also, the water that flowed from the boiling radiator did not have a glycol odor, so I suspect that he had only water in his radiator, and not the 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze that is recommended.  That may have left the water pump un-lubricated, causing it to fail.  Finally, at the last, Klaus would die at idle, and ran only roughly.  Not good signs, at all.  A blown gasket is quite likely, and possibly worse.

Klaus has been a loyal supporter of the European adventures that I have reported here and in my earlier blog.  I hope that we can get him healthy again.  But if not, he owes me nothing.  He has done his duty.

For now, we McDougalls are stalled on our journey.  But, we are taking it in stride.  It is nothing when compared with the Battle of the Bulge, which happened here in Belgium during Basil's time here.  And, we are comfortably ensconced in a good motel with a fine restaurant, a far cry from Basil's having to sleep in a frozen foxhole in December, 1944 and January of '45.

The trip has been an emotional one for us all, but most so for Shirl.  I hear her quietly breathing as she sleeps in on this Saturday morning.  God bless her, she has been a great companion on this trip, and has walked miles, which while perhaps good for her, was very difficult and sometimes painful.  She deserves a couple days of rest.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy the ride and hope Klaus won't die that soon!



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