Anticipation is one of the most beautiful joys. And you can google your upcoming trip for hours with benevolence, turn somersaults in your imagination, let yourself be packed more and more, bit by bit, of the new country, new culture until you can no longer wait until it finally starts. And this time it starts on June 20, 2018, the goal this time is CANADA / USA / MEXICO
A long on the Alaska Highway, Panamericana, a bit along the famous Route 66
Or from Canada across the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific ocean.
Or to experience beluga whales, gray whales, dolphins, salmons, grizzly bears, brown bears, moose in the wild in close proximity.
Or through the untouched wilderness of Canada through the Rocky Mountains, the desert Nevada Arizona to Mexico in the Baja California
Or visit New York, Washington, Niagara Falls, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, etc.
Or the first part of the longest road of the world, the PANAMERICANA FROM ALASKA TO FIRE LAND
Or simply said, if there is something on the way that seems interesting to us and we just can stop, have a look for experiencing, enjoying it.
Rough route draft, in advance, from which we will deviate a lot to the right or left
Halifax- Saint John- Portland- Bosten- New York- Philadelphia- Baltimore- WahingtonDC- Richmond- Pittsburgh- Buffalo- Toronto- Montreal- Quebec- Rimouski- Campbelton- Prince Edward Island- Halifax 6.311 km------ picture 1 .
Start: Tadoussac- Saguenay- La Dore- Chapais- Waswanipi- Val d Or- Thunder Bay- Winnipeg
Road no. 138-172-169-167-113-117-11-101-17
picture 2 expected 2.700 km
Start: Calgary - Jasper - Edmonton - Jasper - Prince George - Prince Rupert (Pacific)- Stewart (Alaska, ganz kurz) - Watson Lake - Whitehorse - Dawson City - Tuktoyaktuk - Dawson City - Fairbanks
Road no. A1 - 93 - 16 - 37 - 1 - 2 - 5 - 8 - 2
Pic 3 expected 6.617 km
That would be our northernmost point
Start: Fairbanks - Anchorage - Homer - Anchorage - Tok - Whitehorse - Fort Nelson - Dawson Creek - Hinton -Kamloops - Vanncouver
Road no. 3-1-97-43-40-93-5
Pic 4 expected 5.170 km
Start: Border Washington-Oregon-Idaho-
Wyoming-Montana-North Dakota-South Dakota-Nebraska-Missouri-Kansas-Colorado-Utah-Nevada-California-Arizona-Mexico (Baja California)
Pic 5 expected 10.103 km
There was plenty to do in advance. The visa for Canada was the easiest, it is valid for half a year. Apply online in 5 minutes. And it was approved after five minutes. The American B1 visa, on the other hand, was a real challenge, we needed two to three hours on the computer + a personal interview at the American embassy, all in all a time-consuming challenge. We were rewarded with a 10-year visa, so that we can now enter and exit America several times, with everynew entry the lrngth of stay will be evaluated by the border official.
After weeks of analysis, it turned out that it is considerably cheaper to travel with your own motorhome. So the next challenge was t find out how do we get our RV to Canada? We found two or three providers and we chose Seabridge. 2200 € for shipping + 300 € port fees in Halifax (with early booking it is possible to travel on the ship). However, the costs are brought back many times over simply by saving gasoline compared to American motorhomes. Yes, and who doesn't prefer to drive their own custom-made motorhome anyway, because you know what you have. Well, the most unpleasant item is the American car insurance, for $ 2,200 for half a year and applies to Canada and the USA. On the other hand, the personal foreign health insurance through the ADAC is a bargain at € 220 for half a year.
Oh yes, an international driver's license is still required to get the American motor insurance, which is issued within five minutes of the registration.
Then there was still a lot to regulate e.g. who takes care of the post box, a power of attorney for the person of trust, a doctors health check, who water the flowers, who mows the lawn, all the little things had to be clarified beforehand. Because this time the trip will take a little longer.
May 8, 2018
13 days left until we have bring our car to Hamburg for shipping. Next weekend we will pack, re-check everything again, because what we forget to store inside we would have to take with us on the plane 14 days later. There, however, we want to limit ourselves to hand luggage, our valuables such as laptops and photographic equipment will already take a main part of the free 2 x 10 kg.
We feel a slight nervousness now, did we consider everything, was everything taken into account what is really important.....
In the countless travel reports that I have studied in the past few months, many encouraging words have been found. Here is an extract from other motorhome travelers (our planned travel time is not as long as that of the ones listed here)
Testimonials from other travelers:
What do you advise others based on your experiences?
What impressed you the most?
"How much we feel in the world and in ourselves at home. That people are basically friendly everywhere. What treasures this world has to offer. We don't want to miss a second of this trip. It is the most wonderful time of our life so far. And we already know that it will not be our last long trip. To all who are still thinking about whether they should dare or not: Do it! "
(Andy and Sabine on the road for 1185 days)
"……… .a great trip that we would not exchange for anything! Almost everything is possible, you just have to want it strong enough! We found the luxury of being able to decide WHAT and WHEN to do what every day as very nice . You have a lot more freedom than in everyday life at home. "
(Michel and Ursi + 2 dogs 910 days on the road)
"The greatest adventure on our trip in our generation is probably" driving off ". That we made the decision to go on this trip and left everyday life behind. And that we can now experience that the big, wide world is like that is much less scary than we often think of at home. The change of perspective that comes with such a trip and that gives us a view from outside of our everyday life before the trip is extremely exciting. "
(Ali and Malte on the way 395 days)
"Many people understand the missed goals in life far too late: joys, beauty and nature, health, travel and culture. Therefore, human beings, be wise in time! It's high time! Travel, travel!
you grow with your tasks and we have learned a lot for our lives.
Freedom and a family with a lot of time together, we are very grateful for that. We will only really become aware of this when we return, before we start to start from scratch again.
Even if we turned our backs on Germany to discover the world, it is a very livable country and we appreciate it very much that we were lucky to have been born there. We encountered too much misery and inhumane conditions and often made us aware of our privilege and the resulting opportunities. "
(Michi and Thorben +2 small children 730 days on the road)
"Traveling the most beautiful parts of the countries and getting to know their inhabitants, lingering in the most beautiful places for a few days, always having your home with you, making campfires on beautiful beaches, meeting other travelers and spending hours gossiping about traveling ...
That we mastered all situations together. That everything works somehow if you want it and you stick together. "
(David and Claudia 690 days on the road)
"You become much more honest with each other than you may have been before.
With this type of travel, we believe we can get the most out of a country and its inhabitants. You have your everyday travel under control and are rarely dependent on someone. We could go on like this forever. "
(Sarah and Christian 547 days on the road)
"…. We have understood an infinite amount of new things.
Now or in the future! The first step is always the hardest!
Knowing that we made the right decision to travel. The time we have is limited and too precious to spend it in normal everyday stress. That all travelers see the same thing and everyone interprets / experiences it differently. "
(Yasha and Jürgen 912 days on the road)
I was particularly impressed in all the travel reports I read about how it was emphasized again and again that everyone was surprised by the courtesy, helpfulness, openness of the people in the countries they had visited. What is also reflected in our experience so far, the poorer the country the more helpful, the people.
27.05.2018 km 53.007
departure from Frankfurt at 3 p.m. towards Hamburg Harbour 53.526446, 10.010539 arrival at 9 p.m. The journey took 4 hours longer than planned, because of the countless construction sites on the A7 we came from one traffic jam to the next. (here we realized that we have had a lot of luck with our last 53,000 km so far, because we have never had such a bad traffic as on today's 500 km). We stayed right in front of the O`Swaldkai terminal, which is open 24 hours a day.
28.5.2018, km 53517, starting from 6 a.m. am you can draw a number in the building and from 6.50 a.m. they start to call. The documents I needed: the driver's license, vehicle license and ID card. After 2 minutes I got a receipt with which I was allowed to drive into the customs area while wearing a yellow safety vest. The car was now externally checked for damage and a protocol was drawn up. Nobody looked inside the car. Then I locked the car, handed over the key and left the port area by foot. Duration of the whole campaign approx. 40 min., a queasy feeling to leave the car there alone and turn around and walk to the train. Back we took the ICE to Frankfurt.
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born
and the day you find out why.....
18.06.2018 Km 53517
3 days to go, it's all done. 6 months of packed organization (there are really 1000 time-consuming little things to think about). Now we are sitting comfortably, relaxed, full of joyful anticipation of the upcoming adventure with a glass of wine / wheat beer.
The Womo was loaded onto the Atlantic Sail on June 4, 2018 (the crossing cost oneway is € 2,500) .Expected arrival in Halifax is June 19, 2018, 5 a.m. In the pictures, the ship is just before Halifax (June 18, 2018)
Many thanks to Anthony for taking us to the airport, which made things a lot easier, especially with the huge dog box.
Everything went smoothly at the airport. Jerry has to go into the box, a Condor employee checked whether the size of the box is ok. Luckily it was. Then we only had 30 minutes left with Jerry, before all the documents were done, the box was checked by another employee to see if Jerry wanted to smuggle something and he had to finally go into the box. Now everything went very quickly, Jerry has pushed in, which worked wonderfully, completely against our expectations and he was rolled away. Our hearts were bleeding and Jerry's eyes made it even worse.
Then we were alone and it was time for us to go to the security check, for people who knew their way around, Gate B, the absolute horror. 30min until we were checked.
Completely surprising for us that nobody cared that we had a huge bag of medication in our hand luggage for all eventualities.
Then we went straight to the plane, but the start was delayed by 20 minutes.
The flight itself, 7.5 hours, was very pleasant in Premium Economy, although the flight was relatively full, we had a double seat and even the free row of three to lie down, which Thomas also took advantage of (which brought us some jealous looks) .
When we arrived in Halifax, local time 8.40 p.m., we were the first to arrive at the checkpoint, which consisted of a computer, where we had to answer dozens of questions. And this is exactly where we answered a question incorrectly, what we realized later.
We went on to the next personal check (there were a total of 3 checks). Then we went to the bulky baggage counter, where a dog box with Jerry was waiting for us, while the others still had to wait for their luggage. Jerry had to stay in the box and we were quickly on the way to the exit. What we only noticed later, from that point on we were accompanied by a customs officer. We were already at the sign "Exit", last check and here we were stopped, please follow me this way and suddenly we were in the customs check.
Now we were asked, emphatically “Are you sure that you answered all questions correctly? We confirmed that (at that moment we were sure for 100%)
The customs official pulled out a log, in which we had negated exactly that in the long list of imported items such as nuts, milk, fruits ..... living animals (uuuuum ... read over) and many other things. The customs official's face darkened, the pitch was respectful, he pointed to the dog and asked if it was a living animal, our hearts slipped and I stuttered .... yyeeeesss ... then we were told that a false statement will result in a $ 1,300 fine.
Now he repeated the question: is this YOUR dog? In a very sharp tone, I said yes again. Then he said, is this your first visit to Canada? I said yes again.
The official's face brightened now, and he said what a cute dog this is. I don't want to be like that, please be careful next time, because there are actually no exceptions.
After the warning and a little paper warfare, we were able to enter and finally free Jerry from his box. Ultimately, nothing was checked by us or Jerry (like vaccinations, papers or the chip). Actually, all officials were just happy to see the dog, they ask what breed it is, how old he is. Even though the customs official frightened us a lot, everything was handled with an unbelievable courtesy, friendliness and openness that we have never experienced before.
So much so that we developed the feeling that something wasn't right here, I think the Germans could go to school with the Canadians. We have had this experience every time we have had contact with Canadians.
Now we still need to pick up our rental car because the motorhome is still in port. We couldn't appreciate the fact that we got a Jeep Cherokee for 60 €, a giant ship, just tried to get to the hotel and sleep quickly, a short night was ahead of us, tomorrow morning we want to be the first at the customs, if that takes too long there, we don't have the car before the weekend..
Day 1 + 2, June 22/23, 2018, Peggys Cove, 53584Km
Directly from the hotel to the carrier in the morning, we had chosen a hotel nearby. Too early for breakfast, my stomach grumbled, but there was no chance to discuss with Thomas because he wanted to start everything very quickly.
We arrived at the forwarding agent at 7am, a woman came out of the office with papers in her hand. We had email contact with her a few days earlier and asked her to get everything ready in advance and explained her the time pressure. She actually did that, unbelievable. I fit wouldnt have worked in time, the harbor closes at 12 o´clock, we would have had to stay in the hotel for 3 days.
The shipping company received $ 150 for handling.
Thanks to our offline navigation system Osmand, we easily found the customs office 10 minutes later, here we were asked the same questions as at the airport, such as do you have groceries on board, which Thomas denied. After he saw the route, he beamed happily and wished us a lot of fun.
We got the stamp. Now weh ave to drive to the port. Thomas got restless in the car.
We have groceries on board, around 1000 coffee tabs and a few others. We remembered the customs officer last night who emphatically advised us not to give false information ... oh dear, what's coming now.
