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Our Half Gap Year?

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Where are we going?

Our travels have begun and we still haven’t worked out exactly where we are going for the next 6 months. But after looking at our “map of all of our trips” I thought it would be good to fill in the gaps of where we haven’t been. So we will be calling this our Gap Trip and as it is only 6 months it will be our half Gap Year. The for the first part of our trip we will be heading east to the regions that we have not explored in our previous trips, Northern Germany, Northern Poland, Northern Romania, Kosovo and parts of Bosnia Herzegovina and for the second part of our trip we will be mainly in France and Spain. “Rough guide to 2015 trip” This is the beauty of traveling in a motorhome there are no set itinerary’s as you have no accommodation and transport to book ahead. Your home travels with you.

Getting “the Bunyip” ready to go.

The repairs, maintenance and improvements are going well. The damage to the corner of the van is repaired and painted not a bad job if I must say so myself. Martin has been helpful in putting in a plug for new solar panel, it came with alligator clips which attach to the battery. This I though a crude method and we have put a plug on the solar panel with a socket neatly mounted on the side of the van. The solar panel is like a suitcase and folds up to be stored inside the van.
Last year a wheel came off from under where the tow bar is. These were put there to stop the van hitting when going over bumps, the only problem with that was the wheels were put too low down. Now I have replaced the wheels with bearings and made it higher as well I have raised the height of the tow bar so the bike rack is also higher off the ground.

The gapping hole in the bumper. this had already been repaired twice before. First by me in 2009 and the by Martin in 2013. Now again in 2014.

The gaping hole in the bumper. this had already been repaired twice before. First by me in 2009 and the by Martin in 2013. Now again in 2015.

The corner is repaired, you can also see that the towbar has been raised to allow the bike rack more ground clearance.

The corner is repaired, you can also see that the towbar has been raised to allow the bike rack more ground clearance.

Our first Days in the Netherlands:

Tuesday 5th May , Netherlands Liberation Day
The 5th of May is Liberation Day in Holland and about 100 metres from Martin’s house is a roundabout that has been closed off for the celebrations. The morning’s weather was sunny and fine then at lunch time it poured down and was extremely windy. Luckily the rain stopped just in time and the wind dropped for the 2 pm the celebrations to begin.

A B25 Mitchell Bomber flies over and dropped bread rolls in plastic bags.

A B25 Mitchell Bomber flies over and dropped bread rolls in plastic bags. Photo courtesy of Ewoud Brand.

At first there was a fly over from a World War 2 plane and on the second and third pass it dropped small plastic bags with a bread roll in each, symbolizing the Allies dropping food at the end of the war. During the afternoon and evening they had bands playing with food and drink outlets. For the kids they had jumping castles, an obstacle course, commando face painting and other activities. At the end of the afternoon a convoy of ex-military vehicles came by and stopped for people to have a look. The highlight of the day was the free chocolate that was available, not small pieces and very yummy. Jenny missed out on all of the festivities as she stayed in bed for most of the day having a virus which gave her cold sores.

The group was called " Johnny and the Gangsters of Love". They brought there own state an old car. You can guess the type of music they played.

The group was called ” Johnny and the Gangsters of Love”. They brought there own stage, an old car. You can guess the type of music they played.

Blog playing up

Last night I was looking at a couple of things in the blog and noticed that the buttons which link to some pages where missing, apparently when I updated the site these button did not. After some looking I found in there settings that a separate update of these needed to be done. The joys of trying to make an interesting blog site. The second problem I found we that in our contact page the message section was not working. This meant that anyone trying to contact us this was would not get their message through. This I have also fixed. Luckily we are still at Martins with plenty of internet access.

Jenny is up and about. Here on the dyke in s'Gravendeel.

Jenny is up and about. Here on the dyke in s’Gravendeel.

Wednesday.6th May
Jenny is feeling much better and is up and about again.

As we entered Dordrecht we saw the pizza delivery bikes. Its a good thing that Holland is all flat.

As we entered Dordrecht we saw the pizza delivery bikes. Its a good thing that Holland is all flat.

Final preparations and a visit to Dordrecht

Today we finished all the jobs that needed to be done, the rest can wait and I’ll do them on the road. The rims of wheels were looking a bit rusty so they received a fresh paint job.
Everything is fitting in despite having to bring a few extras for when we have fellow travelers join us later in the trip. Martin and Ewoud were looking at the electrical side of the van doing some adjustments and making sure everything works as it should. As a break from our chores we went to Dordrecht, which is Ewout’s place of birth.

This street is just off the main square, me managed to take the photo without cars or people. Its like going back in time.

This street is just off the main square, me managed to take the photo without cars or people. Its like going back in time.

Buying 2 croquettes for 1.20 euros - bargain.

Buying 2 croquettes for 1.20 euros – bargain.

It’s only a 10 minute drive and it was good to get away for a while. The only shopping we did was to buy a couple of pairs of glasses for reading and then it was off to Vissers to have poffertjes with coffee, they are Dutch small pancakes with butter and icing sugar. The bad weather came in and we decided that sightseeing would have to wait for another day.

making poffertjes Inside it was very warm, outside the rain was pelting and the wind blowing.

making poffertjes
Inside it was very warm, outside the rain was pelting and the wind blowing.

Tomorrow we head off, our first stop will be visiting Obelink , a very large camping shop where we will get some gas for our barbeque among other things, and then we will go to Enschede to visit with cousin Mike and Aunt Jeannette. It will be good to again be on the road, then I will have to listen to Jenny singing “on the Road Again” a Willie Nelson song. She sings it every time we head off in the van.

“On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way and our way

Is on the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again

The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way and our way

Is on the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again”

Songwriters
Nelson, Willie

Below are some photo’s of the military vehicles which parked on the roundabout during the festivities.

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5 Responses so far.

  1. Mary en Chris from Gerde Hungary says:

    AgaiN safe trip…..and who knows… We meet again……..

  2. Lori says:

    Glad you are feeling better Jenny, safe trip to you and Ewout, enjoy!

  3. Gill Turpie says:

    It’s good to see you back in Europe….we’re booked on a ferry on Monday to Calais. It will be three weeks only this time. The aim is the Mosel Valley – depending on the weather of course. Happy travels.

    • ejsnel says:

      Safe travels to you both, we will follow where your adventures take you and maybe our paths will cross. Ewout

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