Thursday, 29 January 2015

Eva....The collection..

Today Anne and I collected Eva the Eriba....
The plan was that we would pick up the van and take her over to my daughters house and store her there for the next couple of months....
My daughter has more usable space and a better shaped drive for storing a caravan than we have over here at Purple Towers and as my daughter lives only about ten miles from us it seemed a pretty solid idea...


Our first sight of Eva
Jason at Automotive Leisure gave us a thorough introduction to the caravan showing us all the things that we needed to know before we could take her out of the showroom...
This process took more than an hour and I must admit that by the time we had finished I had probably forgotten as much as I had remembered...


Heading out through the sliding doors
Eventually it was time to head out for the very first time....
I felt a little apprehensive as it must have been over sixteen years since I had last towed a caravan......
Actually towing the caravan didn't seem too bad at all and in no time we arrived at my daughters house....
I will post some of the arrival photos in my next post......

Moving off..

Thursday, 22 January 2015

We've had the call.....

A view of the dealers compound.....
This morning I had a call from Jason at Automotive Leisure to let me know that Eva our Eriba is now ready for collection....
The work required to fit the extra power sockets......the motor mover.....the all important A- frame mounted bicycle rack and the other dealer items that we wanted added to the caravan has now all been completed.....

Way back before the summer last year when I ordered the van and enquired as to when we would be likely to have delivery of her from the factory in Germany, Jason informed me that it would be likely about mid to late January.
I'd say that he was pretty well spot on with his prediction......

I usually take delivery dates given by dealers for things with a pinch of salt, but I have to say I have been well pleased with the whole buying process during my dealings with Automotive Leisure so far......hopefully this will continue into my ongoing ownership of Eva....

We have arranged that Anne and I will collect Eva from AL in a weeks time...Thursday 29th January..... 
Hopefully all will go well and I will obviously be sharing some photos of the pick up with you all here at Purpletraveller...

Anne and I will probably have a bottle of Champagne to celebrate our new acquisition when we have collected her, as it represents a major step in the lead up to our upcoming adventure....,,, .


Champagne to celebrate the new acquisition...

Monday, 19 January 2015

Has Eva arrived..?

I saw online a few days ago that the importer/dealer Automotive Leisure who is supplying our Eriba Touring 540 caravan had just taken delivery from Germany of four lorry loads of Eribas.....
Is Eva in this delivery..?

Anne and I were wondering if 'Eva' our Eriba was in this delivery....
A quick call this morning to Jason at the dealership revealed that Eva had indeed arrived in the UK....As today is my birthday I'd say that it's a pretty good well timed present to myself.....
There are a number of extras that need to be fitted to our van by the dealer before we can collect her but we expect to get 'the call' sometime within the next few days...

Why have we called her Eva you may ask....
Well Anne says that the shape of these vans reminds her of a corned beef tin so the line of thinking goes:-
Corned beef tin....Corned beef....South America.....Argentina......Eva Peron.....EVA.!!

Eva the Eriba..!!!
 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

So.....What have I kept..?

Following my last post.... Peter Roberts of thediaryofmybike blog... left a comment saying that he would be interested to hear of the items that I had decided to keep.....
Good idea for a post I thought......


My Madonna del Ghisallo medallion ...an item kept!
One of the smaller items that I kept.... was the medallion that I collected from the museum next to the little chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo... at the end of my ten countries in ten days ride in 2013.
I felt that so much effort was put into completing the route and in some ways it was a pinnacle of my longer cycling rides that I just couldn't part with it...

I have kept all three of my bikes....each bike has different characteristics...I couldn't choose between them so I have kept all three....

My Akto and Nallo3 GT Hilleburg tents have been kept....the Akto for any backpacking I might do and the Nallo for cycle touring....
Most of my lightweight backpacking kit/equipment has also been kept....

Cycling and outdoors clothing has been kept...although I have been ruthless in sorting it all out and only keeping my favourite items...items that I actually wear.
I was surprised at the number of things that I had spent a lot of money on, but have hardly ever worn....
I have kept a few of my more 'normal' casual clothes but again I have been really tough with the thinning out of the numbers....

In a smarter looking vein...I have kept my best suit..black shoes etc... for weddings and funeral wear although I seem to attend more of the latter these days.

One of the very few books that I have retained is a book called 'Gems of Dharma, Jewels of Freedom'... This is the classic handbook of mahayana Buddhism by the 12th century Tibetan bodhisattva... Je Gampopa. 
My copy is a translation from the Tibetan by Ken and Katia Holmes according to the detailed explanations traditional to the Karma Kagu Lineage...
I think that this is a book that just wouldn't seem the same in digital form only....

I have also kept a small (4cm) tall statue of the Buddha which sits in a tiny wooden box... Of huge sentimental and religious significance for me.

All my Leica cameras have gone.....apart from the camera on my smart phone the only camera that I have kept is my Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Since making the transfer over to digital imaging this is the camera that I love using the most....
Hopefully I will get to use it a lot more on our upcoming travel adventures....

Obviously there are other things that I have  retained... but I think that the above lists the most significant for me....these are items that reflect what I enjoy doing....my interests.... and what is important in my life..........