It is a very short way to the port. And again we were greeted by a beaming employee, with a courtesy that was unusual for us, we were equipped with a vest and visitor ID and detailed directions. On the way in we saw our motorhome (we call him Rudi). The thoughts that we had given wrong information slipped into the background when we saw a visually intact Rudi.
Now we had to carry out further customs formalities. Yes, we repeat ourselves, but here too we were greeted with a warmth ...
Documents were created (everything is still done by hand here) and now it is getting exciting, the employee said that he now goes up to the police / customs again and get their ok for the release oft he car. In Thomas' face you could see how the thought of the wrong information caught up with him and his heart slipped into the toe. We had to wait about 5 minutes. It was a terrible 5 minutes before we heard a whistling employee coming down the stairs who gave us the keys and papers and said I wish you a wonderful stay in Canada, no control or check of the car, we could just drive out now.
Next job: Get rid of the rental car, we thought we could make it without a navigation system and of course got lost, Thomas drove the motorhome, I took the rental car. When we saw a police car on the side of the road, we asked for directions. First they showed him on the cell phone, and then they said, you know what, we'll guide you there. Our faces could then have been filmed well. They actually led us to Avis.
This was followed by bulk shopping, gas bottles, dog food, the way to the campsite in Peggy Cove. The weather is really nice, sun, a few clouds, relatively strong wind.
A big order lies ahead of us, everything in the camper lashed and the purchases have to be in the right place. But since everything is full and in the wrong place, everything has to be taken out and back in again, which took hours and took nerves.
The trip to the campsite was very nice, idyllic, almost comparable to Norway (fjords)
We haven't really arrived yet because everything was really exhausting.
But that will certainly be the case soon.
Pictures will follow when we have found our cameras :-), but so much in advance, Canada is really beautiful, everything is a little bigger, no, wrong, something a lot bigger, everything goes a little slower, including the traffic, which is incredibly considerate expires. We have been in Canada for 6 hours and so far we have only positive impressions.
And Jerry actually got through the best of the three of us, he bounces around like a young dog and keeps us busy.
Day 3 June 24th, 2018 (54059km)
We started in the morning, visited the small village Peggy Cove again, unfortunately in the fog. A beautiful little fishing village. The memorial for the crashed Swissair plane from 1998 is very close there. The weather brightened during the day. I.e. from 15 ° C on Peggy Cove (coast) to 30 ° C in the hinterland.
The trip went to Hopewell, where you can see stone formations (stones hollowed out by the water). We actually wanted to stay here, but we were forbidden to do so. Then we continued towards the US border to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot. Driving is really relaxed here, top speed 110km, almost everyone sticks to it. Very relaxed, you just don't get from A to B as quickly as we are used to. The trip went along Highway No. 1. Finally we stayed in a truck driver's parking lot. Here, too, everyone was extremely accommodating, we should even be invited to dinner.
We are still doing very well .
Day 04 June 25.2018 (54267km)
The day started very rainy and cold, it is 11 ° C. We continued on Highway No.1, towards the US border (to Maine) at St. Stephens. Here we briefly interrupt our Canada tour to visit New York and Washington and Anthony in Richmond, Virginia. Afterwards we will return to our Canadian Route via the Niagara Falls.
After a 2 hour rain ride on the highway, the closer we got to the border, we were almost alone on the road, we came to the US border at St. Stephens. We didn't know what to expect, after some experiences with non-EU countries, we were a little nervous. First of all, we were the only ones at the border. A quick check of the papers, then we were asked to come in. There were 5 border guards in the building, all very relaxed and friendly. Since we will cross the US border several times during our trip and also have a 10-year B1 visa, which makes unlimited entry and exit possible, the question now was how long the stay will be granted this time, which period makes most sense. We were offered a yearly visa, which is unusual, but pointed out that this could cause a problem on another US border due to the unusualness. So we decided on a 6-month visa, and will then give it back when leaving Alaska, on through Canada and then on entering the USA to drive along the east coast. The officer looked at our route and thought it through, which makes the most sense. In the meantime, 3 of the 5 officers were with us and discussed. Again and again everyone has digressed, suggestions for route improvements have been made, what is going on with the German soccer team? we laughed a lot. Everything took 45 minutes, not because they caused us problems or checked the car, but because we just talked and they were curious about what we were going to do. Nobody wanted to see the car, neither the dog. It was really easy. Who would have thought of that?
Now we are in America, Maine, on the way to New York and Washington and Virginia.
If we have internet again, we will report, it is not that easy. Thomas tries to upload a few more photos, we will see if the wifi is sufficient here.
Day 4, the streets are still empty and only with 2 lanes. We stayed overnight at the Walmart parking lot in Brunswick (this is allowed in the USA / Canada and free of charge) and since we have a long journey ahead of us, wecant pay a campground every day and we also dont want to use it every day. Campsites are not our thing anyway, so far we have mostly stayed free overnight. The car is designed so that we could stand for 5-7 days self-sufficient. More on that later.
9 a.m. , it continues towards New York with cruise control
June 26, 2018, day 5 (55240km)
The journey from Brunswick to New York, almost 600km went very well, passed Boston without any traffic jams. From two freeway lanes, in increaes between 3 and then 4, the highest we have seen so far was 5.
The system works better than ours. The top speed was 110 kmh / 65 miles (nobody really sticks to it, it settles at 120-125kmh), since almost everyone drove at the same speed, it ran even with fairly heavy traffic. It quickly got used to the fact that overtaking on both sides is allowed / will be done. We drove an average of 110 km /
Nevertheless, we reached the campground right on the Hudson with a view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. This campground is actually always fully booked and we have not made reservations. Again we got to know the flexibility and courtesy, they made room for us, behind the place is a shipyard for smaller boats, between which we found a place.
Although it is already relatively late and it is getting dark soon, the bikes were ready to go and we drove to the very close and really perfect place with a view of the Manhattan skyline, from here 5 minutes by bike. It is really fantastic to be able to sit here and enjoy this view while the sun is slowly setting. What a gift!
Time has passed so quickly without that we really realized it because it was so impressive and we kept having the camera in our hands all the time.
Around 11pm we went to sleep, the night here in the middle of New York was very quiet and we felt very safe here.
Day 6, June 27.2018 (55240km)
Short night ..... the alarm clock rings at 5.30am, because we wanted to be the first in Manhattan and see how this pulsating city awakes.
Right next to the campground is a small ferry that takes us and the bikes to the heart of Manhattan in just 5 minutes for $ 6. I'll shorten it: we drifted through the house canyons in Manhattan with our bikes, visited Ground Zero, watched people on the way to work, indulged a Starbucks Cafe for $ 6 in a park and soaked up the atmosphere of the city. The city is noisy, even early in the morning without many people on the move, like a base noise. Discover and be amazed in New York, yes, but to live here? No, much too crowded and hectic and loud.
We have never seen so many joggers in the morning, for us is was a kind of slalom between joggers who were out and about before work.
But we have never seen sooo many police officers, sometimes heavily armed, as in this city. We have never felt so safe anywhere like here, no matter where you stand, the policemen are always in sight. You get the feeling that half of New Yorks residents have to be a police officer.
At around 11 a.m. we made our way back, the time passed very quickly. We really enjoyed the morning, it is really worth visiting this city, letting it take its effect on you, you just have to sit somewhere and watch and be amazed. Frankfurt is a village against this city. Fortunately, it is not so hot today, but a bit cloudy, which does not bring top photos, but is really pleasant for us and the dog. The high temperatures are still ahead of us before we go back to Canada, in Richmond it should be up to 40°C.
This afternoon we will ride the bikes in the other direction, towards the Statue of Liberty and take a closer look at it. Thank God, I was able to convince Thomas not to drive across Manhattan with the RV. Already on the bridge yesterday while changing lanes we almost fell victim to a lane changing truck.
Tomorrow we will continue towards Washington. We will probably only have internet again after about 3-4 days at Anthony.
We are really very well here, we are happy about every new day that we can experience together and that always brings us new interesting, impressive, sometimes thought-provoking impressions
Day 7, June 28, 2018
After we visited the Statue of Liberty yesterday and got an amazing view of Manhattan again, we made a quiet evening back at the car, the actual plan to go back to Manhattan in the evening was given to us as a gift. We found the feeling that we were looking for, we let Manhattan work its magic on us.
We talked to a New Yorker and asked him what it would cost to rent an apartment here, he said, Jersey City, opposite Manhattan, where our campground is, a 1 room apartment costs around € 3000. well, we don't want to live here ... but what do you have to earn so that you can live here or live with your family in a larger apartment?
We sat in front of our car for a long time and let the day linger.
Today was mainly going to Virginia via Washington. Whereby he started with an 8-lane highway (in one direction, the entire highway had 16 lanes, with a lot of traffic, Thomas had fun with it). Then we passed Washington, we decided to visit it on the way back. While driving through we could catch a glimpse of the capitol and the obelisk. It wasn't enough for more, you can't stop anywhere. Thomas wants to discuss tariff restrictions with Uncle Trump, so we have to go there again.
We were a little surprised by the temperatures, which rose from approx. 20 ° C to 35 ° C and upwards in the 550km from New York here in Virginia, no wind, barely bearable in a car with air conditioning, but as soon as you stop and get out, or staying in the car, it's really hard to endure. There are hardly any shadows. It may be that there are people (and dogs) who love these temperatures, so far we have laid out our travel routes so that we did not have more than 25°C. If you are in the car, you cannot escape to a cooled house.
We stayed again at a Walmart car park in Stafford, 100 km before Richmond in the middle of fireflies.
Tomorrow we will meet Anthony and his family who will arrive in the evening.
June 29, 2018 day 8
In the morning we went shopping at the Walmart, which is always a very time-consuming thing, because Walmarts are very big and you have to search for years until you have everything. The prices are much lower compared to Canada, almost like in Germany. The selection, although e.g. giant refrigerated counters only for sausage, only for cheese, etc. is really limited compared to Germany, there are 20 different packages of cooked dishes, or 20 times Cheddar cheese. But there are three courses for cornflakes or chips with a lot of different products, and we prefer not to talk about bread at all. We will have to get used to it…somehow, it will be hard.
The temperatures were already over 30 ° C by 9 a.m. We are on our way to Richmond, but a day to early, we have to kill time, drive through Richmond, look at the houses and neighborhoods. The majority of the houses are wooden houses. Everything seems somehow the same, simple but practical, everything without a fence, the lawn is mowed perfectly everywhere. What is the fat Mercedes in front of the door for us is the perfect front yard here.
We have been looking for a very, very, very long time for a shady spot where we can spend a few hours. Really difficult here. Towards evening we hope to meet Anthony. Let's see if that works, because we only have coordinates and no address, phone number.
Tomorrow, with the help of Antony's daughter, we want to look for a SIM card with which we have plenty of internet volume and can also make cheap calls to Germany without having to spend a fortune.
Yesterday evening we also had our first experience with swarms of blood-sucking mosquitoes.
6 stitches within seconds. Immediately unpacked NoBite sprayed then we had rest in front of the bastards.
Our further plan is to stay in Richmond for another 1-2 days, before making a pilgrimage through Washington to the Niagara Falls, through northern Canada
Day 9, June 30, 2018, 55815 km, Richmond
We really slept very well, we stood on our host´s propertiy under trees, it is definitely bearable. We really want to thank Cathy and Fred McGann for this spontaneous and so friendly offer that we were able to stay here and use the wifi We would like to thank Cathy and Fred McGann for their hospitality. They spontaneously invited us to spend the night on their property and to provide us with wifi. All the best for you both !!
Anthony sent an whatsapp very earliy the next morning, asking if we could be there by 8am, they don't have much time today since they heard his sister's birthday party.
The day started with the task of solving our internet problem. But it wasn't that easy and it was also time-consuming. Either we need a SIM card for each device, because the SIM cards here cannot be used as a hotspot. The requirements: to have the chance to do cheap calls to Germany and to have a high volume for the Internet to be able to use the laptop and to keep the website up to date and prepaid. First contact point Walmart 1, the sim card is sold out. Since we already heard about it in advance, the decision had already been made in favor of AT&T. Walmart 2 also sold out. Walmart 3 also sold out. In the meantime it is already 11 o'clock and it is a torture to go out oft he car with air condition and walkt tot e Walmart ntranceit will be exempt from the car again to walk to the Walmart entrance. Walking barefoot on the street would be difficult, the floor glows. Back to our internet problem, we have probably found an AT&T shop, our idea with the SIM card makes no sense, since the card cannot be used as a hotspot, we can use an extra device with a card that can be used for up to 8 devices. This Hotspot will cost $ 60 (once) plus $ 25 for 2 GB / month. Only phone calls are not possible, but you cant have everything and have also cheap as well. But we are always available from now on whatsapp also whatapp calls are possible.
