Europe Part 2

At 7:00am it was time to put on the chauffeur’s hat and get to business, shuttling two loads of kids to the bus station in a neighbouring town for them to start a 3 day hike in a national park. Once back at the camp we said our goodbyes to the remaining people, signed the guestbook and left them an ‘I love Wales’ mug. In return Joe gave us a basil plant and bonsai tree to make us feel more at home in the limo, what a nice guy!

Having stayed in Klinovice the previous night we had only a short 30km drive to arrive at Klenova castle, the location of the Czechout party. However, having discovered that our amateur wiring had caused some issues with the radiator fans we needed to find an auto-parts store on route.
After searching down several side roads we were eventually approached by a portly Czech man who was intrigued by the limo, he knew several words in English and gave us a tour around the town showing us to the auto-moto store. After a significant amount of hand waving and drawing of circuit diagrams we were able to get all of the parts necessary as well as 4 Danish pastries and continued to Klenova Castle where we would stop to fix the problem.

We arrived at the Czechout party at around three, and as we pulled into the team’s area our engine immediately began overheating, spewing steam from the bonnet. A crowd quickly formed to celebrate our misfortune.

In preparation for the rally we had installed a manual override for the radiator fans, in the process we had to move them onto a separate electrical circuit, as our other modifications progressed this circuit was also used to wire in our CB radio, the undercar neons and a 300W inverter. This proved to be a little too much for the single circuit and our inline fuses would occasionally blow disabling the radiator fans and more importantly turning off our neons. To get the problem under control for the time being we wired in a separate ring exclusively for the cooling system, this seems to work OK so far.

We set up the tents and then chilled out, drank some beers whilst watching all the other teams filter in. At around 6 o’clock an announcement was made to say that a freak show was to kick off the party, which was set up in an old aircraft hanger. It definitely had to be seen to be believed. Before long, Ollie was accurately throwing 5 frisbees at the hand-standing freak-man’s testicular area. There was also a strongman show with inhuman displays of brutish force.

After the freak show, the real party began with spectacles of unbelievable dance manoeuvres and an expedition onto the roof. The festivities ended at close to 5 am and Steve slept his 3rd night out of 4 in the limo.

The following morning we set off late in convoy with Eddie’s Ice Cream Van and entered what we thought was Austria, later finding out we were in Bavaria after crossing the actual border.

After a quick curry wurst at a German truck stop, we managed to get the CB Radios working and came up with apt calling names for both of our teams.

Not understanding that Wien = Vienna we took a wrong turn into a small Austrain town where we paraded down the small streets trying to rejoin the motorway. Austria was another country for which the maps had not been downloaded.

Our bad luck continued and we got signalled to ‘Halt’ by Austrian traffic police. “Passports, Licence and tax”. The British road tax disc was not what they wanted to inspect. No vignette = 120 euro fine! We protested and they replied, “4 grown men should have known better” and then breathalysed Ollie.
Lucking by this point, the Ice cream truck had stopped after making weird noises from its gearbox so missed out on the fine and bought a vignette for €6 after a quick message down the CB.

By this time it was getting late so we peeled off the motorway to ask a local the directions to the nearest campsite, we followed the general direction to where he pointed and saw a green sign leading us down an off-road track. Full speed ahead to what we assume means Camp site. It was only when we had no luck and returned to the sign to discover it actually reads “Kromping Grasse” and not “Kamping Platz”. We then gave up and splurged the £1.99 required to use Google maps and made it to an actual campsite 10 km away on the outskirts of Vienna.

We woke at 10am next day and leisurely set off to find the nearest hospital to remedy Alex’s difficulty to breathe. After discovering that the 1st was closed, we set off for Vienna and had equally no luck with the second; no doctors in the hospital. They kindly directed us to the next one and after getting the all clear we drove through Wein traffic, eventually leaving the hell hole which was Austria at 4pm with our first hitchhiker heading towards Budapest.

At the Hungarian border, we decided to actually buy the road tax rather than trying the ‘gunning it through the country as fast as you can’ method. This is what the road tax office looks like (pic)
Hungary was very straight forward and it seemed that the whole country is just wind turbines. Nothing else happened in Hungary we drove straight through.

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