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Thinking about it is the difficult bit.........

A lot of people have said to me that they would find it very difficult to dispose of the majority of their possessions, as Anne and I are doing in preparation for our upcoming road trip adventure...

In actual fact I found that thinking about doing it was what seemed to cause the most problems... As with so many things in life, the more I thought about doing it the more I kept coming up with lots of reasons why I shouldn't do it....
In reality none of the reasons actually held water.... It was just my mind trying to keep me in my comfort zone....

Whenever I have contemplated any idea in the past...such as an idea for a long distance cycle trip like the Ten Countries in Ten Days Ride, you can always come up with lots of reasons not to do it...experience has taught me that if we listen to the inner negative voice too often, we would never achieve anything.....easier to ignore the voice and just get on with the plans....

Back in September last year my book collection consisted of many hundreds of books...Throughout my life I don't think that I have ever disposed of a book...either by selling it or giving it to charity or by any other means....I've just kept it....
Many of these books I had only read the once but still held on to them...
It didn't make sense...economic or otherwise... to put them into storage when we head off on our trip so they really had to go.....
Since October I have been giving my books away and have now managed to reduce my entire collection to just over a small box full and even some of these will  go in the next few weeks..

A lifetime of books reduced to just over a box full..
As well as my books, many other things have been disposed of.... how about payslips and bank accounts going back over thirty years... why did I ever keep these things for so long ?
Photographs....cameras....ornaments...over 600 music cassettes and 300 music CDs as well as many DVDs and Videos have also now been disposed of and I have to say it does feel good.....

The more that goes the better I feel...it's almost like breaking free from a life that has been very comfortable but with which we have become more and more bored.....
Time for a change and the excitement is building..........

A few more items ready for the next visit to the tip....

Thursday, 1 January 2015

A New Year....Just Three Months Until a New Adventure....

Well that's another year all done and dusted.....

I would be the first to admit that for me it was not one littered with sparkling achievements cycling or otherwise... 
My health issues caused lots of knock on effects including having to pull out of my 'big ride' for the year after only three days......

Still that was last year and now we have a new year to play with..... a new year on which we can make our own individual mark...

There are just twelve weeks left before Anne and I head off on our open ended caravan touring adventure and yes, bikes will be coming too......
During those twelve weeks we need to continue to dispose of most of our possessions as when we set off, our caravan will be our only home. We don't feel that it is worth putting items in storage and paying those charges on items that can be replaced easily enough when we do decide to stop travelling......

The longer term plan is that at some time in the future we will settle in Devon (Anne's home county) but until that day arrives we will be 'living the dream' (or nightmare) of touring the UK and Europe before we become too old to do it....

The caravan was ordered back in July last year and (hopefully)  will be delivered to the UK importer sometime over these next twelve weeks.....
The caravan will be coming from Germany..

I will continue to post details of our plans progress leading up to the moment that the caravan wheels start to turn and will then post regular updates of our travelling adventure.......

In the meantime I would like to wish you all..... A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR......
May 2015 be everything that you would wish for yourselves....

Sunday, 2 November 2014

It's been quiet..!!

It's been a good few weeks since I last posted an entry on this blog. To be honest there has not been too much to write about and I didn't want to end up boring you all with tedious repetition.

Having to stay off the bike over the last eight weeks has been hard, very hard. 
Cycling thousands of miles one year and then hardly any at all the next, has been really difficult...mentally as much as physically.

However, this past week I had a couple of hospital appointments and I am pleased to tell you that I will be getting back on the bike this coming week....
Obviously it will be easy and steady riding to start with and for the first month I only intend to use my indoor training bike, just to be on the safe side.

The Cardiologist at the hospital explained in some depth what the problem with my heart beat was and showed me on my latest ECG the abnormal rhythm that I have been experiencing. 
The good news is that if I can learn to cope with the uneasy feeling this inconsistent rhythm gives me I won't need to have any more treatment at this time or have to take any drugs to control it... 

Moving on to the plans for my 'Big European Tour' and a life on the road......

A couple of weeks ago Anne and I travelled up to Birmingham for a visit to the NEC and the Caravan and Motorhome Show.
We had a good couple of days there and saw some really great bits of kit as well as the very latest caravans and motorhomes ready for 2015.
We did end up spending a chunk of cash on some of the items that I had on my must buy list....

Yesterday we attended the Automotive Leisure social weekend....
AL are the suppliers of the Eriba caravan that we have ordered and it was nice to visit their premises and have a bit to eat and drink in a nice relaxed atmosphere whilst seeing all the latest models and accessories.....
We also had a demonstration of the Reich Motor Mover that we had included as an optional extra to the van that we have ordered...

I've posted a couple of pictures below showing two things that I like so much about the iconic Eriba vans....
First is a stripped down caravan showing the solid metal frame that helps to give these vans their solid structure.... No wood to rot here..!!
Next is a shot of the split front windows....very similar to the look of a split screen VW.

The solid metal frame on a Eriba caravan,

Similar to the iconic look of a split screen VW campervan.