The Final Countdown

As we scramble around doing last minute preparations, making endless lists and generally being in a state of mild panic to get ourselves van ready, we can’t help but feel so excited that our adventure is finally about to begin.

We can’t wait to drive off into the unknown but we are also really going to miss the Lakes. We’ve been so lucky to feel like part of the community in our short time here. We have been made to feel so welcome and we’ve loved getting to know everyone. Specifically, we are going to be lost without our multiple trips a week to the Yard Kitchen in Penrith. Arriving up North last November being hooked on 8 years worth of Brighton craft coffee, I struggled to find somewhere to get my caffeine fix. Thankfully for me (and everyone around me) we found the Yard. Super lovely guys serving beautiful coffee, it made us feel right at home. With their amazing weekly menu, a vast array of cakes and baked treats and the relaxed atmosphere we can’t recommend it enough if you find yourself in Penrith.

Thanks guys for taking care of us, for knowing our orders before we reach the counter and for serving us the best goddamn malteaser tiffin we’ve ever experienced 🤘

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As with all best-laid plans, there have been some unexpected snags. Sending the van into a reputable garage for a full service had always been on the cards, but unfortunately it needed an extra day’s mechanical work as well. Realistically, this wasn’t a huge surprise. Big Red is twelve years old, and as with any older vehicle, these things are to be expected. Perhaps we had an unrealistic hope that he could’ve just sailed on like the big comfy armchair that he is, without needing any repairs…New brake pads, suspension arm and catalytic converter later, at least we can say we have peace of mind for the outset of our trip.

We replaced the leisure battery in the back (as with many leisure batteries, the old one died after sitting in the van for months in below freezing temperatures) but there are a few wiring issues we need to address. An afternoon of tinkering and some advice from a sparky should sort it. Again, peace of mind is hard to put a price on.

The last 3 months have really truly flown by, and it’s hard to believe we are now only days from setting off on our own. It has served as a useful eye-opener for us though. We need to really relish every second of our trip, because before we know it, we’ll be standing at the other end of 6 months, wondering where the time has gone.

 

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