A lot has happened since my last blog post, in fact almost too much to take onboard. Having left Romania we spent a few days driving along the Bulgarian coast. We didn’t really enjoy Bulgaria, somehow it didn’t feel right, the locals weren’t very friendly and despite it’s reputation of being a poor country we found it expensive. We did spend a night in Nessbar, which was nice, but very touristy, prices in the cafe’s and restaurants were on a par with Italy and far more expensive than Romania.
The first few days in Greece were really enjoyable and I was looking forward to spending the rest of the summer exploring the country. Out of the blue one Saturday evening Fran announced that she was going to leave us and fly home. She had been having trouble with her hands and wanted to get help from her doctors back in Ireland. I was quite shocked when she told me, but after she explained the situation I helped her book her flight home, in fact it was two flights as there were no direct flights to Ireland so we had to book one flight to the UK then a second to get her back to Ireland. We managed to find a nice free camping spot, quite close to Thessaloniki airport, from where we took Fran to catch her mid morning flight.
Tom and I were now on our own and continued working our way across Greece. We found some really nice spots to free camp and were enjoying the hot sunny days. Looking through a blog we found a reference to a free camp spot that sounded really nice, close to the sea and with superb views across the crystal clear waters to a couple of islands. When we arrived it was busy with locals being a Sunday. We parked up on a headland looking down onto a small beach. We went for a walk to see if there was a way of getting down closer to the beach with our campers. We walked off in one direction but could find no way down so retraced our steps to the vans after fifteen minutes or so. We then walked off in the opposite direction, we managed to find a way of climbing down to the beach, but no way to drive down. After ten minutes we walked back to the campers once again, this time we had been away for about half an hour. As we got closer to the vans I noticed Tom’s step was close to my van, which seemed strange, then it struck me, we had been broken into. Sure enough my camper was in a complete mess, every cupboard and draw was hanging open the contents scattered everywhere. Despite the fact that I had tucked the computer, iPad and camera’s away in different places, everything was gone, I was devastated, it’s the forth time I have had this motorhome broken into. There was nothing to do but find a police station and report the theft. Tom had also been broken into, but possibly because the thieves were disturbed, he lost hardly anything.
I felt really depressed and hit a real low point. I lost all interest in travelling and just wanted to be somewhere else, quickly. I had lost all confidence in the motorhome after all the break-in's and just wanted to get rid of it, something I had been thinking about for awhile, anyway. In the end I said goodbye to Tom, who had heard from Fran that she was flying back out, so I didn’t feel too bad about leaving him and set off to Patras and a ferry back to Italy. After a couple of days with Niki I continued back to the UK where I’d managed to find a buyer for the Rapido. My original idea was to buy a van and slowly convert it into a ‘stealth’ camper, but it wasn’t going to be easy as things stood with the insurance company and rules and regulations regarding self build campers. So having looked at a few van conversions I bought an older Volkswagen LT35 that had been professionally converted when the van was new. Although old it is in excellent condition. It will be much easier to park anywhere being smaller than the Rapido and with proper glass windows and a van should be much more robust and secure. I will still look for a late model van and either convert it or have it converted while I use the Volkswagen. I’m sure some would call me crazy for selling the Rapido and buying an older van conversion, but I feel okay about it.
I’ve sorted out all my stuff and thrown lots of stuff away, I was amazed by how much stuff I had in the Rapido, stuff I’d forgotten I had so it was good to have a clear out. I’ll make my way back to Italy in the next few days where I’m going to look after Niki’s pet’s while she’s away working for a couple of weeks, then I’ll decide what to do next and where to go. Although still depressed, life must go on.
It seems I've been travelling all my life. For the past eight years I've been following a simple, nomadic lifestyle full time touring in a camper van and meeting with other like minded travellers.
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