Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Post Trip Plans / Thoughts

So considering that this was our first trip apart from 4 days in Devon it went remarkably well. This was very much a trial or reconnaissance trip. A road trip rather than an overland trip in the conventional context. But then again what is the definition of "overland"? OK it's built to go off road but so what.

6,971 miles later.....

Our only firm plans were to get as far as Corfu, and that was only decided about a week before we left.
But we ended up going to:
France
Italy
Greece
Albania
Macedonia
Montenegro
Croatia
Slovenia

We're so glad we turned right rather than left straight away when we got to the Greek mainland. The Peloponnese was probably our favourite, but we barely scratched the surface. We will definitely return.

We probably didn't do Albania justice, we missed the coast pretty much completely.

The van performed great, apart from a failed battery it didn’t miss a beat.

We still struggle a little with the entire free camping concept in built up or semi urban areas, but we're getting it. Following people like http://ourbumble.com/ has been great. Even if their blogg does make my efforts look like a 5yr olds😀

Considering that we've been cooped up in such close quarters for close on 3 months we've  only had the odd falling out, Marie has only wanted to kill me 4 or 5 times but fortunately she doesn't like driving so I have a get out of jail card😎

It's an addictive life style for sure, we're already planning 2017.

Before then a few modifications to the van:
Sprinter To Do.
Maxxvent or Fiamma vent.
Truma vent through bulkhead
Additional storage:
Seat base by sliding door
Shelving above kitchen
Shelving in rear?
Convert cupboard to 2 drawers
Curtain between cab and rear for free camping
Table. Centre or swivel mount?
Drawer unit rear passenger side?
Additional solar panels
More efficient solar controller
Invertor switch by bed
Cassette toilet
Additional ventilation for fridge/freezer
Not too bad considering this was my first attempt. Fortunately I had some expert help from Stuart and Chris http://www.ama-transporters.co.uk/

Africa Prep. Probably Spring 2017
Racor fuel filter and water separation
Recovery points
Sand ladders
Tirfor
EGR / DPF delete



Heading Home

Yep the day has arrived and it's a case of "let's get it over with".

Quickest route is through Switzerland, and um not sure actually. Switzerland doesn't appeal and I fancy going through the Mont Blanc tunnel so we head West.

Maybe I should have checked the cost of the tunnel?? 58€. Ouch.

The cruise is set to 75ish, we certainly eat through the miles but stopping for diesel every 10 minutes messes up our average speed😂
It's doing 19mpg ish at this sort of pace. Down from the usual 22 to 26mpg. The DPF and EGR are going to be deleted when we get home.  Oddly even driving it like this it still does a couple of active DPF re generations.

At one point I convince myself that we could make Calais or Dunkirk in one go but by Dijon we've both had enough.

A remarkably good nights sleep at an Aires.

Tomorrow 4.5 hrs to Calais.

Hit the M25 just in time for rush hour, how does anyone do this every day of their working lives!?

Home by 8pm. I think anyway, I've lost the plot by now😁

Lake Como

Another slight detour. Partly because, well Lake Como sounds good and partly because there's a campsite open.
We may not stay on one now until we're home so the lure of a hot shower and other facilities sounds good.

The campsite is OK,  nice hotel showers, beautiful setting but somehow the rest of it leaves us unimpressed.

Maybe we're stunning viewed out? Maybe it's going home blues?


Tonelle Passe

So I found a wiggly road on the map that seemed to be sort of on the way home. Not much of a detour. I really am a slow learner when it comes to believing travel times on the sat nav🤔

Upside we found some snow and the scenery is stunning.

Our stop for the night, very peaceful apart from a couple of locals having some fun doing doughnuts in the car park at 1:30am😀

Woke to around -10C. The van was really toasty though. I'm really pleased with the truma combi heater. Very efficient, quiet and the temperature control is quite sophisticated. It isn't just an on / off control. It varies the air throughput as well as the temperature.
I'm quite impressed, the van was never built for this. We said that we would never go anywhere cold or wet or eat inside the van🤔


Venice

To be honest this isn't my thing so I wasn't looking forward to Venice to much. But in the end you can't help but get hooked by the place. A really full day but we both loved it (well apart from me leading us astray. I'd read a rave review online about Lido, so after 33€ on a ferry and a cold grey walk through suburbia we returned to Venice. So don't believe Wikitravel🤔)

Although it was a little grey and chilly November is a great time to visit, no vigorous crowds. We got into conversation with a local. Apparently 27 million people visit Venice each year. The average tourist stays 3hrs (and according to the local) doesn't even buy a bottle of water.










Croatia to Venice

I love ACSI😀

Great site at Fusina, conveniently called Fusina. You walk out of the gates and about 100m away catch the ferry to Venice. 13€ return, and 30 minutes. Dead easy.



Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Posting Comments

I think I've altered the setting so that anyone can post comments, who knows though. I'm a cheapskate, this is free where as from what I've seen WordPress seems to be the favourite and most professional looking.