Monday, 24 September 2007

First report from the Yacht Monty B

And it's brief. We are all fine!

See pics here: http://picasaweb.google.com/beormakate/FirstFewWeeksOnMontyB

More to follow over coming days. Sorry we've been so crap. Very busy trying not to sink.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The Road to Greece

Was very long - but when you don't leave the campsite until lunchtime every day, it's going to take a while. It was a leisurely trip when all's said and done but remained tinged with stress and worry - and was a knackering drive.

Highlights:
  • Driving on the other side of the road - added novelty value to an otherwise boring drive.
  • French autoroutes - okay, I'm not some kind of weirdo that has "favourite roads" but compared to driving on British motorways, they are quite good.
  • Getting to the campsite each night and cracking open a beer.
  • Campsite at Aubere, at 800m in the mountains of Alsace Lorraine - possibly the quietest place either of us had ever been to. The air hummed and my tinnitus squealed.
  • Chance meeting with an American/Kiwi lesbian couple in a bar who gave us their Jungfrau passes which had a day left to run on them (to us they were worth around £150).
  • Campsite at Interlaken with magnificent view of the Eiger and Jungfrau from our tent.
  • Day out in the Alps around the Jungfrau with our donated Jungfrau passes- trains up mountains, cable cars across mountains, strange train inside a mountain, playing with dogs in snow at 4000m, hiking along the North Face of the Eiger - all stunning.
  • Crazy alpine driving - decided to take the Sudenpass across the Alps rather than long way round by motorway. Not the best idea in a fully laden Nissan Almera but worth it.
  • Seeing Venice.
  • Leaving Venice on the ferry bound for Greece - Katie burst into tears - finally, the emotion came - overjoyed and relieved to be on the final leg.

Lowlights

  • Getting off roundabouts on the wrong side of the road.
  • Alpine driving.
  • Driving.
  • Piece of shite Mont Blanc roof box.
  • Repacking the car every other day.
  • Driving in Italy - arseholes of the highest calibre.
  • Italian campsites.
  • Italian campsite owners.
  • Campsite in Venice which overlooked the runway of the airport - planes every 10 mins from 630am till midnight and riddled with mosquitos.
  • Shit sleep due to having to share a 2 man tent with a long man, two dogs and a ridiculous succession of terrible airbeds.

See our pics here: http://picasaweb.google.com/beormakate/NottinghamToVenice

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The journey begins - eventually











10pm on day of departure - well, 2 days after planned departure. I should've known it was unlikely that we'd leave at midday when Tim announced upon waking that he only had 10 minutes of packing left to do then he was ready.

Admittedly, losing the car keys (in my pocket) for an hour at 5pm wasn't helpful and neither was the pile of shite Mont Blanc rip off roof box which refused to shut if it had more than an ounce of stuff in it - but even so, this was pushing it even by our standards.

However, managed to creep onto a rigidly ruled Caravan Club campsite in Kent at 3am (no dogs allowed - sneaked them in, luckily both terrified and silent), had a glass of Banners and last smoke ever then snooze. Punctured airbed meant freezing cold, uncomfortable night, fully clothed and broken sleep.

Coffee and faff in the sun led to mad 80mph dash to Dover to make it for the ferry. Expected load of dog hassle as hadn't booked them on ferry or paid for them - there was none. Got on ferry - and watched the white cliffs disappearing. Felt the need for a drink which meant I was excited but no outward sign of emotion from the Squires other than a fear of driving on the wrong side of the road. There was a tad more sentimentality from the Layton.