Even today it was over 40 ° C in the shade. We could convince Anthony's brother-in-law to park on the space on his meadow behind the house, that decision was not easy for him, Americans love their meadow, and he was afraid that our car would keep tracks. Finally we had a power connection, we kept using our air conditioning system for the first time. We were optimistic that this day is more bearable, but we had to realize very quickly, that the heat is so extreme that the air conditioning is working sufficiently. So the only shadow was coming from our sun blind.
Daily task, to observe the sun and estimate the time by she disappears behind the trees.
At Anthony's family, the whole day is entirely in the spirit of preparing the party for the 50th birthday is his sister. 200 people are invited. In the evening at 8 o'clock we drive to the place, a hall rented for the evening. Here the invitations were limited by time, you start quite early and before midnight the party end and everything will be cleaned up. This has something to do with the law, but we have no idea about the details. But nevertheless, the party was very exuberant and lively. A large buffet was prepared, a DJ mixed the music, people were so exuberant and danced like we have never seen it in Germany.After that intense party and the sudden and early stop was bringing us to bed at midnight. We spending the night in front of Anthony’s brother-in-law’s house. We were the only two whites at this party. A wonderful evening, we really had a ot of fun and we don't want to miss it
Day 10, July 1.2018, 56004 km, on the way to Washington
On the way to Washington we saw again dead deers and fawns on the side of the road, the highway is 4-lane, there are animals of all sizes, dead, on the roadside. we also had 2 concerns, in which a deer was right on the roadside and when it would have started to jump we would also have had problems.
Reaching Washington around noon, again in the blazing heat, 40°C in the shade. The perfect weather :-( to do sightseeing. First we started sightseeing from out of the cool car. We decided because of the weather and the situation that you can hardly ever park here to concentrate only on the three main atractions.
No matter where we parked, wherever we just stopped, it was definitely forbidden to stop, that was clarly showns by several signs.
Thats why we decided to use a new tactic this time: we circled the White House, until we were sure that Thomas would drive around in circles again and again, I jumped out of the car, heat shock, ran as far as possible, took photos, ran back. There are a lot of tourists, mainly Chinese and Indians. It is so hellish that you can hardly read the camera displays. We repeated that at the Lincoln Monument and the Obelisk. That worked out well, but exhausting, especially at Lincoln, when you have to walk up the white stairs in blazing heat and light and actually don't see anything and think you fall back down the stairs. I do not have to tell that the driver and the dog had a much better cooling experience during this sightseeing.
In Washington everything is 1/3 to ½ times more expensive than in Virginia. Washington is a city like any other, hectic, noisy, overloaded, full of tourists,
After 2-3 hours, we stated to continue our journey direction Canada and the Niagara Falls, we will also try to be there in the evening .. Yes, the 3 monuments are impressive. The Lincoln monument you can see from only a short distance, once survived the tourist hordes, but the White House doesn't let me feel much, it is so far away and looks unapproachable.
By the way, Thomas's idea to talk to Uncle Trump about the import duties wasnt of successful, nevertheless he was at home there (flag up, he's there, flag down, he's not there) because we haven't found a mouse hole, to get into the building.
Back on our way to Canada, over the Niagara Falls. Was easy going , no traffic jam this time, we arrived quickly at the country road, on the way we passed old villages and small towns. Among other things we stood in front of a gun shop, it was closed. Around 8 p.m. we arrived at the Niagara Falls on the US side.
Parking was 10 $ here, we were lucky, a close parking space became free. From here to the lookout was only 50m away. As the pictures tell, it is less impressive from this (american) side than from Canada. With an elevator you can go down and from there onto a ship. Even it was already 8 p.m., shortly before darkness, there were still many many people of all nationalities here, how may it be during the day,
Day 11, July 2nd, 2018, 56851km - Thomas commits a crime / there is trouble
Still impressed by last night, the Niagara Falls on the US side and of course impressed by the crowds that were still there at 9 p.m. in the evening, even though it was almost dark.
So we decided to cross the Canadian border very early and then look at the Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.
Border crossing USA / Canada, less than 5min, again the car was not viewed, only the usual 3-4 questions were asked, and this time we finally got a stamp in our passport.
Immediately to the left after the border crossing, the viewing area of Niagara Falls was deserted, it is 7.30 a.m. So far, only street sweepers are on the road. We just stopped on the verge, we were the only ones and were able to take photos undisturbed and impressed about the great view. By the way, parking here would have cost $ 25 for an hour. Around 9 a.m. it started to get livelier and we drove on. Still completely impressed by the sight of the Niagara Falls, Thomas wanted to upload 2-3 photos. And we found that our American AT&T card didn't work as it should in Canada, namely not at all. And this is where the mischief begins that should haunt us all day and keep us going until late in the evening.
To summarize it, nothing happened to the three of us, we are healthy.
Since we were practically blind again without internet access, we decided to solve the problem in Canada in a Walmart. But since Canada is a public holiday today and everything is closed, we had to go back about 20-30km to a Walmart on the Canadian side, which was the only one that was still open. And now it's getting really bad. Everyone who knows us knows that we would never expose our dog to any kind of agony, we are too worried that he might not be well. It is now 9.30 in the morning, it is still pleasantly cool, during the day it will raise up to 35°C. We opened our skylights as usual, Jerry took a seat in the passenger seat as usual and watched the people and we went to the supermarket. After about 25-30 minutes, Thomas went out to the car to get the laptop and to look after the dog and car. He fetched the laptop to test whether the Internet could work here. Everything was fine with the dog and car. 10min later we came out of the supermarket together. There were 2 police cars in front of our car, 3 older bitches screamed around and we saw that our window on the passenger side was smashed. Thousands of small fragments inside and outside the car. Jerry was sitting in the shards, totally scared but he was fine. We realized relatively quickly that this was not a break-in, but that the older women believed that they could save our dog's life by fetching the police. The policeman came up to us after he realized that the car was ours and said that we had committed a crime. Then Thomas asked in a quite way what we did wrong. The policeman pointed out, relatively politely, that in Canada it is forbidden to leave dogs in the car with the window unopened for a long time. Now it gets interesting again, Thomas pointed to the open skylights, pointed to the running fan in the car and said that the car has air conditioning and repeatedly asked politely what he had done wrong. The policeman said: "Oh", the second policeman (afterwards we found out that he broke the window) got into his car. Thomas asked repeatedly what he had done wrong, the policeman replied that you had left the dog alone for more than an hour to commit a crime and that costs a minimum of 300 Can $. Thomas asked him if the situation was now better for the dog that was sitting on all the small pieces of broken glass. Then looked in the car, grimaced and repeated, you should better be calm now and walked away.
Thomas said that he would like to go to the shop assistant, it was less than 10 minutes, he was at the car in the meantime. He politely asked the policeman to go to the shop assistant to confirm this. Since Thomas was pointing at the roof window again, the policeman got angry and said harshly, be quiet now, otherwise you'll have to leave the country. I no longer understood the world and wanted to understand the background. They were rude to me too, another word and you travel straight back.
To shorten that now, the trembling bitches were suddenly gone, the second policeman only admitted after repeating the questions that he simply smashed the window at the scolding of the women. The police pulled away and talked to each other, we slowly got the situation under control and wanted to know again If we did wrong, they careful now and be quiet, otherwise you have to leave the country and then they left very quickly. There was no protocol, no punishment, nothing. Except for one window, that you couldn't get here because there are no fiat suppliers here. The tempearture starts to raise, and as I said, everything is closed in Canada today, no communication possible because the American SIM card does not work. Thomas covered the window makeshift and we decided to go back to America because the shops are open there today and the SIM card will work there. Back in America, we visited 3-4 workshops, including also a Jeep / Chrysler / Fiat workshop. We were aware that the window must be send from Europe and must be delivered by UPS. The workshop were not willing to help us, they just mentioned it is not possible. We called Fiat Europe and AAA (the American counterpart). Nobody was willing to help us. In the meantime, it is getting so hot that the dog is really having problems now, thanks to the nice policemen. Relatively fast, after 7 different points of contact we realized, we wont find a solution or help . We were looking for a shady place to relax and think about the situation and how to proceed. Unfortunately it is already 8:00 in the evening in Germany. The next steps we have to postpone to the next day. We may ask our car workshop in Frankfurt, ask them to order the glass and send it to us-
we have to go back to Canada first and also to test whether we can drive with the covered window
The border crossing again to Canada was easy and fast, no note or record that about what happened , maybe the police men realized that he was wrong and did a mistake,
Now we have decided to drive back to Peggys Cove (1900 km, via Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec) and ask the owners oft he campground if the window can be sent to their adress as we have no other post adress that we can use. We will need about 3-4 days for the trip.
We then had a really pleasant night in a free Walmart parking lot (because of holiday) with a glass of wine and Bacardi Coke and reviewed again the situation. We are a little bit proud that we could solve the situation somehow without hectic and without any help from other e.g. Fiat. Normally you would count on
Day 12, July 3rd, 2018, 57198 km - day of rest from the previous day
Latest news, 7 a.m. in Toronto
Contacting the Cr service station, the window was already ordered and and will be shipped soon.
The campground also answered, they offer to help. It all feels very good.
At 7.30 a.m. we are back on the road. We dont visit Toronto because we are currently cant visit all big cities. This is a big city like any other.
Road traffic around Toronto is hell, could be compared with New York. Now it is 2 p.m., we are about 100 km from Montreal, again no clouds in the sky. Close to Lake Ontario, the temperatures are moderat, but the further you are from the lake, it is unbearable again, very hot.
We have been in America for 10 days, we were in Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland
Americans no longer ride on horses in the prairie with cowboy hats, they are well motorized with their jeeps. 110Kmh is the maximum speed, but often only 90.
• Refueling: on the one hand the diesel costs between 65-85 cents, for comparison in Germany € 1.40, on the other hand you don't fill up with liters, instead of gallons. Depending on the gas station, you have to predict how many gallons you will fill up You have to etstimate that, what is not easy,
Big cities are very chaotic, but once you find the way out oft he cities, you are quickly lonely on the street
• about the Americans themselves: first we thought, they are really nice, open, friendly. Our last experience, when we were really needed help with the broken window, when it really important, that was not reflected. In the workshops or offices I was a few times crying out of helplessness. They just stay cold and unapproachable, just blocked off.
• We often have recognized very superficial statements, with less thuoghtfulness.
The highlight here really is that everyone tends and cares for their lawn here, like if there is no tomorrow. In these 10 days we may have seen only 2 or 3 unmown (and I mean the lawn was 3 cm longer than the official length of lawn). It woild be a very good option for us to open a shop dealing with lawnmowers. Safe job. But we also noticed, although it is miserably hot here, we hardly see a lot of swimming pools, maybe because of the water costs, maybe the water is also needed for the lawn ;-)
• Bread: in one word: terrible. Since I was really often in Walmarts, because of a sim card, or supplies, I startet to give it up, hoping to find baguettes and tasty bread. The bread is so pampy that it sticks to the palate and you can hardly get it off without your fingers.
• Food: there is a different kind of food culture here, some things are really inedible for us. McDonalds and Co are really more than present, eveywhere. And we too let ourselves be tempted, because it is too hot to cook, and burgers are availbable, other things are hard to kind.
• As mentioned before, everything a bit bigger, more extensive, but if you got used tot the differences compared to Europe, you cant believe that you are more than 8000 km away. Only the oversized USA flag reminding us that we are not in Europe.
• To our mind and impression, the Americans cherish and care for nature more than we do, we expected it differently.
• What did we like very much? Visiting New York, even a few days later it feels very good, having been there, the Lincoln monument in Washington, the Niagara falls (we prefered the canadian side). The beautiful landscape, espaecially the huge blueberry fields- Thomas had a lot of fun driving on the 24 lane road, …that must be kind of
Day 13, July 4th.2018, 58583km -
We are starting this morning from the suburbs of Quebec ... for those who don't know, now we are actually in France, everyone only speaks and really ONLY speaks French, french signs, and if you want to talk, they reluctantly speak English when at all. It seems that older people really only speak French. We chug along the Sankt Laurenz stream between 50, 70 and 90 km / h. It is still densely populated, there are no major cities outside of Quebec, just villages with small houses. It is very touristy. And if we haven't seen any campers yet, here they are. But only Canadian / US ones. We have not yet met any European.
During the drive we could see several times how police officers checked the speed of the vehicles with a radar gun and then grabbed the vehicles (there is a video about it because it happened right in front of us twice and we filmed it). The overspeeding fine is extremely expensive here.
We had a wonderful, impressive day. After we turned from the Sankt Laurenzstrom, right back towards Halifax, we had the first impression of lonely areas and of what will hopefully come soon. We are really looking forward to it. With luck, because again without internet, we found a Walmart to stay overnight. We are not homesick and are eager to disappear from civilization into the wild. We will often have no Internet there, and we have quite often felt that up to now. The country is so big and the 3-4 providers that are here dont havea complete coverage. Internet is really a problem here if you go out of the metropolitan areas, which is our goal.
Regarding the window, we do not currently know if it is on the way, we are waiting for things to come
Day 14, July 5th.2018, 58.739km -
A small film above, 4min, if you like, you can drive with us through Canada's small towns, along the St. Laurenzstrom in New Brunswick.
