A Travellerspoint blog

November 2008

Season Passed out!!!

Chamonix here I come!!


Well I have finally bitten the bullet and got my season ticket for Chamonix, you get 35% for sorting it out before the 23rd November!! Came to 703 euros plus 10 euros shipping, thats 500 bones well spent in my book!!

It seems I also get free unlimited access to the Verbier ski area where I am having my 30th with the boys and also plenty of other 'freebies', mental note I need to find out what 3 days "decouvertes Haute-Savoie' in other ski areas means!!

The next step is to book my ferry!! I might even be a rebel and do the deed this evening!

Posted by machine 13:16 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Spent the night in Bertha...

Living it up in Huddersfield


I can confirm that on Friday 14th December I spent the night in the van! I pulled in Ramsdens car park at Oakley House, Huddersfield, got a taxi into town to meet the rest of them. Woke up the next morning at 11:30am, I can only assume that the powder hound (still working on the name situation) came into town and picked me up, closed all the curtains and tucked me into my sleeping bag! Or I got absolutely smashed with work and my homing pigeon instincts got me back.. Either way, had a pretty good night’s sleep and she also started first time in the morning. Also far easier, cheaper and quicker that messing around with trains and taxi’s back to leeds!! Two more work do's before I leave, recon I will be getting my moneys worth!

One question has come up though, could I get done for drink driving for just sleeping in the camper??

Anyway the bottom line is she is back in the good books! Roll on boxing day!

Posted by machine 08:17 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

To Castleford and back or not as the case maybe....

Big Bertha lets me down for the first time and hopefully the last!

Sooo, now the van is pretty much ready to go into the mountains I thought I better start taking her out for a few short runs!! Last Thursday I was going for a night of fun in Casvegas to see if I could hurt myself on the toys that they have out!! Managed to fill das bus up with 46 quid’s worth of diesel and set off for the slope! En route my iPod / MP3 sound system seemed to start playing up! Obviously wasn’t too happy about this as its brand new and I was relying on it to keep me sane for my long journey to the Alps / Bulgaria or wherever else I might fancy parking up. Didn’t think much of it at the time, just put it down to my dodgy wiring...

So got to Cas, did the business on the slope for a couple of hours. In fact whilst I am on the subject of Castleford, now I don’t know if this is because I am becoming a grumpy old man nearing 30 or whether I am fully justified in saying that the customer service is abysmal. Last time I got thrown out because I had forgot to bring a jacket and had to hire one at my own cost. After that I sent in a letter of complaint basically saying that I didn’t see what the problem was as I had done this once before and nobody said boo that time!! Anyway for my inconvenience and because I was such a good customer they gave me a 20 pound gift voucher... So after I had queued for the best part of 15 minutes on one of the queues to be told they only take credit cards (no sign alerting me to the fact may I add) at this queue I was disappointed to say the least and obviously gave them a piece of my mind follow by cutting my losses and paying via credit card. The young wee lassy was very apologetic... Maybe another grumpy letter is in order??

So left Chris from work and went to go and start-up big bertha (still not decided on a name yet) only to find she was as dead as a dodo! Not knowing how this could have possibly happened and at 10:00pm on a Thursday evening was more worried about getting home to bed I proceed to ask anyone who walked past if they had any jump leads! Not having much look I decided to cut my losses and try and phone my recovery company. Unfortunately their emergency hotline was closed because they had to evacuate the building... Not what I wanted to hear and as I sit here writing this I can already feel another letter of complaint in the making....
Just about to cut my losses and get my head down in the van, I think the only thing that stopped me doing that was that I didn’t have a tooth brush with me! Then from out of the blue a young lad that I had asked 10 minutes earlier came running back saying that he actually had some!! I very nearly kissed him but he wasn’t my type! A little while later she was ticking over again and I could almost smell my bed! Here she is outside Casvega’s in her non mobile state;


As I set off things started to get dimmer and dimmer on the light front, in the end I just thought balls to it and continued on my journey. By the time I got Big Bertha to her final resting place at my Ma & Pa’s there was virtually just a faint glow from the headlights.. the last 4/5 miles in the pitch black on the motorway was worrying to say the least.

Well the next day I got under the bonnet and managed to find the problem. The alternator belt was looser than a lady of the nights chastity belt! Anyway with the help of my friend Mr Booth we managed to perform a late evening repair and tighten up the two bolts that the ‘mechanics’ had forgotten to tighten up... If I thought it would get me anywhere I would be writing another letter of complaint, don’t think that back street garages are too bothered about them...

So all’s well that ends well and Big Bertha lives to see another day... Though it does pose the question, if she cannot get me to Castleford and back a 12 mile round trip, what are the chances of me doing the 1000’s of miles round Europe...... Only time will tell...

Posted by machine 07:43 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)


Flights are no booked!


Well I have finally booked my flights, went into STA on Saturday and parted with the best part of 2 1/2 g's!! So the flight plan is;


So the plan so far is;

Posted by machine 02:32 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

More Thoughts



Well the camper is pretty much ready to rock and roll!! Was in the garage for its timing belts sorting out last week!! She also has her maiden voyage over to York to see Matt & Rachel!! Matt had been in hospital for a triple nose bypass! I think he was pleasantly surprised by the sophistication of the onboard equipment!!

After the work on the timing belts, seems that Das Bus now starts without causing a hole in the ozone layer!! Must have been a tooth out on the back timing belt!! I am now officially carbon neutral... ish...

As you can see she is quite a beast!! I am now a little bit more optimistic that she will get me over without hiccup!

I am now swaying towards doing my season in Chamonix, its tried and tested as I have been there before and also lived in a camper for a few days in the sports centre car park! You also get Verbier included in your lift pass so double bonus!!! Still mulling it over as I was thinking about a smaller village!

Maybe I will flick a coin on the Chamonix front......

Posted by machine 03:53 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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