Over the mountains

27. November 2018

Well, we got out well from the mountains. In the morning we had frost on the wind shield (inside we had it nice and warm). Later we had a more and more beautiful ride between the mountains until we in got into a national park and at Saint Julien du Verdon we made some good pictures of a reservoir. 

We travelled over more mountain passes, then the Navi led us on a beautiful plateau of the Provence and to another national park of Verdon. Lavender fields on each side of the road, olive groves and almond orchards as far as you can see. The nice saleswoman in the lavender shop would have been almost ready to be painted. Well, soon we will have the first faces in Spain and Portugal. 

The next town we entered into the Navi system is Arles. There at our last year’s trip to Spain we had a special experience: we tried to find the parking space displayed in the “park4night” app and accidentally arrived on an uninhabited and rather dilapidated farmhouse right by the river. A thunderstorm with violent wind arose and the trees were bent and creaked dangerously. The craziest sounds could be heard from all sides and I was afraid to remove myself from the motor home to empty my bladder. What a blessing that we now have a toilet and a shower in Big Fredi!

We decided to stay in Sénas today after we successfully filled our water tank with 100 liters of water.

At the water pump chips were needed to fill the machine. These, of course, we did not have. When I asked in a building next to the parking lot where you can get these chips, I learned that one must buy them in the tobacco shop. Then a young man opened the box with the tokens, handed one of them to Wilfried and disappeared. We were able to get free 100 liters of water. A short walk into town did not inspire us particularly, but it was enough to purchase delicious baguette and a few small items. In the afternoon a storm already began. As we are moving closer it seems that for us Arles is connected to the storm. 

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We are by the sea

25 November 2018

Again, we stand in the rain, but this time much further south: in Finale Ligure. In North-West Italy at the Ligurian coast, on one side you can see the sea, behind it there are steep mountains and the road cuts through the rocks, so you have to be careful with Big Fredi that he does not hit the overhanging cliff. 

The trip here was anything but a pleasure. I never complain about bad roads in Austria after this dilemma. Absolutely Emmentaler streets. You can not always avoid it rumbles incessantly into the holes. What do the Italians do with the money that should be used for roads? The streets have not only this year broken. 

Well, yesterday we finished the journey at relatively fine, at least rainless weather in Lodi and could park Big Fredi in a public car park for campers. The “small” walk into town turned once again into what we call a “death march”, we enjoyed the atmosphere of this city at beginning dusk. Lodi was involved in a legal dispute with Milan about 500 years ago and finally these two cities have formed a partnership that both led them to a fruitful trade. There you go, they at that time already knew: together we are stronger. Many boutiques and beautiful tasty (and expensive) shops invited us to “look” at them. To buy stuff for our small budget is not possible. Never mind, we have no place in the Big Fredi anyway. 

This morning – after a nice breakfast – we went on at 10am and arrived at the already described place at the sea. For Wilfried it was extremely tiring to avoid all the many frost holes. The potholes are hopefully over now, the last kilometers of roads in Liguria have already been much better. 

We are looking forward to the onward journey!

Stay tuned! We will soon report our next adventures!

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Go on

23. November 2018

After a few weeks at home, which were meant for adaptations and improvements at the car – such as for example a solar system – it’s now back on the road: Portugal and Spain are on face-Europe program this winter.

On Tuesday, 20 November, at 12:30 we finally hit the road. In snowfall and misty weather we left Nussdorf and moved south. 

In other words, just behind St. Poelten we bought 2 gas cylinders for the trip to Portugal and the returning from Spain to have enough gas on board. In Spain and Portugal it is – due to the different ports – necessary to purchase country-specific loaning gas bottles and hope that the adapters fit this time. At the end of the journey we must bring the loaners in the respective countries. 

Anyway, it was quite warm in Big Fredi and it was quite comfortable even in freezing temperatures outside.

We got more and more into the sunshine, the more we  drove uphill and downhill through the beautiful Lower Austrian and Styrian landscape. Even Big Fredi liked the roller coaster ride. This time it was not hot – just like in our last tour to Carinthia in midsummer. Now we know what the built in switch in the car is for: it is the additional cooling to face slopes. 

So we cruised up to Mooslandl in Styria, slept at the parking lot of the beautiful summer bath and inspected the next morning the terrain. A cool camping area, a great natural state pool that invites in winter for walking. 

Next day we went comfortably to St. Veit to visit Wilfried’s brothers. 

It was a fine evening, unfortunately we did not meet Gitti, the sister from Australia because she went too soon back in her Australian homeland. Health problems forced her to turn back sooner than she intended. I very much hope that we meet her in person next year and in the meantime we can only Skype. 

Our journey on Thursday was not very long because in Untergreuth was our next stop. Thomas and Marion, our dear friends, got their borrowed video camera back and we enjoyed the visit of the wonderful house very much. The trout we had for supper and breakfast would earn easily 5 royal stars! We slept in Big Fredi and at 10 o’clock we went on towards Italy. Sun and clouds alternated until finally the clouds prevailed shortly after Venice and now we are in our cosy car in Campagna Lupia, away from the main route, on a small community owned parking lot and the rain splashes on the roof.

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