8. Shipping

Oh dear. A month left till our departure and so much to do.

Just booked shipping! It’s from Southampton to Halifax leaving on the 25th of November and we have to deliver Burt by the latest the 22nd. One inconvenience we learnt is that the shipping company (not custom) doesn’t allow us to leave anything in the vehicle -it has to be completely empty so the idea for vehicle parts, bedding stuff, kitchen, bathroom things, some clothes and so on we hoped we can just chuck in and send ahead was bashed and made us re-think, re-organise and of course completely ignore this and build in a couple of secret compartments and hide things in it.

Also Burt needs some finishing-up touches, meanwhile we need to sort out insurance, bookings, travel jabs, move houses (we sold the house), store and pack and so on, oh yes and take the driving test for 12 tonne trucks!

Start with that. John did pass the theory test with no problem but didn’t pass the driving test. Blimey! We had three weeks at that point and they have to leave 2 weeks between taking tests (?) so that leaves us (well Johnny) taking the test a week before we leave! To cut that short, he did gloriously passed the test the second time. So we good to drive the truck legally. Good man!

We packed up the house and moved out -staying for the last 2 weeks with Mother. Which was great and forced us to store the unwanted stuff and pack all we need for the trip ahead. We got our jabs, booked everything sorted all the paperworks and delivered Burt on time.

The early hours of the morning of the delivery we set off to Southampton, John driving Burt and I’m in the car behind. The weather was merciless. It was miserable, grey darkness with an absolute open heaven that was not at least fun on the motorway for 5 hours. Not taking anything away from John -as he was driving the 12 tonne beast, but I was directly following him, and you know what it’s like when you’re behind a mud-spraying truck in the lashing rain, you just wanna get out of there.

Anyway, the fun really peaked when we found ourselves in the recovery Lane on M40, pumping the air out of the fuel system in the pouring rain, and every ten second an 18 tonne lorry scooted by with 60 m/h and splashed more muddy water on all over us. We ran out of diesel! I think we have to get used to Burt mileage rate to the diesel… Luckily we have to separate fuel tanks so we could switch to the other one which had enough to take us to the nearest fuel station. I believe the adventure has begun!

As we were approaching Southampton, only then the sky ran out of rain and the sun came out. When we arrived at the port all of a sudden it was a beautiful bright sunny day. We really needed it. The whole delivery process went so quick we suddenly didn’t know what we haven’t done or should’ve done so when we got home Johnny remembered that we forgot to let the waste water out of its tank. Not the end of the world, but quite likely, it’ll freeze. Let’s hope the tank can take the ice cube without a crack.

Anyway, what a day. What a 6 months!! Today is an end of an era -as they say, and the beginning of a New with full of surprises, adventures, challenges and joy.

So within a week we will be on our way to Halifax to start our Journey. Me, John and Burt.