>Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
(>Pictures at the bottom!)
…waiting time? There is always waiting time before a big journey, whether it is an organised trip or everything is prepared individually.
Although we will be travelling through South America in an organised way this time, the continuation of our round-the-world trip has been on our minds since spring. Besides the technical requirements and changes to our car, we also had to deal intensively with many administrative matters.
For us, the next six months will be “new territory” in terms of travel and many things will not be the same as we experienced in the last four years. In the current world situation, we consider it an advantage that in extreme situations we are not on our own and exposed to the arbitrariness of the authorities. The Covid pandemic experienced abroad taught us a few things; many individual tourists experienced chaotic situations during that time.
The fact that being part or co-organiser of this group trip brought with it a more intense confrontation soon revived our anticipation and we could hardly wait for the day of departure. But already while working on the first days of the roadbook, certain fears arose in us that the daily stages were simply too far for us. In the last few years, we were able to do our own thing and enjoyed the independent spontaneity.
Now, for the time being, we are curious about what is in store for us; there are no negative travel experiences and the last travel reports of previous trips by the same organisation were all very positive.
Looking back, it was an exciting time. After returning from England or Germany, we still had to organise ourselves properly. For certain things, time suddenly became very tight. The Covid illness also contributed to this and put us to bed for a few days instead of using a spanner.
After the recovery, our Jeep got new tyres, springs, shock absorbers at Offroad Böhlen in Thun and the official permit (MFK) to drive around on public roads again for the next two years. There was not enough time for further vehicle-specific modifications, as the material was not available in the desired time.
A few days later, the damaged gearbox was replaced at Allrad Pauli/Allgäu, so that this should not lead to any further problems with any overheating restrictions in the future.
The remaining adjustments and changes had already been carried out before the trip to England and worked to our complete satisfaction. Unfortunately, we were not able to test the modified engine control on European roads, as no road leads up to 4’000 metres.
After the short trip, we only had to make minor adjustments to the new interior. More of a headache was the fact that the car had to be sight-free for transport to South America and all personal belongings had to be stowed in cupboards or other containers. Finally, all the equipment inside still had to be moored seaworthy, so that one could have done a loop with the car 😉
Alone (Tom), we took the motorail train to Hamburg on the last weekend in September. I spared myself the x-hundred kilometres of German autobahn and preferred the relaxed journey in the couchette car to all the hustle and bustle on the road. The jeep travelled in the back of the van as hand luggage, so to speak.
Well rested, I headed for the port of Hamburg and missed Chantal’s navigational skills after the first few kilometres. Correspondingly, I lost my way at every third crossroads.
The first disillusionment came at the haulage company in the harbour: the tank was still too full! What would have been done with a hose in the Third World requires an appointment and the appropriate equipment (pump) in Germany. So in the end, I was left with the worst option and 250 km of motorway driving, so that the filling indicator of the diesel tank was in the right position.
The vehicle handover was then a simple procedure; after the administrative work, the Jeep was inspected and everything was in order. Even the provisionally inserted false floor for the space extension in the lower part of the camper was accepted.
Last but not least, I wanted to take a few photos of our car after the handover. Unfortunately, there were too many other vehicles in my shots, so I had to delete all the photos I had taken immediately. Tough manners in the port of Hamburg!
We used the few weeks we had left in Switzerland to visit family, friends and club events. But also work and helping out with the family filled us up accordingly.
While our jeep was driving towards its destination in Zarate/Argentina, we started the final spurt at home. Everything, or rather the remaining personal belongings, still had to be stuffed into the bags and a lot of paperwork had to be done.
As the last days went by, the nervousness and tension increased more and more; our jeep should already be in the harbour in Zarate/Argentina waiting for our arrival.
Well, finally we are on our way – we are looking forward to the southern starry sky and the summer temperatures.
>Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator