You Thought You Could Get Away With It, Didn't You?
Read more: The Budget Travellers Lament
...It’s at that moment that I realise why he has a shocked look on his face... I am buck naked!
Read more: Busted!
Having enjoyed the company of "No Howard" for a week in Australia driving along The Great Ocean Road at the start of the year I heard Wicked were branching out to the UK. Me and my hard rockin' amigo Dr Watson had planned a hat-trick of festivals in August culminating in watching Pearl Jam on the Sunday of Reading festival. Just Amazing! After 3 long weekends in a row I was starting to feel the effects of festival fatigue so it was time for a bit of rest and relaxation so me and my girlfriend Karen got in touch with Wicked UK and rented "The Beatles" for a week, with the plan of going down to Cornwall to catch some waves (me) and some sun (Karen). I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed driving and living in No Howard (a rather old Ford), The Beatles (a nice automatic Toyota) was much easier especially on the twisty roads of Devon and Cornwall. Apart from surfing, walking, eating fish 'n' chips and generally relaxing the highlight for me was going to see the 4th World Belly Boarding Championships in Chapel Porth. When we arrived it wasn't looking good, the lifeguards weren't keen on letting the competitors get in the water as there was some big waves coming in and when we saw the competition we realised why the lifeguards were being cautious. The average age of the participants must have been over 55, but equipped with a plank of wood, a swimming costume and a swimming hat they ran into the water like teenagers to catch some surf. They had 10 minutes to ride as many waves as they could but we had no idea how they were judged. The sight of 10 pensioners running into the cold, rough Atlantic Ocean in just their Speedos was hilarious and so very British. I imagine the café did a roaring trade on tea to warm the brave belly boarders up. Congratulations to all the competitors and see you next year! Also, we managed to catch up with an old school friend and his partner who are expecting their first baby soon. Good luck and see you at Christmas! Forget the BnBs and youth hostels, get yourself a Wicked Camper and explore the beauty spots of the UK, like The Highlands of Scotland, North Wales, The Lake District, The Peak District......the list goes on. Cheers Dr Rob and Karen
As so many people do, we've always dreamed of telling the boss to get stuffed, walking out the office door, and travelling the world for a year…
As so many people do, we've always dreamed of telling the boss to get stuffed, walking out the office door, and travelling the world for a year. But like most, we found every excuse in the book not to do it. It's actually taken us 12 months to summon the courage and to save the cash to finally make our dream come true.
Hitting the road, we know that there are two things we can't compromise. Firstly, our freedom. We want to be able to go wherever we want, whenever we want. It's all about getting off the tourist track, throwing our guide books away and seeing where we land. The second most important thing is affordability. Our biggest challenge is how to spend four months in Europe without destroying our bank balance. It’s no secret how expensive it is to eat, sleep and travel within the EU. After countless hours online and advice from with friends, we now realise the cheapest way to do it is in a camper. For us, buying a van doesn't make sense. We just don't want to do three months in a rust bucket with a million kilometres on the dial. They are always too old, too slow, and inevitably break down. Plus, who wants to deal with the stress of selling it at the end of the trip? The best option is hiring a van, and after all of our research, it is obvious that the only affordable option is a WICKED CAMPER.
For the next 100 days it will just be the two of us, cruising the open road together in our new four-wheeled home… ‘Spinal Tap’
This is usually the moment when road rage would begin. But inside the van there's only Zen…
It's a typical summer evening it London. The rain is so thick the windscreen wipers can't keep up. It's only five o'clock but of course it's already dark. To make matters worse 'Spinal Tap', our van from Wicked Campers UK, is stuck in peak hour gridlock.
This is usually the moment when road rage would begin. But inside the van there's only Zen. The i-trip is plugged in and the tunes are pumping. It's the kind of peace you can only get if you are driving out of London on the ultimate road trip. One hundred days cruising through Europe.
Our first stop after picking up 'Spinal Tap' is not exactly an exotic holiday destination. It's the local grocery store. We pack a trolley with all the essentials… pasta, rice, sauces, snacks, toiletries and a case of beer. There is plenty of storage under the seats and in the kitchen, so there's no problem packing it all away. We know that the more we cook, the more we'll save.
The first country on our list is France, and our first big challenge is how to get there… cheaply. In the end we opt for a ferry. Speed Ferries has an offer that is hard to refuse. 30 quid gets us, and the van, across the English channel in less than an hour. And if you're a bit slack like we are, then we have good news for you… we only booked two days before sailing!
After punching Dover's ferry port into our GPS system, we're back on the road. It's only a couple of hours drive, but by the time we get to the famous port city it is already getting late. After a quick drive around town, we stumble across our home for the night. Behind the main road is an open car park with a great view. High above us, lighting up the night sky, is the Dover castle. It's the perfect location for the first of what will hopefully be many nights of free accommodation. And we are not the only ones who think so. There are about twenty vans parked alongside us, all waiting for morning ferries.
At 6am, our alarm goes off and fifteen minutes later, we are boarding the speed ferry. After squeezing Spinal Tap between hundreds of other cars and campers, we head upstairs.
As we pull out of port, the rain and the wind are pounding the seas, but the ferry is so enormous that we can't feel a thing. The view is incredible… the white cliffs of Dover mark the English coastline like a chalk outline. Within minutes they are fading into the distance, and we can already see the shores of France.
WICKED TIP… The more comfortable you make your bed the more you will enjoy the van. We bought a base sheet, top sheet, doona and pillows from home and we sleep like babies.
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