Below is our overnight accommodation at a small harbor in Stonehaven. We are now traveling almost 60,000km with this car, very rarely on campsites. Today it happened to us for the first time that a night watchman came to us at 9pm and said, if you like, you are welcome to stay here and then had a friendly conversation with us. In general, we have been doing this almost exclusively since we have been here since 16h, people are totally curious about our German license plate, asking a lot and giving tips and they are very nice and open
Day 15, July 6, 2018, 58,975 km
Not a really good day that started with a phone call that the garage had the window since yesterday, but still hadn't shipped it, and it didn't sound as if they would still do it on Friday afternoon, now the weekend is coming. Well, it's just a window. But which has been keeping us within a radius of the delivery location for exactly a week now and we are annoyed and restless because we would love to start. which is not possible, but we are dependent on outside help and cannot force anything.
We try to make it clear again and again that it is just a warning shot, a warning shot to "practice", means, and we try to motivate each other, but it is hard. The weather does the rest, it rains. If someone in Virginia had told me that it would rain, I would have done a 3-hour rain dance, the 40°C there has moved into the background. In the afternoon on the way to the bridge to Prince Edward Island because we were bored and didnt know what else to do, we passed an auto glass workshop. After the experiences and the USA with the workshops, we are skeptical whether they can help us or want to help us. But everything is going perfectly right now, everyone was so nice and asking what happened, talking on the phone, whether there might be a winow somewhere (which is not the case, in the meantime we were ready to buy 2 windows and put a sign in the car, if someone should feel the urge to break a window here, then please the one on the front right, we still have it as a spare part). Now they promised us, as soon as the window has arrived from Germany, it will be installed there (another point, before which we were scared, not to find any workshop which is willing to install it). AND tomorrow they will temporarily install a transparent plexiglass window for us. Tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. There is a campsite right next to the workshop. We really only stay here for the reason of the proximity to the workshop, so tomorrow we won't have to drive that far. And I am using the time to wash our laundry that has accumulated in 14 days. For me it the very first time that we are doing that at a campsite. But we 3 are not compatible with campsites, because 1. everyone, but really everyone stares at the license plate, talks to us, we have no rest and keep telling everyone the same thing that which was nice at the beginning, but now you could burn a CD and let it run. 2. Jerry, he defends the motorhome, as soon as someone approaches 5m, he barks.
Day 16,July 7.2018,59445km
Hooray, we watch out again on the right side, even if only priliminary, we have got a plexiglass window, looks almost like real. For $ 75 and a very friendly and conscientious handling of the matter. It didn't even take an hour. We are happy. Then we decided to spend the rest of the day discovering Prince Edward Island. You can get there via a 13km long bridge. We passed many small fishing villages, in some places you have direct water access, so the time passed and somehow it was relatively fast 18h, with wonderful weather, approx. 28°C,
We still don't know anything about shippment of the window, it's Saturday. We actually thought about going on with the plexiglass, but it's actually unreasonable. The three of us are doing very well. One of the only two Walmarts on the island is ours today for spending the night there. Compared to the full campsite yesterday a rest.
We hope there will be something more exciting to report soon, anyway, we are totally impatient to finally go direction Alaska, Pacific ocean.
We wish everyone who reads that a good morning and and to us a good night !
Day17, July 8.2018, 59828 km
We drove back to our original destination, Peggy's Cove, the weather was really fine. A really nice drive and landscape that we could not really appreciate while driving here for the first time right after our arrival, The bay is one of the most beautiful of everything that we have seen in Canada. Around 3pm we arrived at the campsite, which was still quite empty at this time, but it filled up in the evening and again they stood close together finally, like in Germany. We stood a little lengthways, so we had a little extra space for the dog. Since we still didn't know what was wrong with our glass, we put everything on one card and wrote a long message to the workshop to clarify whether there were any problems with the shipping. Thomas decided to go through the night so that he could contact the workshop in Germany very early in the morning by phone, so that not half the day is alreadygone when we get up because of the time difference.
And now it's getting exciting again, because first we were out of luck and then bad luck came along, or worse is always possible. So much in advance, the next day was exciting again, in a negative sense.
Day 18, July 9.2018, 59828km,
The next day started at 2 a.m., it was 8 a.m. in Germany, the cell phone flashed and we received a whatsapp that the package was ready and it only had to be sent, he checked all weekend the possibilities for shipments and found out that it should cost $ 900, yes, in words, $ 900 via UPS. Window size original 90x40cm, packed 120x60cm. Considered bulky good, hence the high price. But it got even better (or worse? Or more expensive?), because the idea with DHL of what looked like € 300 at the beginning in the internet turned out to be € 1200 afterwards. In contrast, there is a value for the window itself of 140 €. The initial euphoria that things were now going on, disappeared and a great perplexity arose. But it gets worse. Around 5:00 a.m., we noticed that we had a flat tire in the back right and Thomas already indicated that this could be the same as with the window, because these sizes of tires are not necessarily available here in Canada. This is our first platter we experience with Rudi, we drove on Albanian, Romanian, Russian and Ukrainian roads that were in much worse condition than the roads in Canada.
For about 20-30 minutes now the mood was at absolute point zero, we sat speechless in our camping chairs and at some point we looked at each other and started to get the tool out of the car and changed the tire together, which worked really well, although it was our very first wheel change that we have ever done in our lives. Together we are strong ;-).
The missing window totally slipped into the background, because only with 4 wheels (without spare wheel) we will not start the tour through Canada and Alaska, we do not want to take the risk. At 8 a.m. we stood in front of the nearest workshop and our worst nightmare came true. There are no tires here which would fit. While the people from the workshop were desperately looking for solutions, they spoke on the phone, they discussed, their facial features brightened briefly, but only for a short time, then you saw that the thought pursued was not promising either. We were asked to come back this afternoon and leave the tire there for now.
We were both very tense on the 5 minute drive back to the campsite, but one thing was very clear, we are not giving up. After having considered all the possibilities, we wrote a long email to ADAC, vehicle registration, photos attached, the situation described in detail and even after a short telephone conversation we were given the feeling that they would take care of the matter, “we are doing it more often, we'll get it done ”. Since it was just before end of working day in Germany, we have to wait until tomorrow for the results.
Anthony, who is still in America at the moment, is trying to find out in parallel whether the tires are available there and can be shipped here, but they don't exist there either.
In the meantime, Anthony's girlfriend Birgit from Germany got involved and motivated us with her enthusiasm to help us again, because in the meantime we were already thinking about the option if one of us may fly home and bring the parts from Germany. Somehow it will go on, there will be a way that we will get everything repaired and ready to go, but we are aware that our longed-for departure has to wait longer than we hoped.
At around 4 p.m. we started back to the workshop, our actually broken tire, fully inflated and functional, was alredy waiting for us. I try to explain it in my words, it was grafted, from the inside, but it is tight. Although we are a bit unsure whether we should or even want to drive another 30,000km with a repaired tire, or if we only will use it as a spare tire. We agreed that we will come back tomorrow when we have a feedback from ADAC i fit is allowed to use canadian type of tire, or a shipment from Germany at affordable prices is possible. More on that again tomorrow.
Somehow we still enjoyed the evening and since the last night was short (or not at all) we will go to bed early.
We had no problems with Rudi for 60,000 km and now two stupid things in a row.
But our gut feeling sais, doesnt knock us down, we are not down, it i more a kind of a test. Many roads lead to Rome, let's see which one leads us. But we also notice one thing: we have friends. That makes us happy and to feel it here makes the situation almost worse to experience.
Our two options are at the moment:
1. ADAC finds a cheap way to ship tires and the window from Germany
2. one of us flies back and fetches the things, if the airline allows to carry it as luggage.
Let's see what the day brings tomorrow.
Day 19-21, July 10-12.2018, 59.828 km,
The last 3 days can be summarized very briefly. The ADAC is the solution, it means that we will receive 2 new tires and our window. The window costs € 140, the two tires € 270, the transport around € xxx. The transport will arrive via Air Canada, the plane will arrive in Halifax on Saturday at 11.15 a.m. We will try to check at the airport tomorrow to find out exactly where to go, as soon the parts are arriving weh have to get them released from custom. It will definitely be an adventure again.
If everything really works like this and ADAC was able to make everything possible, we will always remain members throughout our lives :-)).
On all of our trips, we always had one thought in our minds, what happens if there is any trouble with the car while being so far away from home. All of these experiences that we have now are good for a certain reason, because this feeling or fear is now gone, we know that we will receive help and support when we can not solve it on our own. It is always will take a certain time, but the ADAC helps to get the needed parts and ship it to any location. And even if you don't get in touch, we have received several emails asking if we still need help or if we solved the topic in the meantime on our own. However, since we had hardly any internet, we could not deal with it promptly.
We are doing very well, we are lazy on the camping site King Neptune in the Indian harbor, which is currently not very busy and we enjoy the free time time and the sun, it is around 28°C.
The day before yesterday evening we were invited by our direct canadian neighbour Josef Wieland here (how many km do you have to travel, to meet someone with almost the same name, which means German ancestors and camps right next to us ??), for our very first lobster. We drank all evening (the other day everyone except Jerry had a humming skull). It was getting very late, but war was very nice to hear about a lot of topics.
Internet is really not that easy, sometimes it works fine, sometimes not for a long time. E have to get used to that fact.
Day 22/23, July 13 and 14, 2018, the endless story of the delivery of a window
We easily found out where the cargo department is via Google. There they confirmed that the windscreen and the tires are on the way, and the cargo department is also open at the weekend, as is the customs in the airport itself. Totally euphoric, we made our way to the next Walmart, did our shopping and stayed overnight.
To timelapse now:
Saturday, July 14th, 2018
In good mood on the way to the airport.
10 a.m .: the window / tired are not on board, will arrive with another plane at 4 p.m., mood drops.
1 p.m .: Window will not be on the plane at 4 p.m. In the meantime we are almost friends of the cargo employees, they care a lot, but cannot help us much, since nobody in Montreal answers the phone.
3 p.m .: we are offered to stay here and keep us up to date.
4p.m.: we see the plane landing .... without our things on board.
There will be a conference tomorrow at 11a.m., after which we will know more.
Thomas is getting uncomfortable and fawns after what happens here, it could be the wrong window or the wrong tires ... or ... or ... or
Day 24, July 15, 2018,
We woke up late, the conference call showed that our spare parts should arrive at 4 p.m. today. And indeed, at 5 p.m. we got the freight papers with which I could go to customs, everything was very easy there, since the ADAC wrote in a letter that these parts are not available in Canada, we did not have to pay customs duties of 270 Can $, just got a stamp that everything is done. And back to Air Canada Cargo, our spare parts were ready, we pack all parts in the car and started back towards Peggys Cove and the workshop there. Tomorrow they will put the tires on our rims and install the window and we can stop there the night before. The tension slowly drops
Day 25, July 16, 2018, 60,188 km
In the morning at 7.30 we started to install the window, it was actually relatively easy. There will only be a lot of screws on the interior trim. The tires were installed in parallel. Approx. at 9.30 everything was finished and like new. The bill was really not high in total, € 107.
We said good bye and and belongs to each other, even if they lost the repaired tire for us, we have another problem in the same home and in this case it can be heard relatively easily afterwards.
Then we started, towards Alaska, Pacific ocean, finally. We have great weather for our start.
Now that we have disovered the region witin the last days, we chose to take the direct route via Highway 2 to the ferry in Riviere du Loup (yes, we are back in Quebec and everything is french again) via the St. Lawrence river. The highway belonged to us all the time, not many cars on the road. For the first time and even in this area, which is still populated, we could scent a type loneliness that will soon be more intense. Unfortunately we haven't seen any animals yet. With good music and very relaxed we travelled around 800 km and we left the St. Lawrence river in the evening. A little too early we arrived at a ferry that takes us across the St. Lawrence River. A little too late we realized that it only went over a lake not acrosss the St. Lawrence, but in we arrived in solitude, on the edge of a national park, we spend the night there on a parking area, surrounded by 1000 fireflies.
We have seen all kinds of warning signs of moose on the street, but we quickly no longer believe in it. The mooses may just a propaganda story for tourists ;-)
Everything here french again, probably we didnt find the corrct sign tot he ferry .
Day 26, July 17.2018, 60955 km
Today we follow for another 100km St. Lawrence river swallowed and cross it at Riviere du Loup, that takes about 1h (30km) .We have the opportunity to see whales on the crossing, let's see.
After we cossed the St. Lawrence River route 2 starts, see below. We tried to find out in advance how the road conditions are on these most northern route, but noone could answer this question, seems that it is not used by many people. It is not the most direct and shortest connextion. We were only told, if we see signs that will tell us to get fuel here, weh ave to do that because the distances between the gas stations will increase a lot, If you have a look on the map you will see that we now passing a 2000km large, quite deserted area. We heard that we won't have internet or phone access all the time up there, so don't worry if we do not report for 3-4 days . We are fully packed up to the roof, so the car has never been that full.
