She asked if I’d like an apple which I confirmed, then took a rapid sprint downhill. It was only a moment later that I realized my apple left first. At this steep trail some five minutes passed before I saw her again. Cheeky that apple.
This May we decided to pack our small city car with camping gear, extra load of socks and go to Czech Republic. The previous plan, in fact, was to go to Albania but an anonymous thread made by me on a local forum started a flame war illustrating all the ways how this can go wrong and why it’s a bad idea (the car is 10 years old). A few thousand kilometers of excellent (or close to) hitchhiking has made me quite ignorant of urban scaremongers but the thread made us a little reluctant to venture for six to seven thousands kilometers into one of the less touristy regions of Europe’s south in an untested car in addition to some crime danger read up on the net. CZ it was.
Wild camping is where it’s at. Yes, camps have showers and electricity but your van has a deep cycle battery, remember? We didn’t, but took pleasure in frequent stops to boil some coffee or tea in random places you wouldn’t expect with our awesome and tiny gas stove. It was exciting, even after a while. We realize supplies are important therefore our back seats looked like a mess, but as always it’s you bringing more than you need.
Some imaginative storage solutions might be possible in a van to prevent clutter.
Old school maps work great
Camping on the side of the highway
Did I mention we got some spectacular hiking? Do go to Teplice nad Metuji.
And the nature
Takes your breath away.
Or makes you all nice and groovy
Our baby takes us all over
And shows sights not seen often
Saw several specialty Koh-i-noor shops all over CZ. I wonder what that means.
Okay, that’s enough. Go somewhere and see for yourself. Pozor! Just remember to find your parking spot early on.
Well, it survived. Didn’t eat oil at all, tires had to be pumped every 300 km or so and even managed to have some fun in the more elevated areas of CZ. Easy to park, inconspicuous.
A funny story I remember, though. On our way forth we counted degrees on the car’s dashboard and, doing high-fives for every degree we gained*, started hearing a flapping noise that increased in tempo the faster we went on the highway. We stopped at the exit and I checked the fluids, all good. There was some plastic dangling on the bottom front of the car which I managed to fix back into position and onward we went.
And it was back.
That darn sound, we stopped again.. Got into gas station and the polish lady explained to me that they have no idea about car mechanics nearby. Outside I got a hold of another non-English speaking fellow when the shop lady hurried outside to tell that we have to go to house number 38 (or something like that) – in a small village. Cruising within, no sight of a car mechanic, a drunken man stares with square eyes in our direction. Lacking social anxiety, I immediately went to salute him and ask for directions. “Forward, then left” which turns out to be nothing except roadworks. He still stared in a still fashion while we cruised back past him..
We found the house where a kind-looking man said the mechanic is 15 minutes away. In the company of a couple dogs and a few pigs we waited and, after the test drive was over, consensus was shocking – “You can go!”. He even checked the tires and car’s oil just to be sure but was convinced the car is fine. And you know what, it was! Turns out the flapping noise was tires hitting against small cracks in the surface of the highway.
Better to be safe than sorry I guess. I bet the mechanic had as good of a laugh about it afterwards. We sure did.
*Here’s how it looked like in the morning of our first day of the trip. All I could think about was that we had some errands to do before even leaving the city and I had summer tires on this buddy. 😦