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The end of an era

Camper Van |

Without any fanfare, she drove away from the house. The sky was grey and sleet was falling at an acute angle, spurred on by an intensely cold wind. I watched from the warmth of our conservatory as she rounded the corner and disappeared from view, Arūnas smiling and waving from the wheel. That’s it – she’s gone.

Our adventure had begun with her, way back in early 2013. My company was offering voluntary redundancies and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do something new and exciting. We love to travel and decided that a tour of Europe discovering the wonderful food products on offer across the different countries would be the perfect way to begin our new life.

St Michael's Mount, Cornwall |

What a view to wake up to! St Michael’s Mount off the south coast of Cornwall.

It took us a while to find her, but when we did we knew immediately that she was perfect. She had everything we needed all nicely compacted into an easily transportable space. Her green colour was subtle and would enable us to park inconspicuously where other camper vans might not be welcome.

She served us very well for three months as we travelled through Wales, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and Poland before arriving at our final destination here in Lithuania. Apart from a lack of air conditioning (only a problem in southern Spain in July!), she never gave us an ounce of trouble. She was spacious enough for two people to live comfortably without feeling cramped. When we parked her beside Arūnas’s family home we left most of our stuff inside, vowing that we would hit the road again soon.

Camper Van |

Subtle overnight parking.

Way leads on to way, as they say, and we never got to travel in her again. Very soon after we arrived in Lithuania we bought a house. We wanted to renovate the house as quickly as possible so that we could move in and so taking a long vacation wasn’t really an option. We moved into the house in August and considered a short trip then, but we were right in the middle of harvesting our vegetables and we still had lots of finishing to do on the house, so we decided to postpone until Spring.

Spring arrived early in Lithuania this year, the snow melting fully in late February. At the first sign of blue skies my mind turn to the van and where she might take us this year. Our van was registered in Ireland and the tax, road safety test and insurance had all now expired. We investigated registering it here in Lithuania but discovered that we would have to change it from right-hand-drive to left-hand-drive before they would allow registration. This would have to be done by a Mercedes garage in order to be certified as safe. Since this would probably cost more than the van was worth, the painful decision was made to drive her back to Ireland and sell her.

Camper Van |

You have to look very closely at this one! You wouldn’t do this in a big white camper!

As I write she’s probably somewhere in Germany (where I presume she originated), on her final road trip chez Vladička. Soon she’ll be back where we started our trip in May 2013 – on the tarmac outside by father’s house. Where she’ll go from there we cannot say, but we thank her for her loyal service and will remember her fondly for many years to come.

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Camper Van |

Nestled into the mountains in northern Spain. Stunning overnight location.

22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Laine #

    June – you are a writer! The intro to this part of the blog kept me reading to the end – only to find out it was your van you were referring to LOL…..

    You really are a great writer. Perhaps this along with all your adventures will be your income – once done you just need to find an editor (perhaps in New York?)

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2015
    • Sounds like a plan, Laine! Are you an editor, by any chance?!


      June 22, 2015
  2. How sad to have had to give up your dependable van that was such a great way to travel. Perhaps another will come your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 19, 2015
  3. longchaps2 #

    Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to our four wheeled friends. Can I admit we even name our vehicles. Yep. Butler’s old car was Rosie and we had Yellow Belly the truck, and White Stag, lol. Lots of good memories. You’ll make lots more good ones too…

    Liked by 1 person

    March 23, 2015
    • I hope so, Susan. It’s funny – I’d completely forgotten she had a name. She was Jalopy, which we decided was short for Jalopovič. No idea how we came up with that!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 24, 2015
  4. She is on to her next chapter,and you on to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 23, 2015
    • I guess so. But she’ll always be my first RV!


      March 23, 2015
  5. Gary #

    Sounds like the opening paragraph to a book….Well?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 23, 2015
  6. She served you well. I’m sure it was tough to let her go. Onward to making new memories!

    Liked by 2 people

    March 22, 2015
    • I love the idea that we’re always making new memories! Might be time for us to buy one (or rent one, as we had planned previously) and travel the US!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 23, 2015
  7. What a dream, to travel and visit so many countries! Love the van, too. We are big campers so your adventure was really great to read about. Love reading your blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    March 22, 2015
  8. Neat story!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 22, 2015
  9. I hope she is passed on to someone who will equally love and challenge her … your lovely tale reminded me of The Yellow Rolls Royce one of my all-time favourite movies

    Liked by 1 person

    March 22, 2015
    • I haven’t seen that one, Osyth – I’ll have to put it on my list. Looks like perfect Sunday afternoon stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 22, 2015
      • It is absolutely that, June – enjoy when you have the time 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        March 22, 2015
  10. That was such a lovely tribute! Why not buy a new one from Lithuania now?
    Such a great idea for my friends & I to travel across Europe!


    Liked by 1 person

    March 22, 2015
    • We might do, Hiba. We’re not quite as well off as we were when we bought that van and need to consider things like tax and insurance. We might go for a small caravan instead which we can just attach to the car. I bet you’d love a trip across Europe!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 22, 2015

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