As part of our preparations for the big trip we are undertaking a 2 week trip down to Italy. This will give us a good chance to try out the truck as well as enjoy the sights and food along the way. It will also allow me to practice driving the truck. Unfortunately as Easter falls early this year and winter is finishing late the weather may not be on our side.
Anyway our first days drive was from Prague to Innsbruck. We arrived at a pretty campsite for our first night in the truck with the temperature outside only 2 degrees.
Not that it mattered, the heating in the truck worked great and it is extremely well insulated.
The next morning we went for a long walk into the centre of Innsbruck. This was bit far for Lucy but she made it.
After lunch the girls were suitably refreshed and we took them to the Alpine Zoo which they loved. Alisha loved the wolves and the lynx while Lucy enjoyed feeding the farm goats.
That evening we went to the restaurant on site which did surprisingly good food.
After 2 nights we are really pleased with the truck. Everything works really well and even though we are all inside because of the weather there is plenty of space.
From Innsbruck we have a 550km drive over the Brenner Pass to Siena.
Yes, it’s official, just 19 weeks until we leave for Canada. We booked the plane tickets yesterday to fly out of Heathrow to Halifax on Sunday July 21st. We are also in the process of arranging the shipping of the truck which if we are lucky will also arrive in Halifax that day. So lots to do. At the moment we are working on kitting the truck out for our 2 week preparatory trip to Italy in 2 weeks time.
After the truck passed its test last week it was down to having all the final paperwork done. After a couple of days of running around I had my tax disc, insurance and temporary log book. Gary from the garage took me out for a quick drive to familiarise myself with the controls and driving a truck again for the first time since I passed my test almost 11 months ago which was very helpful.
Then on Friday I picked up the truck and took it on my first drive unaccompanied. 1350km back to Prague. The drive went well and as it was mostly motorways was pretty straightforward. Even getting it on and off the ferry was pretty easy. However it is definitely a truck, as you are sat very high up and manouverability is completely different from a car. I can certainly better appreciate truck drivers and why they pull out and why it takes an eternity to pass things.
I broke up the drive by sleeping in a truck park near Koblenz. Easy really, I just took my sleeping bag in the back.
The only tough bit was getting it down the drive at home. Our street is narrower than the length of the truck and our drive is pretty steep. Gilly had tried to keep the cars from parking outside our house to give me more room but there was a mysterious car parked in just the wrong place. None of the neighbours knew whose it was. So here is me trying to get it in forwards:
This did not work so I had to reverse it in around the car. Fortunately a man that was passing was very helpful. Gilly’s spatial awareness was, let’s say, not used to the size of the truck. In the end all safely in but getting it out could be fun.
The girls were delighted and excited to see it and spent ages inside it.
So now things are starting to feel very real. We have a preparatory trip in it planned in 3 weeks time to Italy where we will be able to try everything out.