Day 27, July 18, 2018, 61343 km
We saw three really impressive things yesterday
1. The crossing of the St. Lawrence River in the fog, unfortunately you couldn't see much up to a few meters away, so no whales either. The width of the stream at this point, although really not the widest point here, is incredible, 30km, you cannot see the other bank, it looks like a sea. The water looks churned and dirty brown. The ferry uses the fog horn again and again to avoid a collision with others in the fog.
2. Arrived at the northern side of the stream we relatively quickly come into very lonely areas, beautiful landscapes, dense forest, lots of lakes and rivers, just as you would imagine Canada. Since this morning the streets are like a roller coaster, not curvy or with serpentines, but they go 10-12% uphill and then downhill again. Because they are so straight, it looks as if you are sitting in a roller coaster .
3. The perfect highlight to can find here and which is the most difficult er found today. We saw a shoal of Beluga whales swimming directly from the shore. It is fascinating to see these animals, they are really brilliant white and totally stand out from the color of the water. It looked like they were playing together, the whole spectacle lasted about 10 minutes, then they moved on to the open sea. We have almost no photos, since we just watched and were completely blown away. But we have it in our heads. Many spend money to go out on a boat to see them. Here on a boat that can accommodate 700 people. Our experience was a thousand times better. When you see white beluga whales swimming 10m from the shore, you completely forget everything around you and the reality. You are so fascinated by the sight, it was an absolute dream.
We stayed a long time, but they never came back, you could still see them in the distance as thumb-sized white dots, and even that was a great feeling.
The only one who slept through the experience in the car was Jerry.
We stayed in a parking lot in Saguenay. Last bigger place before our route of "loneliness" starts
07/18/2018 day 27
We spent the night in a parking lot in Saguenay. Last bigger place before our route of "loneliness" starts,
Today we saw another three highlights.
We woke up very early today at 5 a.m .when it got light and then we went out of civilization. As the picture shows, the nearest town is 200 km away.
The weather was nice, approx. 20°C, we mostly drove straight roads, which went up and down with a steep gradient.
Finally we saw our first moose, very briefly, it was in a field and quickly disappeared into the forest, but it is easy to see and very large. In the lower part of Canada, the very heavily populated part, there were a lot of dead animals on the side of the road. Here not at all.
It took us 4 hours for the 200km of lonelyness because we also made a lot of short stops. The landscape is really incredibly impressive, just like you would imagine Canada to be.
Then arriving in Chigomanau we came up with the idea to drive up to Hudson Bay, which would have been another 300km. However, since we have no internet or telephone, we could not google what could be interesting here in the lower part of Hudson Bay and whether there are whales to see. So we looked for an information center in the small town, which was a bit of an expeditionary character. Then we found a policeman to whom we asked all our questions, he was incredibly friendly and helpful, he said that the road up there is mostly not paved, but only gravel and that there is actually not much to see and good tires are needed ... ok, risk ... instead of that he suggested that we visit the Indian reservation 56 km away, or as they say here: First Nation Reserves. He gave us the local emergency number again, pointed out to us to be careful about the speed because of the mooses and was shocked that we did not have a satellite phone, which would be common and useful here. Which made us very puzzled afterwards. But well, we don't have one and the emergency call works anyway.
It was a really friendly conversation and also quite long, about 20 minutes, we also exchanged views about the route and Europe.
Afterwards we made our way to the Indian village Ouje Bougoumou. Once there we try to get into conversation somehow, but it was not possible, it was like their own zone, their own police station, their own court, their own fire brigade. And although we stayed there for a moment, we are unable to get into conversation with anyone. A bit frustrated, we drove on and wondered why. Next bigger place is in 400km.
Since it was already around 6 p.m., we stopped at a slightly larger lake and were looking forward to spending the night here and sitting outside. But that turned out to be a total flop, because here the mosquitos really caught us for the first time. A swarm around everyone and they follow you in all directions, even into the car. Since our gut feeling told us that this is not the right place to stay, we continued. We came to a small Indian village of Wasnanipi. As we have learned, it is the tribe of the Cree. We politely asked if we could stay for one night and we got permission to stay here, the police asked and we were announced.
We are honestly surprised at the separation between Indians and the former conquerors, the Europeans, we had never imagined it to be that extreme, separate places, people are very careful, as if they had bad experiences, but on the other hand very much curious, most of the time because of our German car, there were definitely 20-30 cars passing while we were standing here and people were looking at us curiously, but they were greeting us, too. Then the police came and they were really super nice, they already knew about us. We were able to ask all of our questions. They are happy that we are there, but they keep their distance, we assume that everyone from the village has now loaded his family into the car and drove past us. Although everyone looked really friendly and some oft hem waved, but did not try to talk to us. We are here on the fairground of the village, there are some tipis, but people live in normal houses, even if they seem a little simpler or poorer than what we have seen here so far. The only way to speak was with the two policemen who came to visit us again and who also assured us that it is uncommon for Canadians to seek proximity or contact. We have the feeling that we are the first Europeans here (of course we are not, because they were here before and certainly have been in recent years
Day 28-30, July 19-21, 2018, 63071km
There is not much to tell ...
we fight our way comfortably hour by hour, you can only drive 90 km / h, cruise control and you roll ahead on a mostly good, mostly straight road (it's a bit monotonous). A truck appears every 10-15 minutes, it is not as lonely as we thought. No matter how hard we try, we don't get to see any animals, except warning signs everywhere. So our "animal yield" still remains with the belugas and an elk. As the pictures show, the distances between the villages are horrendous, 200km, 400km was our longest route so far, without seeing a gas station / restaurant. The places you cross then have a bit of an expedition character, small, sleepy.
Canada is as scenic as we imagined it to be. It changes a bit, sometimes it is tundra, swamps, then there is thick forest, smaller and larger lakes, rivers. The first two days, 19th and 20th it was really warm, 30°C, we never expected that here, today on the 21st it is cloudy and rainy with 15°C.
We mostly spent the night at lonely lakes and in the morning we were surprised that 2-3 other small motorhomes joined us late. Even if the swarm of mosquitoes has subsided, mosquitoes are omnipresent here. Sometimes you stand for 5 minutes without a mosquito, then suddenly a whole swarm comes up that you can't get rid of. I don't understand why they attack me and leave Thomas alone, you have at least 4 days of fun on the stitches.
Since there is little to write about, a funny experience from a few days ago:
we came to an intersection with traffic lights and we wanted to turn left. It is usually the case that a green arrow lights up on the left when you are allowed to drive. At this traffic light system, no green arrow was shining, only green for straight ahead. Since Thomas was unsettled, he stopped at green to wait for the arrow to come, in fact we waited 1.5-2 minutes with green, the arrow did not come and there were at least 8-9 cars behind us. And even though we stood there 2 green phases until we understood that we can drive if no car comes towards, no one has honked, scolded, no negative reaction. We were a little embarrassed, we laughed about it for a long time. They probably stood behind us and laughed at the foreigners.
Back to today:
we are now 200km from Thunder Bay, which is the closest major city, and 900km from Winnipeg (from there we want to see if we can fly to Churchill to snorkel with belugas) and as described above , we roll through a scenic area with 90km h. We had almost no phone / internet access since 2 days now, it is so sparsely populated that transmission masts are hardly worth it. Since there is not much to look at outside of the landscape, we try to make a straight route and get a little closer to our goal Alaska. Oh yes, there was still a little thing that happened to us: in the middle of nowhere the music left us, the USB stick had probably come loose. And when the radio was pushed back it clicked and the main fuse was out. Thomas tried to get the part up and running again, checked every cable, everything was in place, could not find the fault.
A bit annoyed, we drove the next 200km without GPS, I tried to use the offline Navi Osmand on my cell phone to get on. Fortunately there are not so many streets here. When we then put in our night stop, we went back to the problem and discovered that a blue cable was uninsulated in the radio slot, which was not used, however, and stripped it, then the fuse remained in it. In situations like this, you are always aware that it is pleasant to be out and about with your own things and your own car, but since everything is a little different here, such a small problem can be quite big.
We are doing really well, we enjoy the time, today we have been on the road for a month, the window and tire shock has been processed, we have been on the road again since Monday. We are now in Ontario, which is almost 1/3 of the way through Canada and especially out of French-speaking Quebec, which was sometimes really exhausting, the mentality of the people is often different, a bit like the French in Europe, only French, somewhat arrogant, ignorant. Incidentally, we have never met any Europeans other than two German holidaymakers who borrowed a motorhome here, who travel through the country in a similar way.
Except in Quebec, where we were mostly ignored, people's curiosity is high and we are often asked what we do. I can now memorize my answer text.
We didnt have the chance to have a campfire within the whole month, which we are not here now, there are everywhere indications how high the risk of forest fire is right now. The signs are red.
Here it is 11a.m., the time difference is 6h to Germany. After we will leave Thunder Bay behind, the next time zone comes, then it is 7 hours earlier than in Germany. It is getting light at 5 a.m. and dark at 10 p.m.
Here are the coordinates of our last overnight stay at Klotz Lake, N49.79917 °, W85.86447 ° (simply enter the numbers / coordinates copy / paste in Google Map, this is how our overnight accommodation looks like
Day 30, July 21.2018, 3 p.m.
We took a short break around 3 p.m. after a drive through beautiful countryside. There is a Welcome Center in every major entrance, including Thunder Bay. Uops, there was a Swiss named Gianni in front of us, also a world traveler who, together with his cat, has about the same thing as we do.
Gianni was waiting for 2 other Germans who have been in Canada since 3 months. We then had a very lively conversation for an hour, exchanged experiences and decided to look for a place to spend the night together. We found a small bay, perfect, parking right on the lake. We 5 exchanged ideas until late at night. Thomas and Yvonne come from Munich, have been traveling across Canada since 3 months, also with direction Alaska. So it could be that we meet again. It was interesting that we had some of the same experiences, that our expectations on arrival did not match reality, that Canada in Nova Scotia looks different from the romantic picture of a campfire by a lonely lake with a moose in the background.
Day 31, July 22, 2018, 63582km
In the morning it got a bit tricky (no, this time it didn't hit us ...), Gianni locked himself out of his car, key and cat in inside. After thinking about it for an hour and tinkering, it was possible to get the key from the passenger side. We continue towards Winnipeg (600km) and are now given an hour free because we are going to the next time zone, now 7 hours earlier than in Germany.
Our plan is to find a place to stay just before Winnipeg and then explore Winnipeg the next day / do some errands, reload the phone card, do laundry, and get directions on how to get from here to Churchill (on Hudson Bay) as it is there is no road, there is the only place where you can snorkel with belugas. We will take 2-3 days for this and will probably meet Gianni, Thomas and Yvonne again.
We are doing very well, we are arriving more and more in this country. It doesn't feel like we've been on the road for 31 days, we can hardly believe it and we are reminded of it again and again when we write here. Maybe that's because we still have so much to do that we're so curious about.
Day 32, July 23.2018, 64180 km
On the way to Winnipeg (20km before): Uops, almost overlooked and missed, we are already in the middle of Canada !!
Dont laugh, but we were observed by a deer on the side of the road, it was watching us all the time, when we got the camera, it suddenlly disappeared. Then a Canadian stops and is asked if weh ave a breakdown and need help. That reminds us again how helpful people are here. Flattened from these three facts, we narrow down into Winnipeg to look for tourist information. There was heavy traffic here, narrow streets, that after 3 weeks of wilderness and only small villages it was tricky to find our way through here.
From where we continue to the airport and to branch offices, as we have information from Calm Air (the airline that flies to Churchill, Manitoba, and Hudson Bay as well). No information is possible in the airport itself, but in the outbuildings. From Winnipeg this is a 5h flight with a stopover for about 1500 Can $ there and back, from Thompson, which is further north, it is 2h, 760 Can $ there and back. We love to fly from Thompsen, but there is only a flight on Tuesdays and only back on Tuesdays a week later. After the experiences with the people here at the airport, we definitely don't want to lose Jerry there in the chaos, I had the feeling that the people at check-in were disinterested and uncoordinated. If the dog has to make a stopover then he will definitely come to Timbuktu and we to Churchill. Another option is to charter a Chessna from Gillam (close to Thompson), however, costs $ 3500.
Now we cannot imagine staying up there in the hotel for a whole week, of which there are only three hotels and one shop. A bit disillusioned, since this will actually be one of our highlights, we will leave that alone for now and turned to our other tasks for the day, such as washing and drying clothes, cleaning the inside of the car, recharge the internet card, or buying a new
In the evening on the Walmart car park we got in contact with a canadian motorhome driver who gave us some really interesting tips that there is also a way to see Belugas in the north of the most northwestern territories. Canada's most northerly road which was built not very long ago and Inuit live there. Starting from from August onwards we may have lick to that we can find someone there taking us out by boat. But that's how long it takes us to drive up there. The place is above the gold mining town Dawson City, northeast of Yukon and is called Tuktoyaktuk. Since the road was very new it is not yet shown on our map, it is still be very unknown and we will go decided to go there instead of Churchill, it is almost on our route as we have to drive via Dawson City anyhow. To Tuktoyaktuk there are another 500km.
