We highly doubted that day would ever come, but there it finally was: Bogdan was ready for take-off. We had been watching the developments of the COVID-19 outbreak closely and had decided to slowly make our way south-east via Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece - always hoping that along the way, we might get the chance to hop on a ferry to Africa. Before we left, we double checked the regulations of entering these countries with their foreign office homepages and realized that crossing from Albania into Greece was not possible without self-quarantining for 7 days. We did not want to be stuck and so we went for the alternative route via Italy towards Greece. Turns out we would be stuck anyway, just for a different reason….
We spent our first night at Lago di Garda (terribly touristy in our opinion, for daily activities you can decide between Garda Land and Movieland), where Björn realized after one sleepless night that, in fact, our bed wouldn’t break down if we both slept in it. We proceeded through beautiful Tuscan landscapes, where the owner of a campsite cut us a new spot with his machete and then started to settle in to life on the road at Lago di Bracciano close to Rome. We had a lovely spot right at the lake and 24 hours of heavy rainfall washed off the first bit of our lives back home.
"... Boggy is and will always be a piece of WORK (we love you, Boggy, and would never betray you with a Pössl or VW t6...)."
And as our convenience induced, on-demand and 24/7 available reality started to vanish, we turned from virgins to first-timers. Camping-wise (the chances of keeping ourselves for each other have long passed). When we told people, we had never once been on a test weekend, as they like to call it, all the color disappeared from their faces. Setting up Boggy, sleeping in the car, lighting the camping stovetop, making coffee, having breakfast, tripping over our own tent cords in the dark and packing everything back up - what is routine by now was all new in the beginning. At first it feels like you run into all sorts of inconveniences. Everything takes longer and you’re doing dishes 3 times a day (getting better at re-using dirty dishes though, I mean it IS kind of cool when your dried-up breakfast porridge left-overs come back to life in your box soup, right Bjoern? Not to mention that Boggy is and will always be a piece of WORK (we love you, Boggy, and would never betray you with a Pössl or VW t6 for as long as you live … which might be … WE WOULD NEVER!). But as it turns out we’re still alive and happy to be figuring things out as we go.
So, we’re just cruising along, living the happy camper life and after 1542 kilometers on the road we were definitely ready for our first … breakdown. And thus, it happened: Boggy broke down on some country road, inaugurating his first garage stop with a metallic clatter and the giving up of the steering wheel. Luckily, in one of our rare bright moments, we concluded a premium membership with the ADAC so we were being towed by two yellow angels by the names of Fabio and Giovanni. Turns out, Giovanni had spent 20+ years in the Krefeld working as a mechanic and had left that beautiful city to open a garage in his hometown. Not that it would have mattered if he had talked about engine issues in German or Italian, our faces go blank after 30 seconds anyway. But it helped to understand that the ordering of the spare parts and the repair would take 4 days.
Stay tuned to see if by saying 4 days Giovanni actually means 4 days...