Chip, the All American Bus

Discussion in 'Show Us Your Ride' started by theBusmonkey, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Merlin Cat

    Merlin Cat Moderator

    What a brilliant thread :) the photos and the descriptions and bits of history are super interesting.
    Did some places feel like you were in the 1950's? I know when we drove a bit in Canada some places felt a bit red-necky (cue duelling banjos music) but were fine.
    Did you take any road trip American novels to read en route? :)

    Keep them coming please
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  2. New Mexico, a beautiful State.
    After leaving Albuquerque for the very last time, we decided to head towards Carlsbad Caverns, which apparently contains the seventh largest chamber of any underground system in the world.
    Getting there was an education in itself..
    First stop was Valley of the Fires, a massive & fairly young volcanic lava flow. Great camping courtesy of one of the fine Bureau Of Land Management facilities but now re-named by us, Valley of the Flies:eek:
    Tiny little black buzzy things that were only interested in getting in your ears, nose & eyes.

    Evening view over the lava field

    Looking up from the flow

    On the way we passed the Trinity site, the site of the first test of the result of the Manhattan Project! It's in the middle of White Sands Missile Base so went no closer than the main highway. We had a quiet few minutes on this part of the journey :(

    Trinity. Out to the right was were the worlds first nuclear bomb was detonated in 1945

    The next stop was obvious. Roswell.
    It's a mad place. A bit run down and relying heavily on the tourist dollar but a real blast all the same. There is a sense of fun and people not taking themselves too seriously. Even the street lights are "alien".


    Tired Tourism

    We visited the UFO museum and research centre!! whilst there. The incident seems to have occurred in early July 1947.
    This didn't appear significant until we realised that maybe a little bit too much moonshine had been consumed on the evening around Independence Day;)


    The entrance into Carlsbad Caverns. It was an amazing couple of hours underground & a welcome relief from the intense heat.

    Underground, I'm not a good enough photographer to capture the awesome features or their scale. This was the best I'm afraid..
    The big dude on the right is 62 feet high.
    Barneyrubble, Lord Congi and paradox like this.
  3. Love your road trip pics it takes me back a couple of years to when we did them!!! Scary really
  4. Thanks a lot.:thumbsup: I'd love to see some of yours!
    My memory is rubbish so I'm forced to snap away at an alarming rate! We're in the process of scanning some old 35mm prints from previous Euro trips. It cost a fortune to take photos before all this fangled digital stuff.....
  5. I love that first pic with the tailgate open .
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  6. Well, he's back.
    145 days, 144 nights on the road.
    UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Greece and back again.
    Just over 7000 miles.
    About half a litre of oil......
    and a scary amount of fuel.
    Pics to follow:)
  7. Show us, show us, show us !!!! We love the pic's it's as if we've been there.
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  8. Very jealous
  9. sANDYbAY

    sANDYbAY On benefits-won't sponsor!

    Fantastic adventures but I'd like to ask a couple of questions if that's ok.

    How do you...

    a. Afford to do it?
    b. Both get enough time off work and still have a job to come back to?

    Quite personal questions I know but I'm genuinely interested in how long road trips are financed.
  10. Zed


    Educated guess:
    Sell everything you own,
    put most in bank,
    buy a boat to live on that attracts the minimum of costs while you're away and
    keep topping up the coffers as and when the opportunity presents.
    theBusmonkey and vanorak like this.
  11. This....
  12. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Bloody good work; I'd love to do something like that!
    Did you sleep in the van every night? I woudn't be able to walk I dont think!
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  13. Sounds like you've some tales to tell.....hope the interior worked out as planned.....and the solar panels too:thumbsup:
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  14. So to make a start....This was our route starting at the marina, up to Barnsley to see Mrs Monkeys family and then down to Dover. No issues thankfully apart from realising I hadn't got the gas filling nozzles so we had them delivered to my Grandmas' at Swanley. It was nice to spend a few extra days with her, she's 100 this March and has been a big inspiration. Imagine what she's lived through since 1915!
    UK May.jpg

    And this takes us down to Trieste on the Adriatic. We did more stops than shown on the maps but I've just shown the general route.

    central Europe.jpg
    Brett1 likes this.
  15. I've inadvertently posted some pics on the Chip thread in the restos' so sorry for the duplications.
    Anyway, we crossed from Dover to Dunkerque. DFDS offer a good and cost effective service.
    003 (2).jpg

    We weren't the only ones on a road trip, these guys were from Nottingham..

    Typical northern France/Belgium scenery.

    And our first stop. The free camping/stopping place/aire at Hondschoote near the border.
    The french aires usually have a water supply, toilet dump and occasionally electric. It's really easy to travel across the country without having to pay for camping so long as you don't need to put loads of stuff outside the bus.

    The general rule is pack up at night and don't stay longer than 48hrs so as to leave room for others, very civilised.

    A very happy bunny preparing some evening sausage.
    Dicky likes this.
  16. Wow, what a thread. I should have been in bed a while back but there was no chance of that.
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  17. We crossed in Belgium to travel the Ypres Salient. This was an incredible moving part of our journey. Ypres was almost totally destroyed during WW1.

    It's the home of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing. It commemorates 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the salient whose bodies have never been found or identified. Apart from an obvious break in the 1940's, the last post has been sounded here every evening at 20.00 since 1928.

    The cemeteries are beautifully tended, some by successive generations of the same local families. The people work tirelessly to ensure the sacrifice of both sides is never forgotten.
    Langemark German Cemetery

    Mass graves of the young and inexperienced (over 44,000) amongst surviving bunkers.

    Very moving.
    My lad, Josh, joined us at Charles De Gaul for a week and we bumbled around the Champagne region.
    Here's an example of another aire, this one in a lovely village by a stream with free drinking water.
    005 (2).jpg
  18. Sorry :(....last few for tonight, a sombre part of our travels...
    Tomorrow, we'll travel across to Germany & the Schwarzwald.
    beatnick likes this.
  19. Awwwww! Does that mean its bedtime uncle Monkey?
    theBusmonkey likes this.

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