In the evening, our two germans arrived as well at the Walmart car park and had a 19-year-old Czech aboard, a hitchhiker who went across Canada, spoke German very well and it was a very funny and long evening until at 2:30 at night.
Day 33, July 24. 2018, 64301km
This morning we decided to meet again 100km from here in a Provicial Park (Grand Beach Winnipeg Lake) and having a last evening together with the campfire and barbece and start our way separately from tomorrow on. And we also want to get back to our own rhythm, because we have celebrated a bit too much last few days, drove little and slept little.
The entrance for the park was super cheap, 18 Can $, park entry 5 Can $ and really nice, spacious with separate slots with a lot of privacy, there is no one else here, we are sitting in the middle of the forest. Jerry is on a long leash and starts excitedly moving towards the forest, sniffs, is really rigid. We thought he must have smelled a deer or a raccoon. Then, while I am sitting here, a woman on a bicycle arrived and warns us that she has just seen a black bear with 2 babies very close. Ok, that was probably what Jerry sensed. While walking carefully around the area we couldn't see anything at the moment. Later more.
I am curious, but also feel a little insecure, sensitive, because this is the first time that a bear is so close and it has babies with it. We are very vigilant and hope that Jerry continues to watch out and warn us. But we just decided to get a bear spray tomorrow.
The bears didnt come back. On the one hand, good, on the other hand, we would have loved to finally see a real bear. At 6 p.m. we lit our first Campfire, we had tons of wood, the fire was on until 2 a.m. We skewered sausages on sticks and grilled them and placed sweet potatoes in the embers. There was also a salad. Again it was so easy with everyone, everyone just put what they had in the middle, somehow you need fewer words and agreements here than at home.
We sat in front of the fire for a long time, talking, listening to music and lingering on our thoughts. When asked, what are you thinking, did we get the answer, "I'm just really happy" and "do you know the feeling that you're bursting with happiness"?
We felt the same way and also a great calm. At home, in everyday life you rarely have something like this.
An unforgettable evening
Day 34, July 25.2018, 65235 km
At 10.30 a.m. we leave the park, our plan was to pass Saskatchewan quickly, we have not found anything interesting on the map that will move us to a stop or detour. The country is flat, there is a lot of agriculture, cattle breeding, long stretches look like Germany. My idea of Canada doesn't fit here. I really see there are a few big cities and the rest is made up of thick forests, lakes and swamp land. But here you can also see the influence of civilization, because there was definitely only forest here bfore. We drive a very long time, until 8.30 p.m. and cover a 934 km on a almost completely free highway. It close to Winnipeg and the following 2 hours away were uncomfortale, since it is raining and there is still more traffic at the beginning, but the further we go, the better the traffic and the weather . We passed the border of Saskatchewan. The street is totally lonely, it is absolutely straight line, so far as the eye can see. A small highlight in this part, somehow monotonous area are long trains that cross our path from time to time, they had 3 locomotives in front and one in the back, we once counted 86 wagons. We have never seen anything like this before, and we never thought it could work.
In the evening the landscape changes slowly, it becomes a little hilly, endless grassy areas, often with herds of cows. We ride comfortably into the sundown.
We travelled really fast through Canada towards the the eastcast, last Monday we were started in Halifax, 11 days later we are only 1300 km to Vancouver and thus one of our destinations, the Pacific ocean. But before that, in 500 km we will reach Calgary. From there we will drive tot he north into the Rocky Mountains. Highway 93 leads 230 km directly through the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of 3000 m, with its lakes such as Dow Lake, Peyto Lake, Waterfowl Lake or Mistaya Canyon and the Jasper National Park and Banff National Park .
Day 35 July 26, 2018, 65745 km
We drove to Calgary today, we dawdled a bit, actually we intended to drive to the Rockies already today. But then a storm came and we don't want to drive through Calgary driving qithout being able to see anything.
The way was monotonous and always straight ahead. Grasslands and oil production as far as the eye can see. There are not even resting places, only now and then tiny little bays. Finding a place to sleep was not that easy, the internet tells us all Walmarts here don't allow an overnight parking. Let's see if we have to go on again. We want to start very early tomorrow to get through Calgary, after all, Canada's third largest city.
We fixed our new route. The real Canada, which is in everyones mind, the western and northwestern part up to Alaska, see picture 4, below, are 6.617 km, it will guide us goes through the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska. Here we will keep our feet and paws in the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and we also assume that the highlight photos and animal photos will come now. Below see route 3
Day 35, July 26, 2018,
We are so excited to finally reach the Rocky Mountains that we wake up very early and start early. We first drove through Calgary. Calgary is the third largest city in Canada. Now that we have been driving here through the wilderness since two days, it is hard to imagine that so many people should live here now. The streets are laid out like a checkerboard. A "street" always runs from north to south, an "avenue" from west to east. In downtown, many office buildings and shopping centers are connected by the "+15 Skywalk System". This route system consists of glazed pedestrian bridges and passages that run 15 feet (4.57m) above the streets through the high-rise buildings. In the meantime, more than 62 pedestrian bridges connect around 18km of footpaths. The basic idea of the architect in 1970 was to shop regardless of freak weather or to be able to reach his office in downtown. The skywalk system also leads to the Devonian Indoor Garden with children's playground, relaxation areas and pond areas.
Since we are not prefering to travel to big cities since we have been traveling with the motorhome, as it is often very difficult to get out of the traffic without trouble or to be able to park the car safely somewhere, we do not do sightseeing. As in Calgary, which was once the venue for a winter Olympics, as also in the last stop before the Rocky Mountains, Canmore, you can see the traces of winter tourism everywhere, a lot of hotels and charlees, a lot of restaurants and small shops, but finding a supermarket is extreme difficult. We should stock up on drinking water before entering the Rocky Mountains and fresh bread would be good too.
The next small town at the foot of the Rockies is Banff, again extremely touristy. It is slowly becoming clear that the impression that we had of the Rocky Mountains, namely that we would besitting here alone at the campfire in the evening and barbecuing the sausages that we just got in a wave of euphoria, will not work.
Since it is very touristy here, there are only two streets that lead through the Rockies and here is one camper after the other, it is also Friday, unfortunately the Canadians have apparently already started the weekend, every second probably drives through here today. We always manage to gain distance and drive alone. It's not like there are 100,000 people here, but for us who come from loneliness oft he woods, 30-40 are too many. One impressive sight attaches to the other here and we stop every 5 minutes to take photos, we only made less kilometers. We are totally impressed by the clear water, turquoise lakes, mountains that are still covered in snow, dense fir forests that we do not notice how time flies. Suddenly it was 8 p.m. when we looked at the clock during a little rest at a lake. We decided to look for a place to stay. Here in the park it is not allowed to park utside a campground at night, since one national park is lined up here, we notice that it will be impossible to stand free today. Around 9 p.m. we decided to just spend the night on a campground, which is shown every few km on the roadside. We didn't pay much attention to this in advance because we don't actually use it. We found that everyone is actually occupied. We still asked for one, although full, we were allowed to park at the entrance, for free and didn't have to pay 22 Can $ and were still sitting in front of our car and enjoyed sleeping in the Rocky Mountains that night.
Note: from Calgary use the 1A, not the Highway 1. Not easy to find, but it is a lonely road winding through the mountains that always touches Highway 1. The 1A flows into Highway 93, which is also called Icefield Parkway. It is THE highlight for all visitors in Canada. This road, which runs at an altitude of around 1,500m on average, leads through the middle of the Rocky Mountains with mighty rock faces on both sides, snow and glacier-covered mountain peaks, wide river valleys, endless forests and wonderfully lying lakes. There are viewpoints and picnic areas along the route. Trails lead to spectacular viewpoints or beautifully situated lakes. The mighty ice fields of the Columbia Icefields Bow Glacier and Crowfoot Glacier are just as impressive as the roaring waterfalls. YES, we repeat ourselves, but it was really a dream !!
Since we will probably come back here on the way back, we are already looking forward to it
Day 36, July 28.18, 66,371 km
We got up early again, further from Jasper on the 16, passed the highest mountain of the Rocky Mountains on the canadian side, Mount Robson with 3.954m, an impressive thing, snow-covered he lies in front of us.
It took us 1.5 days for the 230 km from Banff to Jasper, it was not on the road, it is easy to drive, it was good one of the most impressive and not most beautiful, scenic landscapes that we have ever seen while travelling . Our today's destination is the city of Prince George. After a certain tim, it is getting lonely again, out of the main area of the Rocky Mountains and the national parks. We left the crowds behind us, we are back on the main street again. The weather is nice, blue sky, 25°C, let's see what the day brings.
The time difference to Germany is already 9 hours now.
In the morning we drove through mountains, in the afternoon it became flatter, we passed 2-3 cities that were deserted, we laughed, it looked as if it only had been built here just to have something here, completely deserted. In the evening we decieded to go on, it was nice to drive into the sun down. It is really warm here, 30°C even at 7 p.m.. We have to use our app to find a parking lot for the night at Lake Frazer, a public space, a campsite without a fee, right on the lake and almost empty. Behind the lake, we see a lot of smoke rising, but it's far away. The forest fire risk is still very high which is often shown on signs along the streets. It is very quiet here, it is dusk, the mosquitoes are awaking now. a real idyll here.
It will be interesting tomorrow. We are expected to reach the Pacific ocean tomorrow. Internet research has taken care that the offshore island Queen Charlotte Mountain was worth a visit, where half of the sea lion population lives across British Columbia. And you may have a chance to see orcas and other whales.
We also wrote a report today evaluting in which way the travelling changed ourselves. We want to observe ourselves before we put it online, but you can already say that a lot has changed inside and on our attitude
Day 37, 29.7.2018, 66920km
After a wonderful night, very calm and surprisingly cool after the heat that was here during the day, we started a little earlier today because we wanted to try to reach the Pacific ocean today via Highway 16, which turned out to be one of the most beautiful roads , always along a river and finally through the Coastal Mountains, mostly very winding. It was interesting that the temperatures from 32-33°C (we are quite high in the north and Canada has just a much warmer summer than usual), but 15 km before we arrived in Prince Rupert, passed a gorge and it finally were only 17°C. The road here was beautiful but very tiring to drive for Thomas and he fell asleep in seconds in the evening after we had organized everything for the next day.
There is something very interesting to report: around 3 p.m. we went to the ferry port because we want to go to the offshore island of Haida Gwaii, formerly also called Queen Charlotte Island, where orcas and other whales and the sea lions can be observed. After the 13,000km we drove so far, we want to relax for 2-3 days, so we went to the office with a good mood to book the ferry and got a smile in the office, they say, that's not so easy.
Is there no ferry?
Yes, but it only runs once a day, 5 days a week, but it is always booked in advance and there are long waiting lists to which we could also register.
She also said if we could figure it out now, we have to go back and they are all fully booked as well.
We asked for the chances if we would register on the waiting list, but then it took 10 minutes each to upload the booking data, during this time we talked a lot and joked, the ice melted, she put us on the waiting list, about 30 people above us , per route, both directions. Thomas got a cold Coke, put 10 Can $ on top. Later, when I went back to the office, she beamed at me and said she had managed to move us to number 1 on the waiting list. But don't give anything away ;-).
We were even allowed to sleep in the ferry port. We slept wonderfully there, it got very foggy and cold, you could smell the Pacific.
And what should not be forgotten: YES, hooray! We do somersaults, we actually arrived at the Pacific ocean and actually put our feet in the ocean, which is really difficult here because there is no beach or easily accessible places. This is part of our planned trip, crossing Canada completely from West (Halifax) to East (Prince Rupert) and we are totally proud and happy. Kilometers driven 13,000km across Canada. For us it feels like we're on the other side of the world.
We are very happy that we are able to experience all of this so far, that everything went so well and mostly easy. The evening drink was canceled, however, since we were really tired today.
Day 38, JUly 30.2018, 67364km
Slept very long this morning, then at 10 a.m. we asked BC Ferrys again about the actual status of the booking. And we are really booked for the outward journey. The return trip is still on standby. The staff there are really relaxed and funny, so it wasn't difficult to beg a bit further, and he went to his supervisor, who actually gave us a space for the car in the commercial area for the return trip and we were also booked. What luck. Because already yesterday and today people came in again and again who wanted to book, they were also offered to sign in the waiting list. But what sense does it make to be 20th on a waiting list?
The ferry leaves at 10 p.m. tonight and arrives at 5 a.m. tomorrow. So now we have time in Prince Rupert to do everything that has accumulated in terms of tasks, big shopping, because when we get back here on Saturday, we will drive north and Alaska, there we will go 700 km without major cities, so stuff everything again. Doing the laundry and drying, talking on the phone with home, refueling (it is really difficult to find a petrol station here that sells diesel, which made us really nervous for a short time), eating, walkies, because Jerry won’t have such a nice night, without us alone in the car on the ferry, write a report, and nice views from our parking lot in front of a small park close to the Pacific ocean and look forward to drinking coffee :-)).
