It is still too cold in Barcelona – and the weather channel is forecasting a heat wave in England. So why not drive over the channel for a few beach holidays in Hastings?The 1.200 km through France can be done in just 14 hours. That’s just 2 days drive, you can sleep in the van and visit finally the whitecliff county and Dover castle.
The peace of the silent flat surrounds me like a warm coat.
I am back home. “Home” in our Barcelona 40 m2 apartment that Guido is leaving to us at the moment, just asking for the expenses.
Mel and Leon are still in Milan, and I am back from a trip to England, that took me a whole week to complete. Crazy, just for a car – only to make the yearly inspection (MOT), show that I am there, bring the car back to England before the end of one year, and then drive back with the next ferry. I don’t even dare to calculate my global footprint any more, after all these drives and flights.
Even though it was crazy, and I had a lot of trouble from the very first moment, I feel so happy I have done it.
It was the first big challenge I had to manage on my own for something like 4 years. And now I see, that challenges that we have to face alone, give a lot of power. When you know that you can still walk on the edge, overcome obstacles and surprise yourself, you become alive again.
There are so many questions coming up on a trip like this:
– Can I leave Barcelona with flat batteries?
– Are there nice people to help me start my battery-less engine in the early morning on a highway parking?
– Will “Eddie” the car make all the way from Barcelona to Dover and back, even though there are sometimes strange sounds from the engine?
– Will I find a place where they sell big batteries?
– Can the car start with just one battery? (this Ford has 2 batteries normally)
– Can I find a nice overnight parking somewhere on the coast close to Calais?
– Can I run around the huge beach rock before the tide comes back?
– Is it possible to use plastic bags and big water bottles as an improvised toilet?
– Can I survive 8 degrees at night?
– Can I eat all the old tin cans that we were storing in the van for ages without getting sick?
– Will the Austrian car service ÖAMTC advice me even when I drive a foreign car?
– Will the car start when I have to leave the ferry? (2 times)
– Will I pass the MOT inspection in Dover even though the car has no spare tire, smaller brake pads, some rust underneath and is starting badly?
– Will the police let me sleep on the beach road in Hastings? (2 times)
– Can I see a champions league match on a laptop with my “3” USB stick inside the van?
– Will it be warm enough to have a 26 degree sun bath on an English beach?
– Can I stay inside a van for a full day without getting crazy, and even enjoy it?
– Can I pass through France on overland streets just by paying 1,80 Euro on a distance where you pay normally 80 Euro on the highways?
– Can I drive 11 hours in one day?
– Will I start to talk nonsense to myself to brake the silence?
– Do I still know the text of 4 german folk songs?
– Can I visit Andorra?
– Are there still people skiing in Andorra in April?
– Will the French police stop me and check the car from the inside also the 4th time?
– Can I drive up and down the Pyrenees on a super small road with 10% decline without killing my brakes and engine?
After 2.800 km mainly through France, I can answer all these questions with “yes”.
But don’t ask me how many times I was rolling some of these questions in my mind, over and over ..