Hastings to Hessisch an everything in between…

Hessisch road trip starts here

After all the work getting the interior panels done, it’s finally time for a little road trip to Hessisch Oldendorf for the HO17 Vintage car show 2017. This show only takes place every 4 years so is pretty special. It attracts rare early vintage VW (and associated) cars and people from all around the globe! This is my first time going, so am I excited? Just a little! 🙂

It’s been pretty hot recently, and the forecast was looking good! So with a little bit of planning ahead, I turned the waeco fridge on in the bus the afternoon before going. This way it will have time to cool down to my preferred 1°c setting. It also means I can grab some bits from the supermarket and put them straight in the camper to save a bit of time. Whilst there, fill up with petrol, check tyre pressures and oil and we’re all good.

time to board the ferry… next stop mainland Europe
time to board the ferry… next stop mainland Europe

Obviously, there is still my normal last-minute packing and scrambling around the house to find bits I might need, but eventually, time to pack the bus and head off to the ferry port in Dover.

Enjoying the ferry crossing

Got to say I’m quite enjoying the whole sailing the channel bit of the road trip, especially when P&O Ferries have an offer on where you get a money voucher towards food for the crossing. So that’s my supper sorted then, a nice bit of Haddock and chips for me!

I’m going to try to take things a little bit easier on this trip. No more manic long runs, keeping it relaxed and simple hopefully! With this in mind, I decided to camp out in my usual area of Calais at the Carrefour Cité Europe carp park.

Camping out in Calais

Quite a few big old white motor homes parked up for the night as is often the case as there is plenty of room. as I was setting up my buseyes window blackouts, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a lady walking towards with me with a bottle of beer in her hand. She said her husband and another couple they were travelling with loved my bus but thought I couldn’t have a fridge in it so thought I’d appreciate a nice cold beer from theirs! What a lovely gesture 🙂 I didn’t have the heart to say that I actually did have a fridge, but accepted the beer and spent some time chatting with them and telling them about/showing them my bus.

Camping in Calais once again
Camping in Calais once again

As is often the case, they’d had bikes/mopeds and VW campers earlier in their lives, but they now moved into the motor homeworld of things, full of all the camping luxuries! Not sure if that included air conditioning or not, as tonight I had both rear pop-out windows fully open all night as it was properly hot inside the bus!

Road trip early start

In theory, it was supposed to be a casual start to the day, but I was awake and up by about 05:30. It reminds of the great Robin Williams line from Good Morning Vietnam; ‘It’s 06:00. What’s the O stand for? Oh, my God, it’s early!

Along with an obligatory cup of tea, I do love some porridge in the morning. Porridge pots are convenient if you’re in a rush, but work out expensive. This trip I decided to have a go at making my own using Jack Monroe’s Cooking on a Bootstrap recipe for the basis of my own version. I thought I could then use up a couple of shop-bought pots I have leftover, and up-cycle the containers as these can be my reusable porridge pots as they already have the quantity lines already pre-done, simples!

Stunning Barndoor 23 window samba with fuel injected engine and Devon interior… nice!
Stunning Barndoor 23 window samba with a fuel-injected engine and Devon interior… nice!

Barndoor buses in Belgium

So after breakfast, time to leave France and head into Belgium. I thought I’d break the journey to Hessisch roughly into two. Today I’ll do just over 200+ miles as I head to see/stay at the Barrage De La Gileppe. Interesting to see a view VW’s on the road heading out to the show as well. Nice to bump into someone who I’d met years ago with his stunning Barndoor 23 window deluxe samba with fuel injection and a Devon interior. What is not to like about that combo! Funny who you can bump into at the petrol station these days! Great to see show buses like this being driven to the show rather than being trailered along, it should be quite a gathering! There was a warm summers breeze, but it was still the best part of 32°c today, so plenty of drink breaks and bites to eat stops en-route. Even the air-cooled bus wasn’t too sure about the hotter temps today!

Barrage De La Gileppe, not a bad view…
Barrage De La Gileppe, not a bad view…

Great location for the night

The Barrage De La Gileppe is a fantastic location, lots to do with climbing and aerial runways, a range of different length walks to suit all abilities, plus of course a restaurant offering 360-degree stunning panoramic views at the top of a 77m high tower!. Unfortunately on my brief stay, I’ll be doing none of that this time around, however, I did have the chance to sneak in a lovely cold beer and enjoy the view after a hot day driving!

A bit of blogging before bedtime as tomorrow is the day I push on to Germany and arrive at the Hessisch Oldendorf show proper tomorrow!

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