Thomas raves that he a big a dream came true of driving across Canada and seeing the Pacific Ocean. If we would / could continue to drive here now, we would come out in China. I can already guess what is growing in his mind already once they have circled the whole world, so to continue this journey from the other side.
When we woke up this morning, a container ship had just docked with hundreds of green containers that said "made in China". While the European containers arrive in Halifax, the Chinese ones arrive here.
The weather is beautiful after the long period of fog this morning, it is now 5 p.m. and we are slowly starting our our way back to the ferry.
Another thing: THANKS to: Anthony, Birgit, Peggy, Ute, Mohammed and Brita, who support us and help us when a hand is needed at home, or simply react quickly if something is needed. It is nice to hear from home, mostly via whatsapp or phone, also greetings to my aunt Luise and family and my brother Michael, we think of you
Day 39, July 31, 2018, Haida Gwaii / Queen Charlotte Island, 67580km
Yesterday we had to drive 150m BACKWARDS on a ferry for the first time. There was puzzling of cars for 2 hours so that all the cars could be accommodated, individually, smaller ones pulled out of the rows firstand driven in, then the larger ones after. It really took until 10.30 p.m. until the ferry could start. We tried to sleep between the rows of chairs on the floor. We arrived at 6 a.m. Unfortunately you couldn't see anything during the cruise because it was dark until arrival.
Curiosity drove us straight away, instead of sleeping a bit more, we already comfortably explored the island. First of all we have to say: we are actually looking for the origin, the undiscovered, the simple things, not the touristical things, not for the fully developed and organized areas. We arrived in the middle of the island, in the souther part of the island is a National Park, inaccessible with our car, the other dreiction o the north is accessible on the road which isabout 100km, you only pass 3 villages. We drove directly north, to the top of the island, to Masset. We drove through the really small, sleepy places and had to realize that there is nothing on this island, no McDonald, which was always everywhere on the way, no whale watching tour operator, no surf shop, nothing. On the contrary, many deserted, dilapidated, empty houses, cars that are no longer needed are rotting on the side of the road. Rubbish and bulky waste piled up in front of the houses. The residents are not all friendly, 2/3 waved to us, 1/3 made us understand, what do you want here? When trying to get information, it was very phlegmatic, superficial, answers like:it doesn't work here, it doesn't exist here, the only question missing was why don't you know that?
Quite different than what we are used to and have experienced almost everywhere so far.
Relatively shocked and confused, we went the same way back (there is no other way) to the arrival point of the ferry, which looked a bit tidier, but in the same way repellent. The experience has kept us disturbed. This island is a pearl, because it has miles of unused sandy beach, for travelers like us, many unused niches where you can rest all day and look at the sea. You don't see anyone, not even tourists, a few deers every now and then. But there is nothing here. In order to get to the nature reserve to the sea lions and whales, this tour takes place only once a week and is fully booked in advance. It is difficult to get there, again a short distance by ferry, then leave the car there and go on tour for 8 hours. The next tour would be on August 4th, but it is already fully booked and we are going already back on August 3rd. Whenever we spoke to locals, if there was still a way to see whales, they were really uninterested and not very open or helpful. While we have always felt people trying to make something possible for us, this was the opposite here. An example: we spoke to a slightly older gentleman in the morning: Are you from here?
He replied: I was born here, what are you here for?
We asked about whale watching and sea lions and he replied that it doesn't exist here.
He gave us thefeelingt, you are not welcome here.
Another said that you don't need whale watching here, the orcas can sometimes be seen from the shore when they swim into the bays.
When we are in great places, small oases in Europe and proud of having found them, everything is always accessible for tourists. Here is the exact opposite, here you find exactly all necessary thing exactly once, such as a supermarket, half of the buildings have come down heavily, or are in ruins. According to Google, this island is an island of the First Nation. Maybe that is one background for it or there is a conflict of interest with the Canadians, but that's just a guess, because we have never experienced anything like this on our many trips like here.
But we still feel very comfortable, stand on a small campground with 6 parking spaces in the forest, have slept 16 hours after the long night on the ferry. And we recovered from the past few weeks. Tomorrow we are really 6 weeks on the road.
And we are also grateful for the experience we made here, because we are looking for the origin, even if we first have to understand it.
Another highlight of the island is that there are large totems almost in front of every house. So far we have not found this number in all of Canada.
And to Thomas and Yvonne, who also want to go to the island, if you read the report, whale watching from here doesn't work. It is only possible from the mainland, Prince Rupert, and only every second day. Enjoying the beautiful beach here is great, but
Day 40, August 1.2018, Haida Gwaii
Today we sorted pictures, wrote reports, cleaned the car, as well assorting and tidying up, and above all sleeping very long. We will stay here for another night.
We used the stay here to thinkand reflect about ourselves, about the trip, about the experience:
What has changed?
We feel happier, more free, more carefree, more calm, more balanced and since we only have one destination, every day is somehow planned individually. We actually sit together every evening, reflect on the day, consider how we will shape tomorrow. We take into account the weather, holidays / weekends and if we like to drive more or less km per day.
Now that we have been on the road for 40 days, we are becoming aware of how much you live in a hamster wheel at home. At home you your head moves often in a small radius, actually unimportant things are seen as a problem, you are not free and open at all to deal with really important things. Here everything is put into perspective.
At the moment, every day is a highlight. Every day is a kind of challenge, but every day is also an indescribable experience. We are also extremely happy to be able to experience this together. It is not at all to be compared to 14 days in Mallorca, or, or ... We can not find the right words, but you can say it is a new way of life that has made us much happier so far. We are also aware that all the kilometerst hat we are driving needs to be driven back. Currently 14,000km.
We don't want to miss a single second of our trip, even the issue with the window was important as a lesson before we really went into lonely areas.
Although we have been together for 23 years, this time brings us even closer together here. And also the fact that we now have the possibility to have Jerry with us in his old days is a gift, we want to enjoy every minute with him / us that we still have three of us together.
Less is more: the experience having so few things, clothes and the reduced variety of food, to get used tot he limitation, since we only have a certain amount of space, turns out to be liberation. We discovered that you can be so happy with so little without missing anything (ok, except for the bathtub). When we think of home and the smoking Amazon account, which we have ordered far too many things that we often used only briefly. It was probably some kind of reward or substitute satisfaction that was more of a dubious success. There is no such consumption here and we do not miss it. If we could pack the car again, we would only take half of the clothes with us, but it is also the first time that we regularly wash on the go.
On the subject of planning the trip, we planned everything in advance up to Winnipeg. Since Winnipeg we have started like living from day to day, everything will be found, and something has changed as well, because we do not run after a preconceived plan, but always decide what is right. We decided to do our next trip the same way. Just determine the destination and then let the day of departure come. It is much more impressive and free.
For everyone who thinks this is just fun to travel in that way we do, there is a bit of hard work in here every day, it starts with everything you pick up, be it a fork or a cup, right away has to put back in its place and not just put aside. Everything that is not in place when you start driving will start moving inside the car.
Since we basically live in nature with the car, we naturally also grind one or the other dirt crumbs into the car (especially Jerry is an expert for that), so that one is constantly sweeping or wiping. You always have to make sure that all mosquito nets are down, otherwise you will go to bed later than expected. You have to organize yourself in a better way because you cant wait to long to do thing, because of limited storage capapities for eexample for food, do laundry, find a laundromat, fill up with water, empty the toilet, having enough food on board with little space for it.
Except for the stupid police officer at Niagara Falls, there was no negative experience so far, no fear, no dangerous situation, just positive reactions, friendliness. It's really surprising how open the world is to us. We just have to stop somewhere and are immediately asked “Do you need help? Do you have a problem? ". In Germany you often experience so many negative reactions, e.g. unfriendliness in the supermarket, selfishness when driving, ignoring emergency situations and so many other things.
How do we spend time in the car?
We talk a lot ... a lot more than at home. We try to quickly clarify and understand things that catch our eye or that are of interest for us.
Internet has taken on a different status for us, no longer as a distraction or shopping opportunity with unlimited volume, but instead, we use it to provide information (how high is the mountain…, what is the background from…, where do most bisons live…, weather forecasts…, search for a parking space…) it is not always possible to have internet everywhere and our volume is limited and suffers a bit from uploading photos,
We listen to audio books on the go, so it is not difficult to run through a 14-hour audio book. We have a lot of songs with us, which luckily we haven't gotten bored.
Driving a car is different here than in Germany. You drive for hours at a speed of 90-110kmh, lonely on straight roads. We should teach Jerry Skat, then we could play a round while driving.
What has changed:
• I now know (at least roughly) in which direction I have to walk at Walmart without wandering around forever and taking an hour to find 5 things.
• We no longer stop at full braking to take pictures of signs such as "Attention next petrol station in 250km", but smile briefly and always make sure that the tank is at least half full, rather more.
• meanwhile it is “wow, where do you come from, how did you get the car here? Blah blah blah blah ”has become a nuisance. Thomas now completely withdraws. Apart from the two guys from Munich and the Swiss one, we have made no other europeans.
• What is also striking is how many people come to us and speak German and have fun to practice. We are surprised. Mostly there were ancestors who emigrated here. We have such an experience almost every day.
We are absolutely not homesick and are still extremely curious about that what lies ahead, Alaska, the west coast of the USA. We are surprised that it is so, but also glad that we both feel the same, otherwise it would be a bit difficult. We want to go further, further, further ...
Here is a small film, 5min, just play in full screen mode, here you get an impression of Canada
Day 41, August 2.2018
Yesterday evening / today we had a really interesting experience that reminded us of home for a few minutes. 10m from us, neighbor slot, separated by bushes yesterday 2 German couples arrived with rented mobile homes. When Thomas tried to get in touch in the form of "I hear German voices", he flashed off relatively rude, "we hear that every day". We are here on a deserted island in the westernmost tip of Canada. Usually you exchange experiences, tips, you are curious and collect ideas. It has been our experience so far, with Canadians, Americans, Europeans, who can report any interisting observations, which are worth looking at. But these 2 couples are just typically German, ignorant, loud, arrogant (they speak Saxon), convinced of themselves and while we sit here in the evening, we realize that they are total beginners who have just borrowed the motorhome and are still overwhelmed with the simple things. It is typically German again, big-mouthed, but no idea of nothing. It is just difficult for us not to listen to them, and now we laugh and smile when we hear things like that, what is this switch for or how long does the blue tab (for the toilet) last? Somehow really sad, because we could have given them good tips, because we have been out here for a while, but the interest is zero. Even if I repeat myself, it is typically German.
Day 42, August 3.2018,
We have been lounging around for 3 days now, sleeping a lot, letting our souls dangle. We are on a campground in the forest, in the shadows. So our solar was not “fired”, now after 3.5 days we notice that we are running out of electricity, in other words, both batteries will soon be empty.
Since we haven't been in the shade so often for so long, this is the first time. In the future, we will have to save more electricity in such situations already from the start, what we did not do this time.
Yesterday evening we even had to turn off the fridge overnight :-(.
Now we know that we are self-sufficient for 3 days if we are not behaving economically, maybe 4-5 if we do.
We are on our way back to the ferry. Made a short stop to buy bread and water. I went to the supermarket, the only one on this half of the island, even relatively well stocked. At the checkout there was the following conversation with the old cashier.
She said: your co-op number, Me: please, what? She. Well, your co-op number. Me: I don't have one. She: doesn't matter, we serve everyone here (smile). There will be a storm today. Me: Oh, no, we're going back to the mainland by ferry today. Sie: Ooooh, that's not good (deep look).
Ok, now it is got really windy and it is raining. Let's see, we are crossing the Pacific ocean and not the Mediterranean and the ferry has to arrive here first. Thomas says hopefully these were not our last words. The sea is already looking unsettling. I think more of the swell and seasickness. Because even the trick of observing at the horizon will not work, as it will be dark all the time.
Oh yes: by the way, we are also in contact with Thomas and Yvonne from Munich and if everything works out, we will meet again tomorrow and then the four of us will drive the "Road to nowhere, No. 37, 730km without anything (according to Google) , which guide to Watson Lake, just before Dawson City.
Day 45, August 5, 2018, 68004km
We had a very restless night on the ship, the waves have been really bad for the first few hours. In the evening we met a Canadian on the ferry, who made it his business to quickly mark all the sights in Alaska and the USA on the map and to provide background information on what is worth seeing and what is overcrowded. The next morning we met again when we got out of the ferry and continued talking. Finally, he gave us two large pieces of fresh salmon.
