On the Road Again
Nine months, 17 house sits, one new hip and we are finally back on the road.
It's been a strange 9 months. Enjoyable to be home and see family and friends and to be surrounded by all that is familiar. Eat cheese, marmite and marmalade (not necessarily together, but it would work!) (Are you insane woman? Marmite and cheese is indeed a match made in umami heaven, but with marmalade? No thanks!) and to do normal activities like going to the cinema and have folk over to dinner. (and take the Harley out for a spin around the block. Rebel without a MOT!) However, it has also been fraught with anxiety. Will we ever get back on the road? If we do will Tigger be up to the job after months of neglect by us? Do we actually want to get back out there? (durrr, yes) Life at home is actually pretty comfortable and we have seen quite a bit of the world already. Do we need to do anymore? (Yes!) Have we lost our wanderlust?!!!! (NO!!!)
After 10 days back out here, it is beginning to feel like an adventure again. The wanderlust is returning and thoughts of home, showers, flushing toilets and marmalade are fading fast, to be replaced by the realisation that we can do what we want when we want, how we want, - well, within the constraints of vanlife and the dreaded budget! Google Maps is constantly being studied for the best routes and apps like IOverlander and Boondocking have been updated. I probably know more about America's National Parks than the average park ranger! (thank you, Yogi) and we have maxed out our Ipad memory by downloading all our favourite programmes to be watched and savoured at a later date - OK we are ready! However, as yet we haven't done any serious camping (One night at Crisp County Hydro beside a dam, and someone thought it would be a good idea to open the door at night to cool down a bit... woke up with my feet munched off by the 'skeeters"!) as these pesky Americans keep offering us their amazing hospitality with comfy beds, showers and dinners... - well, it would be rude to refuse, plus I feel it is helping with our transition back to vanlife. That's the best excuse I can come up with and I'm sticking with it. (I'm with you on that one xxx)
So what are our plans other than sleeping in random strangers houses and using their facilities? We have been accepted as a Showcase vehicle at the Overland Expo East (the big US Overlanding show) in Ashville North Carolina, at the end of September/ beginning of October - and that is about the only thing in our diary - which is how we want it. No more rushing, no more deadlines, just take each day/week as it comes. We have a vague idea that we want to stay east for the Autumn/Fall, and have a few ideas of places we want to visit, (mostly those national parks I know all about), then head west and south, until eventually we hit Baja where we think we might like to be around December. But who knows? If something exciting comes up in the meantime and waylays us then so be it.
(On the van front, leisure batteries are not getting charged properly so we are investing in a "smart" alternator to battery charger by Stirling Power. Just arrived today so will install that in the next week and I hope that will improve the situation. The plastic window in the sliding door has started to disintegrate so we sent out a plea for anyone in the VW Vanagon forums over here (America) for help in locating a replacement of some sort. David Wilhite, just outside Nashville, said he had one so as luck would have it, we were only an hour away from him and we called by to see if it would do. Long and short, we got there late and he kindly offered us a bed for the night and gave us the sliding window on the off chance that it would fit and wouldn't take a penny for it. Thank you, David, for your hospitality and the window. It took 2 days of altering but it is now in and looking mighty fine! Top tip. Plastic windows just aren't up to extreme heat. At least these German ones had lasted a couple of years of Africa and Spain, unlike the piece of rubbish sold to us by Brickwerks in the Uk. That one broke after about 9 months and they wouldn't refund us or even tell us who the manufacturers were so we could approach them for advice. Some people eh? Scallywags! That feels better. Needed to name and shame these two for months now!)
So that's it for now - keeping to our new blog rules short, sweet, and often, which could be applied to so much in our lives! Until next time x