Le Jumpy: After many discussions over the past year, it has been decided that the ultimate vehicle for our travels will be the Citroen Jumpy. A small French van (Citroen Dispatch in the UK, I guess the English marketing team didn’t think that the Citroen Jumpy would sell so well in the UK market). No windows in the back to hide all our (very important) stuff. 3 seats in the front (one of us to nip down to Geneva Airport to pick up some friends to bring back to Morzine or to pick up a friend en route on our summer travels). Enough storage space in the back to allow Rob to lie down (in case of emergency sleeping), and it is called Jumpy. For a couple of Australians, you had me at Jumpy. (Boing, boing).
Plan A: Rob and Jules fly to Geneva, one way ticket. Spend Saturday and Sunday searching for Jumpy around Anncey. Find and buy Jumpy. Monday 8.45am, ring French Car insurance to arrange for cover. Purchase insurance. Drive Jumpy back to Manchester. Rob at work Tuesday 8am. Pack house into storage and Jumpy. Drive Jumpy to Morzine.
Plan B: Rob and Jules fly to Geneva, one way ticket. Spend Saturday and Sunday searching for Jumpy around Annecy. Spend Monday looking for Jumpy. Rob flies back to Liverpool Monday evening, bus back to Manchester. Rob at work Tuesday 8am. Julie continues search for Jumpy, finds Jumpy, arranges for insurance and drives back to Manchester by herself. Pack house into storage and Jumpy (slightly less time to pack house). Drive Jumpy to Morzine.
Plan C: Rob and Jules fly to Geneva, one way ticket. Spend Saturday and Sunday searching for Jumpy. Spend Monday looking for Jumpy. No luck finding Jumpy, Rob and Jules return Monday evening on flight to Liverpool, bus back to Manchester. Rob at work Tuesday 8am. Pack house into storage and fly to Geneva with only snow gear that we can take on the plane and get bus to Morzine.
Plan D (the actual plan as it eventuated)…
Friday: Buy one way tickets from Manchester to Geneva. Yohann picks us up at airport. Back to his for late dinner and wine. Formulate plan to go to all local car dealerships in morning.
Saturday: Slight issue. 2cm of fresh snow covering everything, including Jumpy’s hiding in car dealerships yard.
Drive around Annecy in search for Jumpy. Plenty of Jumpy’s in the streets and driving around. Taunting us… but none to be seen in dealerships yards. Finally start finding some Jumpy’s but all tend to be 3 years old and about 10,000 Euro more than we were hoping to spend. Stop by Yohann’s friends for a beer on way home and he suggests the local French website that sells everything, including Jumpy’s. Raclette and wine to celebrate being in France, and for finding some eligible Jumpy’s online. Sunday is a new day
Sunday (a new day): Start searching early on the French version of gumtree/tradepost to find more Jumpy’s. Also looking at the Peugeot version (Expert) as have decided that we could deal with not having a vehicle named Jumpy, but not really looking at the Fiat version yet (Fix It Again, Tony). Mid-morning we start making phone calls. Saturday was a busy day for selling Jumpy’s for local people, but not to us. We find a Jumpy that has only an email address but no phone number, but sounds great. We send an email and wait. Meanwhile we find one that could work. Yohann is on the phone for 20 mins discussing how good this van is. It is Expert, not Jumpy, but sounds like it could be the one (we can easily rename the Expert Jumpy). Only he has already promised it to someone that saw it on Saturday. So why carry on for 20 mins about how good it is? There must be a chance. Let’s offer him some more money. We will pick it up today. And to make it even better, his insurance will cover us from when we pick it up until ours is finalised… Oh my, this is the one. We can buy it, drive early Monday morning and be back to Manchester before midnight. Let’s do it. Offer him 200 Euros more than the asking price (we would spend that on flights home anyway.) Oh come on, you know you want to… Ok, 300. 400? Right. So you would like check with the person who saw it Saturday, and just check that they really would like it. They do. And that is it. The van isn’t available. It will be picked up on Tuesday. Not by us. By someone else. So what do we do now?
Sunday afternoon: Plan A? Not any more. Plan B? This means that we might not be able to be out of the apartment in time and who knows how long it will take to find Jumpy. Plan C? So all our (very important) stuff can’t come. Kitchen items, food (including Frank – see sourdough love post), extra snowboards, extra clothes, DJ gear, guitar, ukelele, bedding, towels, alcohol??? Hmmm, this Plan C doesn’t sound so good.
What if we were to hire a French hire carfrom Annecy first thing Monday to Manchester and return. We could pack the house. Rob could make work on Tuesday… Quick check of our favourite car hire website. Ford Focus or similar, €230 for 10 days. We can do this… Done.
Monday: Pick up hire car. Peugeot 2008. Wow, this is a nice car. Slightly larger than a Ford Focus, we can bring all our stuff back. Hmm, we are sure it is going to cost more to take into the UK. Those little hidden charges, but if we have an issue in UK we don’t want to be finding this out then…
Us (very hesitantly): “Can we take our hire car to the UK?”
Eurocar: “Are you bringing it back?”
Eurocar: “But of course” (with the look of – You can drive it to South America for all we care, just bring it back when you say you are going to).
Drive, drive, drive, drive. 1300kms. Dinner at friends just over the channel. Home by 1am. Work by 8am Tuesday. Woof.
Tuesday: Lady owning Jumpy gets in touch with Yohann and says that the van is still available. Florist by trade, local flower drops about all the jumpy has had to deal with. Low kms, and smells nice. Check.
Saturday: Yohann goes and test drives Jumpy. Perfect. This is the one. Let’s do it.
Tuesday: Apartment packed into storage or hire car and on road to London. Quick hair cut with our fantastic hairdresser (last professional one for 4 months), dinner with friends and sleep.
Wednesday: Drive to Annecy. Drive, drive, drive, drive (Suspension, please don’t collapse on us).
Thursday: 11am rendezvous avec le madam a acheter un Jumpy. Et nous achetons. Nous avons fini.
And as Van Halen once almost said:
I get up, and nothing gets me down.
You got it tough. I’ve seen the toughest around.
And I know, baby, just how you feel.
You’ve got to roll with the punches to get to what’s real
Oh can’t you see me standing here,
I’ve got my back against the record machine
I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen.
Oh can’t you see what I mean ?
Might as well jumpy. Jumpy !
Might as well jumpy.
Go ahead, jumpy. Jumpy !
Go ahead, jumpy.