Well, we really haven't slept late. But we have to go shopping in Prince Rupert again and again we get caught by curious people in the parking lot of the supermarket. The first is also a Canadian, who shows us in detail on the map what is really great to drive in southern British Columbia, what we shouldn't do, in the end he invites us for lunch when we return from Alaska to come over, provided his phone number and email address. We let it all happen to us, because we are really really tired, but also do not want to be rude. And the next one, a German, comes from Kassel, who emigrated to Canada 40 years ago. When the first adviser and the German then start talking, we quickly leave and take a deep breath. We drive the 250km to Kitwanga. On the way we finally manage to buy a bear spray. At Walmart you won't find it, we will find it in Canadian Tire (a hardware store). But not without astonishment. Passing the oversized fishing department, I come through the department with gun oils, gunshot pistols, explosive charges. Bear spray is enclosed behind glass. You have to explicitly stop afterwards, leave all personal data and you will actually be directed to the checkout by the seller, who will hand the spray over to the cashier. Somehow I feel strange, what have I been doing?
In the afternoon we drive off on Highway 37, the Stewart Cassier Highway, heading north, in 200km we will be entering Alaska for the first time. In the meantime we have learned that there is no American border control there, but only a check point there when you re-enter Canada. The area of Alaska that you can drive is very small, actually just a gag that you have been to Alaska before, before you drive further up into the larger part of Alaska, down here are Stewart and Hyder and the Hyder National Park, in which we hope to finally see bears on a fish ladder where the salmon are currently and hopefully the bears to catch them.
With our app IOverlander we find the most sensational parking space ever, at a lake, with a fire pit, which we are unfortunately not allowed to use, two rangers came by and remembered that we should not make a fire in all of British Columbia because of the very high risk of forest fires. They were very friendly, but also very determined, but it ist he correct way. Finally, they asked if they should take photos of all of us with our camera. When asked if we could stay here overnight, we were given permission to stand wherever there is no private ground. It all sounds very simple here at once.
Thomas and Yvonne have also arrived, for the first time the fishing tackle is unpacked and it only takes a few minutes for the first trout to hang on. Stupid that we can't make a fire.
It was a wonderful, fortunately bear-free evening, much longer than we thought after the short previous night. Because it is sooooo beautiful and idyllic, we decide to stay here tomorrow as well, the weather is perfect, not too hot, but bright sun, blue sky, the bald eagles fly above us and we sit here and can not believe how lucky we are.
Unfortunately we have absolutely no internet or telephone access here. We will go back to Kitwanga shortly, put the text and if possibel some phozos as well on our website, buy a few worms for fishing and later we will prepair the salmon and the trout for dinner, unfortunately not grilled.
It may be that we have no updates on the wbsite for a few days, no idea whether Internet may be possible in the upcoming area villages
Day 46, August 6.2018, 68004km
We slept like angels. For the fact that we almost went through one night before, we were damn late to bed last night.
Weather forecast is a wonderful day and the final decision has been made to stay here another day. We found a really great place (here it's called a spot), the cars are close to the water, we have our own jetty, a wooden raft. The lake is large, framed by conifers. There is no one, just the four of us. When we went for a walk we found fresh bear droppings. Not so clear whether from last night, could be. Animals are everywhere. When you sit outside in the evening, you hear coyotes, wolves, you get a feeling of tension, discomfort, curiosity. It simply cannot be described correctly.
We spent the day fishing, relaxing, just enjoying and in the evening we prepared our dinner with the trout (unfortunately the only one, although there are so many fish in the lake) and the Canadian salmon, potatoes, it was soooo delicious. Instead of campfires, there was candlelight. The omnipresent mosquitoes were also tolerable.
Around noon I set off with Thomas (not mine, but the other) to look for Internet access and to buy milk, beer and worms for fishing. The only thing we found was internet. There is no beer and alcohol here in the small shops, nor worms, just something funny, bright orange colored, looks like fish roe (it doesn't matter, bought it). We learned that you can only fish with a license, which of course is not available here, but we would have had to drive 2 hours back to Terrace. We are still in a general store, very well stocked for this lonely area. When we asked for fishing accessories, we are sent to the basement and there is everything the craftsman, angler, hobbyist heart desires, everything you could possibly need in this lonely area.
On the way back we see a sign for a village, 2km from the street, now it doesn't matter, we are already since 2h on our way, we left the road and found unexpectedly in a first nation village that us directly greeted with at least 10 totems in the middle of the village square. Nothing here in the General Store either. We can get a fishing license in the neighboring shop, but not today, it's Sunday :-(
During our beautiful time at the lake we didn't realize how hot it was today, there wasn't a tree in the village, it was so warm that we quickly got away. But it was a surprise to stumble into it so accidentally.
This day passed again so incredibly fast, in general we have the feeling that time is running faster than at home. Here at this parking space we are completely out of civilization, no Internet, no Whatsapp, no phone, we don't miss anything. This place is one of the most beautiful places we have parked , a real idyll, too beautiful to actually be true. Jerry is on a long leash all the time and this water-shy dog is constantly going into the lake.
As we continue straight towards Stewart (August 6th), we FINALLY see our first black bear on the roadside. Unfortunately too short to take pictures. But we are totally happy !!!
It is really something different to be able to experience an animal in freedom than behind fences, it is indescribable.
But there was a truck driver coming by, we couldnt manage to get a good photo, but the bear was escaping in the forest.
Shortly afterwards we had the perfect experience, a black bear just for us alone on the roadside, who comfortably ate grass there without being disturbed. We could almost have touched him, the bear trotted indifferently, slowly and comfortably slowly alongside us and then he crossed the street, adrenaline was very high, it took us some time to process the experience. we had weak knees and were not longer able to observe longer the amazing landscape because we were too flashed. The greatest luck was that there havent been 20 other cars around us and it didnt become stressful. Shortly afterwards we reached at Stewart, a very small village, the last one before the border to Alaska, there is only one shop here. And an extremely committed police officer, because you were only allowed to drive 30kmh, sometimes only 20kmh, he was constantly fishing for cars.
Shortly afterwards we reached the border to Alaska, here is Bear Country, here they are really ubiquitous and you are very careful when you get out of he car. More on that later, now it's time to continue driving towards Watson City
Day 47, August 7.2018, 68.225 km
We got up very early to see if the grizzlies are in their self-service shop right now, but again we didn't see any.
Afterwards we drove back from Alaska to Stewart / Canada, stocked up again with the most necessary things , as you can see, uploaded a few pictures and are currently driving through the coastal mountains on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (37) towards Watson Lake Dawson City.
The first 150 km we have already done, the landscape is like you would have imagined Canada, endless and straight lined roads, we have not been overtaken for 1 hour and only 2 cars came towards us.
A black bear crossed the road in front of us. That was bear No.3, but he was pretty quick. Too fast for the camera.
A little later we saw a lynx on the roadside, but it quickly disappeared into the bushes. The landscape is so beautiful here. The weather is getting a little worse the closer we come to the north , it is only around15-18 ° C.
Oh yes, last but not least, after arriving in Alaska, we had the highest time shift, 10 hours, means if it is 5 p.m. in Alaska, it is 7 a.m. te next morning in Germany. When Thomas is on the phone with his mother, it's kind of funny, she goes to bed, we're just getting up.
We spend the night at a lake, Thomas and Yvonne arrived about 1 hour later, we spent a short last evening together, the last evenings before have been ended very late. The dawn starts much later up here
Day 48, August 8. 2018, 68725km
We started at around 9 a.m. this morning, towards Watson Lake on the 37. After a short time we saw huge foggy clouds in front of us. A forest fire. Since 2h and 100 km, we have been driving through smoke, unfortunately you can not see much of the beautiful landscape. We asked a ranger about the situation, we were told that the road was clear and the fire is still 100km away. We are surprised at how far the smoke is spreading. Everything smells of smoke, we, the clothes, the car. Oncoming people say that the smoke will continue for 1 at least hour. There are currently 31 fires active in the north of British Columbia, there is a strict Campfire ban, fines are up to $ 100,000 in the event of a fire and $ 1,200 if you are caught with the Campfire only. The display for fire danger is red, on "extreme". We drive through the most beautiful landscapes, along a river, blue lakes, but we can not take pictures at all because everything is obscured by a thick cloud of haze. The eyes are burning. It's a shame that we have to drive through here, but that's probably part of a trip like that, that's the sad reality. Such strong effects of a fire that is probably 100km away. I don't think we will be disappointed anymorein the future when we will sit in front of the fireplace and are not allowed to use it.
After our internet research last night, looking at our route, we were surprised to find that we are still moving further away from home, the distance to home is still incresing day by day and that is still about 2500km to go. Then we have reached our most northwest point. From there, the kilometers to home start to reduced again.
After we visited the forest of signs in Watson Lake, years ago there someone – just for fun – rammed a pole in the ground and fixed some signs, that was the starting point and people passing by could put up their own signs. In the photos you can see what has become of it, meanwhile it is a tourist attraction, or the highlight of Watson Lake. Since it was still quite early and we had already done and arranged everything - including a fishing license - we continued towards Whitehorse. It was cloudy and drizzling, so we just decided to do drive longer than first intended. In the end it was a distance of 770km and we arrived in Whitehorse, where we spend the night on Walmart parking lot (the first after a long time in this area). The only Walmart who explicitly welcomes motorhome drivers and hangs a note on their windshield and asks them to even stay a second night. We're going to sleep now, which means:good morning at home !
Day 49, August 9.2018, 69,895km - a very eventful day
Since it was cloudy / rainy today, this was a pure driving day, we made our way from Whitehorse to Dawson City via the Klondike Highway (Highway No.2). What initially was a breathtaking landscape - despite clouds and rain - later developed into an ordeal, slalom driving, violent potholes, so that the landscape completely faded into the background and we had to drive highly concentrated and relatively slowly. In between there were normal road sections again, which prompted the driver to drive faster again and then again on parts of the route with big potholes. The road surface changed every minute between asphalt and gravel. You can already guess what is coming now .... First it started to rain heavily and you couldn't see the holes because there was a layer of water on the road. And what happened ???
It got us. A flat right front tire. And what could be even worse ???
No telephone, nor internet, again in a dead area.
And what could be much worse ???
It is exactly 550km from Watson Lake to Dawson City and it hit us right in the middle. So in the middle of nothing, because before and after there is nothing.
We saved ourselves 5km on a rest area, thank goodness we had a pressure sensor fixed on the tire, so we were warned that the air was blowing out and could save ourselves at a rest area. It was pouring with rain, it was cold, 8°C. Our attempt to loosen the screws of the tires failed this time, they were too tight, our tools not efficient enough (everyone who knows Thomas knows that he is physically handicapped). So I stood on the street and stopped the first car that passed by, which took a only few minutes. Insidea nice young canadian couple. They offered to help and tried to loosen the screws, which also took time, because one of the screws was really resistant and refused to get loose. After about 20 minutes our spare tiree was on.
We offered a hot tea to our two guardian angels and gave you our last bottle of wine (they were frozen and soaked completely).
We thanked them very much and then we went on towards Dawson City.
The first car that I saw stopped and helped immediately. What would happen in Germany in such a situation?
For another 250km, the road was the pure horror. At least it stopped raining.
We were now constantly worried that another tire would break and that we would no longer have a spare tire.
In the evening we arrived at Dawson City and since it was unfortunately too late for the tire workshop, we will try tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. to get a new spare tire.
While looking for a laundy or laundromat in the city (sorry, the village, about 30 houses), which is totally made in retro, like a western city from the movie, with a saloon and swinging door and many other details. And now the next surprise, the first prson I asked, an old man with a coffee cup in front of the saloon, where to find a laundromat here around, said come with me, get in your car and follow me. He guided us out of the city we passed an industrial area, passed 2 campgrounds, one with a laundromat. I wanted to give him something the thank him, but he declined and wished us a safe journey, got into his car and drove back. Again, the first one I asked helped us.
Around 9 p.m .the washing and drying was done and we looked for a place to stay, as we still try to avoid campsites. We drove back to the workshop again, the one we want to visit tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. There we saw someone outside cleaning his car and asked him if he belongs tot he garage staff. He affirmed that with a warm smile. And when asked if we could spend the night in front of the garage and explain the background, he said of course and asked if we needed electricity (!) for our car, He even grabbed the tire, put air inside, found the hole and said that looks like nail, marked the spot for tomorrow. He took the tire with him straight away, said, let's see, we'll make it tomorrow, dont worry. With a kindness, serenity and warmth.
We ourselves are more relaxed this time than the first time. In the meantime, we also believe that a patched tire can last. We then figured out that we would have to fight exactly 1540km with this type of road before we will come back to normal road conditions. If another tire breaks, the spare tire has to serve briefly and then we may contact our friendly gentlemen from ADAC and ask him to send us another tire. If you read this, Mr. Sasse, you have been warned, this time the airport is likely to be Whitehorse, Fairbanks or Dawson City. But let's hope we don't need it ;-)
We are very much looking forward to taking a closer look at Dawson City tomorrow, we cannot describe it, but this area with ist past of gold-digging exudes something, you immediately have these old Westerns in mind, you can almost feel it. You just start thinking in the next second a cowboy comes around the corner and pull the Colt. But you can already say that anyone who comes to this area should definitely look at it