After waking from her winter hibernation, which lasted from December to the middle of May, it was time to take Gabriela out for a spring spin to see how she was feeling, as well as to gauge her readiness for our upcoming summer of Van Life on the Run adventures around Finland. Prior to Gabi’s winter slumber, I had already sorted out some key upgrades, including replacing her water pump, oil pressure sensors, as well as a new starter battery. However, the main issue that was still somewhat unclear was whether she actually had some problem maintaining her oil pressure, even after the sensors had been replaced. At times she would flash her red low oil pressure light to announce that there might be a problem, and so it was important to give her a decent workout to see whether it was something to be truly worried about, or just some random artifact, perhaps due to some weird electrical wiring issue. She is an old girl after all!
Anyway, it was an atypically warm, in fact very warm, spring day in South-West Finland, so at least we were quickly going to get her engine nice and hot, which would also give me the opportunity to test the integrity and function of her cooling system. Sometimes hot, sometimes cold, just like a true, red blooded woman. With all the repairs and upgrades that she has demanded, I’m now quite certain Gabriela has been shit-testing me to see if I’m actually worthy of her trust and affections! I hope that she also appreciates the new set of 16” alloy legs and killa rubber pumps that she now struts around town in.
I dreamed of a girl,
with a spirit to roam free.
Our journey begins.‘Gabriela’ by Jyri Manninen
We ended up mainly driving around the local neighbourhoods, located on both sides of the border between the cities of Turku and Kaarina. To be clear, Kaarina is hardly a big place, even though it’s barely 10km from the heart of Turku, the former capital city of Finland. We also popped by two city beaches, Hovirinta in Kaarina, and Ispoinen beach in Turku. All seemed to go well with Gabi, mechanically speaking that is, and she was rewarded with the basics of her summer ‘kit out’, a floor mat, couch-bed, and curtains.
After all our work was done, we finished the day off with some well earned coldies, that is, beers, cervejas, olutta … call them what you like. Well, as the saying goes, a beloved child has many names! Anyway, we’re now looking forward to an awesome summer of sunny skies, chill vibes, and the sweetness of solitude in nature’s many secluded hideaways that we are yet to discover. Bring it on!