...for the Hajj is alive and full of malt and vigour. As soon as the debacle simmered, and the smoke cascaded out into the Serbian morning sky, a tow truck descended and brought us up the hill to the mechanic's. All they kept saying was that the engine was dead, "Kaput!", and that Hajji would never ride again; the group was confused, angry, completely lost and spiralling. The price for a new engine: 1000 Euros. Jeez...well, if that's what we have to pay, then I guess that's what's gonna happen. 1000 Euros!! Adam, sweethearted super gentleman and destroyer of van, offered to pay most of it, but we would have nunavut. We were withering away, wandering around the garage, organizing a tow to Skopje for and additional 260 Euros, when Ren piped up..."Maybe we should try to just start her." Seemed like a good enough idea, though the mechanics at the garage and the wannabe mechanics in our crew thought it lacklustre and reckless.
But try we did! And Hajji sprang to life like a phoenix from the ashes, or like Uma Thurman when John Travolta stabs her heart with that needle!! Ressurected. A quick spin around the parking lot to ensure its health, and we piled back into her, with Adam staying away from the wheel. (He would later have nightmares re-enacting the whole scene.) Turns out that the catch under the gas pedal had just come unconnected, and caused the Hajji to go berzerk with fury...all that had to be done was to re-attach it (10 seconds, no Dinar)...no new engine please.
We hit the highway and made it to Skopje, sans further occurences. But what happened after, on the road between the capital and Lake Ohrid...that's for next entry!