We made sure that we didn’t have that much to do in our last 24 hours. We had to go and buy some last minute stuff and we had to drop off some friends that were going on holiday to Vietnam.
How wrong can this go? The day before we had to leave, Seb saw some wear and tear on our tyres, so he decided that it would be best to change them, since we already had some spares laying about in the garage. To avoid spending 25 euros for putting the tyres on Peanut, Seb decides to go to a friend and askes him to replace them. All goes well and the changing itself only took half an hour, so off we went to finish our last minute shopping….or so we thought! When Seb started the van, we heard a loud banging noise. At first we thought it was the tyres, but they still looked ok, so we just left to go to the store. On our way there, the van was really making a lot of noise and Seb didn’t feel comfortable with it, so we drove back to the friends who changed the tyres and they told us that we should maybe go to an official Mercedes garage…
Ok, I wasn’t that worried yet, but I saw that Seb’s face was getting a bit darker by the minute… When we got to the garage, Seb could charm his way into getting a mechanic to take a look at Peanut to asses what was wrong. The mechanic took us into the pit and showed us our problem. There was a support beam under the van that was supposed to be straight, but ours was crooked as hell!!! This beam was there to protect the gearbox and it looked like it had sqashed it like a bug… Seb’s face was even getting darker than it already was, but all I could think was : “picture time!!!” The last few trips Seb has conditioned me so hard that when I see trouble, I see a picture opportunity… Go figure!
We still had some luck on our side and they had a replacement beam that they were willing to place under the van in the hope that the gearbox was ok. In the end, it all turned out fine and we thanked the people from the Antwerp Mercedes dealership very much for helping us in such a fast time.
Thinking this would be the last hikkup before we left, was off course to good to be true…
A few hours before we had to take our ship to Scotland, we had to drop off some friends at the bus station so they could take the bus to Charles the Gaule airport where they would take the plane to Vietnam. The traffic in Antwerp is always a mess, but it turned out that the God’s would be against us this time!! It turned out to be a holiday in Belgium where everyone wants to go the the seaside. In the usual traffic jam, you had a lot of tourists leaving for a long weekend and on top of this off course you had a few accidents here and there… This all added up to more than 3 hour delays on the Belgian roads!!
Seb had to try and avoid the freeway all the way, resulting in a lot of traffic lights and crazy cyclists… In the end we managed to drop off our friends just 2 minutes late, but it turned out ok, since their bus wasn’t even there, it was stuck in traffic…
The traffic jams however also meant that we would be stuck in them since our boat for Scotland was leaving from the Belgian Seaside… Seb was even here trying to avoid some of the main highways, but it took us almost 3 hours to get there. When we reached the gate, we were already 45 minutes late… Charming Seb managed to get us on board anyway (even when we booked the boat with a different car and licence plate) and we were finally off to start our trip!
The crossing to Hull went really smooth and I didn’t even get seasick!
In the beginning it was our plan to reach Edinburgh towards the first night. Somewhere on the way we realised that we had time, time enough to do whatever we wanted, so we slowed down and started by enjoying our surroundings. We made a stop in York for a walk even if it was raining since we arrived in England.
We ended up that night nearby a cool castle at Bamburg. It was pouring with rain the whole day, so we decided to sit it out and relax in the camper. We sent out a Spot message with our location, but it seems to have gotten lost in space somewhere… Seb stayed up after I went to sleep and by that time it stopped raining. He took some nice pictures of the castle and the next morning we went for a walk on the beach before getting in direction of Edinburgh.