Being Legal … Barely
We have had Jez in Crete with us since February. Whilst this is (probably) illegal as we have Greek residency, and Greek law presumes that if you are avoiding road tax if you drive an overseas vehicle, this was a risk we were prepared to take. Police are much less likely to check the credentials of motorhome drivers than a car. However, risks we were not prepared to take are:
a) Our insurance specifies a limit of 6 months in Europe. And give our ex pat status I could only find one insurers for our UK registered van.
b) EU law used to be 6 months visit per country before you had to register/import the vehicle. Since Brexit it is 6 months for the EU. Grr!
We drove back arriving on 20th July and we have mostly stayed in Jez on woodlands Farm near the Aged P’s in Chichester. I flew back on 28th July to fetch the car and camping kit, driving back with Gillian … Girls Road Trip. J had 2 nights in Dublin to see family. A quick 4 nights in the east country to see friend and collect a few items from the Devon house shed.
But today we left Jez with Abacus Motorhomes in Andover. They are an Adria dealer, service centre and motorhome sales and hire. Our insurers specify Gold standard, but given the £ooo’s of stock held here, they have accepted Abacus as our storers. It works OK as they can pull Jez in for work whenever parts are in / they have time. And at £65 per month, it is a lot more than we paid in Greece, but cheaper than most Gold storage.
We have largely emptied Jez, so our storage box at the Aged’s is full. And the Greek car is also full. Full of essentials we need to take back to Crete, a few want to take and we still managed to leave enough room for Kertstin, who will be joining us. With roof box moved to the side and 3 x camping chairs wrapped in a tarp, we managed to fit most essentials in!
We had a last meal with the Aged P’s and Maddy & Jordan.
And we’re off
Ferry as used it coming across with the Greek car – a lot cheaper than the Tunnel if you want a Flexi ticket. With the ferry they will accommodate you on the next available 48hrs either side of your booking. But never again. Seemed to be at Dover for hours and then hours on the ferry.
Don’t know why we had to have a yellow Pet sticker, it didn’t seem to make much difference as to where we were loaded!
We arrived late in Belgium and erected the small new to us tent in the dusk. Just as well I’m expert at erections!!!! Grew up camping! Supper was excellent at the Camping / leisure centre bar / resto. Until we came to pay … no cards. Cash only. Opps, I had about EUR3 in coins only. 2km to the nearest ATM. I was about to walk it … tired and the the post supper feeling of well being deserting me, when J said, I may have some Euros left from my trip to Dublin. Yay … I went back and paid up, telling the bar man that my husband was hiding money from me!
This looked so comfy and was!
Our diddy tent is not so diddy.
Put to Work!
We managed a cup of tea on arrival at Kerstin’s and a dog walk, before she dragged me out to work! Why is it that she always seems to have a property project on the go? We left Amsterdam early one summer to spend 2 weeks stripping wall paper and washing down when a tenant had left one house in an unbelievable condition. This time, Kerstin has an inherited elderly relative’s apartment to clear. She needs all the years of accumulated stuff sorted and boxed so the decorators can come in, before she can let it to students. A wonderful old building with great features but stuffed to the gunwales. She did treat us to supper though.
And we’re off
Before leaving, we headed into a TUV, despite reducing the Greek car registration document to scant MBs, it would not upload to get the Unwelt Plakette. So we headed off to a TUV (MOT test centre). Nowadays it is rare to get good service, let alone something for free. Got both here! Happy. The the pet store for dog food (Oscar had helped himself when we weren’t looking and what should have lasted for several days, was no more!) and a water bowl … left ours somewhere in Belgium … 1st casualty!
We managed to cram Kerstin, her bedding, a rucksack AND her numerous food supplies … she’s a grazer … into the car, and even dropped off some plums at her work!. Then decided to just keep going to Slovakia and the campsite north of Bratislava. A long drive and only one misdemeanour form Oscar. He found Kerstin’s special sausage, gifted by a neighbour, and ate the end! We left Germany in temperatures of 22C and it slowly dropped to 14C and started to rain. We put the tents up in the dusk / dark … and drizzle. It was late by the time we ate! And it rained all night!
CO2 are like the princess and the pea … hardly any headroom. And some of Kerstin’s food supplies!
Camping Karpaty. Home for 5 nights.
Bratislava: Castle and Scrap
Easy morning. K and I walked around the small lake. Commenting on how lush and green it is … must be all this rain! First muddy puddle I’ve seen since April! No supplies sourced yet, so much was dog-eared (not dog aka Oscar this time) cup-a-soups with the promise of an afternoon snack!
Lots of stops planned, not all made. And not by all of us, all the time. First stop was Devin Castle. Nicely told … No dogs. J elected to snooze in the car with them. It is a huge ruin on the Austrian border, overlooking the boats on the Danube. Numerous owners until Bonaparte blew it up.
Charred Roman loaf … might have gone down well with our meagre cup-a-soup!
Views across to Austria.
The most interesting part was the well. Yes, it did look deep, but you had no idea just how deep. Until a bucket and tap were deployed. You filled one with the other and tipped it into the well. Waited. And waited. Waited some more until, finally … splash. The acoustics amplified the sound of the splash too. The water separated into millions of droplets as it descended. It was addictive, we and others had several go’s.
Long awaited … drinks and hotdogs (ice cream for me as I’m on me holidays!) at the base of the castle. We tried to get close to the missile base but the road was blocked and it was too late and we didn’t have the energy for a 9km hike.
So we moved onto Snot Park. No, I misread this … it is Srot Park. Kerstin and I had been discussing if we were born again (not the the Christian born again type!), what skill or talent we would like. She would be someone who could construct long lasting beautiful and functional buildings. I said I’d like to have vision. To be able to create beautiful things that elicit an emotional reaction. This park is by someone who has Vision. He started it in 2019. Animals and cartoon / fantasy characters made for bits of steel. Loved it. No one on the gate, just an honesty box. And sadly one laminated photo of an owl, some b’stard had pinched.
A slight detour on the way back home took in the VW factory car cable car. No pix as I was driving and it was not in operation Supper up the hill at the restaurant overlooking a small lake. Traditional roasted lamb with small noodles and sauerkraut … actually delicious. And the wine weren’t bad either!