These lines are written in Half Moon Bay State Park near San Francisco. Now it’s been almost four weeks since we arrived on the North American continent. For most of you, a little more than a vacation, just enough time for us to arrive and time to start our blog. Originally I wanted to process our departure, all the organizational things that had to be done, chronologically in the blog. But first, I did not have the time to do that, and secondly, who wants to read a travel blog when it comes to organizational matters. Write us, if you want to know and read about our departure / arrival. We like to write about it and are happy to answer your questions.
So now to the first two weeks:
The arrival (in keywords):
Innsbruck Airport, problems with the airline (Condor); Flight to Frankfurt and four hours stay (more problems with the airline (Condor)); Flight to Seattle (no problems with the airline;); Entry into the USA (chapter by itself); Long wait for luggage; Flight to Vancouver (one hour late at boarding, one hour waiting on the runway, 50 minutes flight); Entry to Canada (long queue, many questions); Long wait for luggage; all luggage (8 suitcases, 2 pieces of hand luggage) by shuttle bus to the rental car (outside the airport); Luggage from shuttle bus to the car rental office, then to the rental car; Drive to the accommodation (Airbnb); next day to the ferry (crossing from Vancouver to Vancouver Island); Drive to the RV dealer; Remaining documents, insurance, License Plate and training in the handling of the RV; Drive to the first campsite.
The first days
Before I start – it was raining. Ongoing. It rained all the time, sometimes less, sometimes more, sometimes so much that there was no space between the drops. Some Germans call this “it is raining twine”. I write this as an introduction so you can imagine that all the actions took place in the rain.
There were two topics that we followed in the first days. The first was to put our things in our motorhome and make it comfortable. This included all our brought and pre-sent things and stowing everything we needed. Cups, cutlery, travel plugs, hairdryers, groceries and many other things (many of them for the motorhome itself) that were needed time and time again. And remember, it was raining.
The second topic was to find a “tow car”. A tow car is a car that is pulled behind the Motorhome. Not kidding. At this point I have to apologize to my Canadian and US friends – in Europe there is no tow truck behind a motorhome. Not on a trailer but on its own four tires. With such a team (the camper and tow car), we hoped to achieve a high degree of flexibility when traveling. So we would be able to park the motorhome at a campsite or other parking spaces and go somewhere with the tow car, where there was no space for our motorhome or it was too complicated. For example, in the city, sightseeing, hiking parking lots, to the beach, to the laundry, etc ..
Since I have a dog allergy and are non-smoker, the search turned out to be more difficult than the search for our motorhome a few months ago. Furthermore, the cleanness of the cars left a lot of space to improve. You know that for sure – you have not really cleaned your car the whole winter, neither inside nor outside. There are stones and dried “Something” around, the floor mats look like part of a high mountain hiking trail and there are things in the whole car – which accumulate in just a few months. If your car has never looked this way, congratulations – in this case, you might know someone, who looks like this. Back to the topic – this is how the cars look like here and also the pictures on most websites are displayed with “dirt”. You could still clean the car after the purchase, the main thing is to publish the car as quickly as possible to the Internet – so the statement of a dealer after my inquiry. Once it also happened that the seller said his cars are all completely cleaned. “And then what is this – you fool ?, pointing to something big disgusting on the floor” – of course I did not say that. Instead, I just kept my mouth open and left.
My originally wanted car brand for a tow car was a used Smart. They were around 4000 EUR and were very small and light and therefore almost no increased fuel consumption for the motorhome when tightening. After we had looked at all the Smart’s of the island or called the owners (no joke), we were looking for another brand. Our choice – if I write “our”, I mean Ninas – then fell on a Fiat 500. No dog or smoker car – bought, insurance completed and brought to the specialist dealership workshop to mount the device for “towing”. Disadvantage: The delivery time of the parts + installation took 10 days. Uff. Did I mention it’s raining? Right?
So in the meantime, we drove the southern part of Vancouver Island with our RV. The atmosphere was fantastic – fog, lots of rain and no one there. Many campgrounds and streets were flooded and closed (streets and campgrounds). On a campground in Port Renfrew, we were the only guests on a gigantic, driftwood filled beach – of course in the rain. Later there will be a blog post about this trip.
We learned on this trip – that without a tow car – many things did not open up, because we did not get there with the camper, or it was too complicated. For example, we needed ten free parking spaces side by side for a purchase at Walmart (a US supermarket chain).
After 10 days we had our Fiat 500 and off we went.