Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Continuing Saga

By Claire and Chuck
This is a quick update. We are currently back in Amsterdam. It was 10 pm and we had just gone to bed in the parking lot of the Fiat Dealership once again, when we heard a very large sounding vehicle arrive. Chuck got up to investigate, peeking out the window of Homer. He couldn’t really see anything so he got dressed, went out and met René who had left at 1 pm from Amsterdam, driving straight through. Claire got dressed as well and watched the show. It took an hour to load Homer onto the flatbed transport truck.

René wanted to put some kilometers on and we were game, so off the three of us went, riding in the big cab together.

We drove for 3 hours, chatting and learning all about camping in Europe from the expert, then stopped at a rest area for the night at 2 am, about a quarter of the way to our destination. We were up and on the road again by 8 am, arriving in Amsterdam at 2:30. René must be made of strong stuff. He drove for over 18 hours! We are very grateful.

We are now in a nice “botel” on the water and feel exhausted, relieved and Chuck is a little bit seasick. We both feel this was the right thing to do. The plan is to get it fixed tomorrow, fingers crossed, but we're prepared for it taking 2 days. Meanwhile, we will spend the day in Amsterdam having a good time. We’re thinking of heading to southern France by way of Germany and eastern France but don’t have a solid plan yet. We’ll talk about it tonight.

We don’t know when we’ll have internet access again and wanted to check in with an update. All is well.

Don't take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive. ~ unknown


Diane said...

Retracing your steps--it must be metaphorical. Thanks for the update--glad you are safe. I await the next missive . . .

Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck and Claire,
It’s wonderful to hear that you’re on your way to a new beginning. Just know that not only are you both inspirational to many of us who dream of an adventure like yours, but you are representing us like minded Americans extremely well.
-Darlene, Davis, California

Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks so much for the comment; it is helpful to know what people get from following our "adventures." We hope that you-all realize that this is possible for many -- determination, planning and priorities are very important in setting out on this sort of enterprise.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch TV, I don't do much "social networking" on the internet (although I sometimes hover over my teenagers'screens), I don't read gossip magazines... BUT, I am loving reading your blog and can hardly wait to find out about your next adventure. Maybe I should start a "Friends-of-the European-Adventures" blog or one of the Facebook pages - HA! I bet there are many of us having a great time following you and as a result having thoughts about what we are doing with our lives right now that is meaningful and what we can create for our own future adventures. Thank you for the sharing your journey!

Carina in Davis

Chuck and Claire said...

Gosh, thanks Carina! In spite of our camper troubles, this is what we were hoping for, a life experience like we've never had before. So far, it's happening. We really appreciate the fact that people are bothering to read it. Oh, and that house in France? You're welcome anytime.

Toni said...

I love how you're "rolling with the punches" and not getting discouraged that you're back where you started. I wonder if during your five years of planning you discussed such possibilities or whether this is a challenge you didn't anticipate. But now you'll just come to know Amsterdam better and can set out in a new direction when the transmission is fixed. I can't wait to read your next installment and I loved the interview on the traveler's website. Why, you're the featured Travelers of the Month!

Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks Toni. You can read about my melt down in the latest blog post. We did talk about things like this happening but never dreamed it would really happen. In fact, I asked Rene about this possibility and how it would effect the buy back and he said if something like the engine going out happened it would be an insult to their mechanic! He also said we would get a higher buy back. We'll see how it all comes together. This is definitely costing us in time and money. But, it is what it is and we're here and we're happy and together and what more could you ask for?