MonthApril 2015

Groundhog day

that’s just the feeling I get when thinking about my daily tasks at the moment. Not only am I sorting out the things we brought with us to Carinthia to decide what we finally should take with us – or a least this is what I think I do. But deep down I know I’m just sorting out the things that fit into the van – and the more often I see the van, the more I get the feeling that we will be travelling with only one pair of jeans and a t-shirt each, accompanied by 1 pot, 2 plates and 2 mugs.
On the other hand I’m still trying to fulfill all the legal requirements to get the needed visa. By now we have received the invitation for our trip through China, but I’m not sure if this invitation has all the needed information in it – my Chinese might need some training.
According to this I tried to fill in the visa forms for 3 different countries today and I thought I had all the needed information – but uups there are still questions that need to be answered. As we can’t do without the visa, all the information needs to be correct on the first try.

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Camper update

 

So what did we do for our little motorhome.

Well quite some things:

The new pipe based stowing room in the front is finally installed. As always it took too long and did cost too much, but I’m getting used to the sheme. But finally its done, and any square-centimeter of room counts :).

The new power inverter was delivered (thanks solartronics ) and this time I decided to go with a remote as well. The old power Inverter was removed with a lot of cursing and some pain. The installation was a quick job when we did it in February and I already knew it will be one hell of a job if I ever have to remove this part. I had to because it was dud and it was hell – I now know that major parts of my body fit into a space of 37 by 40 centimeter, although I have 110 kg.

To avoid such jobs which test my claustrophobic senses (I now know that I have no claustrophoby ), I bought some drawer abstracts (is this the correct english word? Google tells me so..) so that I am able to move the new inverter back for like 40 centimeters, which is enough to avoid that I have to crawl in this confined space. I also bought some shock absorbers for the new inverter which are normally used for subwoofers, so it doesn’t get all the hits at full pace when driving offroad.

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Testing Autoroute and a drive to Burgruine Finkenstein

 

One of our first destinations will be Germany, followed by some other destinations in Europe. As we are new to wild camping especially Europe is a challenge, because there are a lot of rules and in many countries wild camping is forbidden. As we don’t want to spend a major part of our budget on camping sites, we had to find a way around those rules and regulations.

Luckily other people already have had the same problems and as nowadays everyone has a GPS device there is knowledge around. The nice guys from http://www.europebycamper.com/ did put a lot of afford into compiling a list with 130.000 GPS spots which are useful for campers like us (wild camping spots, Mc Donalds for the WIFI and so on).

But there is a little issue with this list – its only available for Microsoft Autoroute and Microsoft discontinued this program on 31st of December 2014. But we were lucky and could download a test version I think Microsoft forgot to remove.  To get a better feeling for what is ahead of us we picked one spot labelled overnight parking and drove there. The spot was next to Burgruine Finkenstein,  so I had some idea of the surroundings as I used to be there in my childhood sometimes.

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Visa and other fun stuff

Whilst Klaus is doing a great job building and refurbishing the car, I’m more occupied with teh necessity of getting invitations and visa for the different countries.

One of the biggest difficulties is the crossing of China. To cross China on your own is nearly impossible. We tried to get in contact with 2 agencies offering this service, but either the have too many clients or they don’t exist anymore. Therefore we opted for a more traditional approach and joined some other people who would love to cross China in about the same time frame as we want. We then contacted an agent (Mrs. Spring) who helps us with all the things in China. We will now enter China (crossing over from Mongolia) on Sep. 14th leaving it about a month afterward towards Laos. We will be 4 cars including a guide.

A lot of information about the car, as well as the drives are needed (pictures of the car, technical details like the chassis number, scans of the passports and drivers licences, ect.) to get the Chinese driver licences and a Chinese number plate along with an invitation from the agency. The invitation on the other hand is needed to get the Chinese visa.

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Front bumper killer and unlucky week

 

Thursday my brother and me enjoyed an afternoon together. I drove with him to Silversee next to Villach, where I used to spend some time in my child hood with the family. He was still a baby at the time, so he had no memories of the spot and i showed him around. I then did a little offroading, by not taking the exit of the parking spot as planned by its builders – i drove over a small sandy hill leading to the street and had some fun pushing the car.

Then we drove on to the spot in the wood we found with Andrea and had a nice time offroading. As I am a cool guy (sarcasm!) I had to drive to the spot where Andrea had her turn around experience two days before. There was the rock again, I maneuvered around it, but with a little bit of too much power on the accelerator I slipped sideways and found myself in the situation of the rock in front of the driver -side front wheel, exactly in between the spot where the front bumper begins. So pulling out backwards and risking the bumper or driving over it, risking the underfloor. I backed out and that was it for the mounting-points of the left side of the front bumper. Luckily, its just some plastic.

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