Right here we go ... "little" write up of the most amazing adventure.
So as you can see from this thread we got delayed due to concerns over the engine .... we were right to delay.....
Monday 8.30 went to see a guy about the engine who i was recommended .... Nigel Allen near Newquay Airport
. he had a drive and confirmed there was a massive flat spot .... did a load of tests (including greasing the points as they had non and wouldn't have got us to Exeter let alone Austria ... anyways turns out the 1.5mm hole in the jet for the carb wasn't big enough, he drilled it to 1.6mm and hey presto we were in business !! Nigel is a genius !!
So lunchtime Monday we left Truro protected by my new Volkshaven bra for the 1100 mile journey.
Armed with only a bottle of water and a full tank of petrol we clocked the milage and headed off up the A30 .... 200 miles later we were just past Stone Henge and she hadn't missed a beat, time for a refule and feed junior ....
Onwards we went, onto the M25, which i have to admit at 5pm on a Monday was pretty grim .... you dont realise how much noise all the HGV's actually make untill your inbetween 2 of them at 55 in a vinatage car !!! All the while trying to keep a 7 year old happy who's DS had long since ran out of battery, but he was loving all the attention and waves from the other cars on the road who loved the bus.
We finally made it to Dover for around 8.15pm ... plenty of time to spare for our 10pm crossing.
Ferry crossing was easy going, time for a rest whilst trying to keep junior entertained (he'd been sat for hours so had loads of energy to burn !)
Got to Dunkirk and it was a 10 minute drive to a motel for the night. Parked the bus right outside our room in the most awkward position to ensure if someone did try to steal her, they'd probably wake me up in the process .....
So Day 2 we set off and made good progress through belgium and passed Brussels and then we hit the traffic, and it stayed like this for 2 hours, blimey ... it sure does get hot
on the motorways wedged inbtween 100's of HGV's ...
So after 2 hours stuck in it I decided to freestyle it ... nipped down the hard shoulder and founds some lovely countryside to drive through to avoid the traffic, RESULT !
Had been going a little while later and noticed a guy drive past taking a picture (seems this is normal, happened loads), we indicated to pull into the services and i notice him swerve across 3 lanes of traffic into the services too (he'd seen us indicate in his rear view mirror), I park up and he comes bounding over .... loving the bus, telling me all about his and showing me the pics on his phone ... chatting for 30 mins ... just super happy !!!
We then had a pretty good run through the rest of Belgium into Germany down passed Koln and then it struck again .... a massive 20km hold up, bus getting hot, me getting hot, junior getting hot Mrs C getting stressed ... not biggie, we pulled of at a services and had another hour or so to chill, car park full of admiring Germans taking pictures and just being stoked on the bus (more on this in a bit)
When we got back on the road, the traffic was moving, and we immediately spotted this, both Cali number plates, both immaculate:
From here we pretty much stuck at it for 5 hours, couple of stops for toilets, leg stretches ... but cracking on with it.
It started to get late, junior was hungry so we made a pit stop for a burger for him:
Back on the road I was starting to flag so we decided to get to Stuttgart and get a hotel. Massive sat nav disaster took us into the centre of Stuggart rather than the airport where we were supposed to be, but nice to see Stuttgart and found out its very hilly ... avoid if your bus doesn't like hills !!! Finaly got the hotel at 1.30 am .... the guy covering the night shift must have heard the engine as he was out in the car park to greet us, 30 mins of chat about how much he lover the bus and I finally got a beer and some sleep !
So day 3, a good German breakfast and we wave goodbye to Stuttgart, couple of hours later we say hi to Munich, i have a work call to make so we stop in a loverly little parking area for a break and some sun (plus lots of people taking photos and making nice comments).
So with the home straight in sight we set off again knowing we would probably only need one more fuel stop and I hoped that this one might be with the mountains in view .... I was right, not far from the start of the Tirol we did our last stop, the view told me we were nearly home and the company in the car park told me all was good !!
So thats it, from here it was pretty easy going, we got home all safe, bus performed amazingly and other than the traffic it was a stress free journey, even my concerns (and they bothered me all the way home) about the old girl not fitting in the parking space were proven to be wrong ...
As we pulled into the car park a skoda drove passed and skidded to a halt .... then reversed back and then pulled into the car park, an old Austrian guy jumps out and proceeds to tell me how he had a bus 25 years ago, toured the alps in it and loved it to bits !! 20 minutes later junior comes and gets me ... "there's lots of people downstairs at the bus, you should come see them ..." more stories of holidays in the alps and Dads who had barndoors, just people geniunely stoked to see the bus, the job Dave has done restoring her and the fact we are prepared to bring it from England to Austria to use her up here in the mountains.
So thats the story of the journey, i've learnt a few things, heres a couple of improtant ones !:
1.You cant explain the feeling you get when people appreciate your Bus
2.The missus hasnt had my arm around her since we first met and used to go to the cinema
3.Having owned her for 8 years, I love it more than I could ever imagine
4.Everyone loves an old bus !!
5.Charge a euro for every picture that people take and you could soon have a free tank of fuel !
Since being home i've met a guy who's dad had a 51 they used to take on holiday .... another guy who's dad was the local taxi firm in the 60's he had a 15 window just the same as mine, he's tryna find pics !
I cleaned all the dead flies off her today and went out for a spin, 2 mins from my house what do I see ... an 11 window in the petrol station, quick spin round in the round and I'm back in the petrol station talking to the owner, he lives just up the road from me .... we are off for a cruise on some alpine passes and a beer at the weekend, so stoked !!! Plus I get to drive her around scenery like this:
Apologies for the long post, in fact no ... i could go on all day !!!
All the pics are from my iphone, hence the not great quality, will get the proper camera out of the weekend when i go for a drive up to the glacier