How our #vanlove journey began
There we were, 6 degrees south of the equator, the heat was unbearable but we were almost naked, lying on the beach, with a cool breeze, and a few cheap DIY cocktails in our hands, (Malibu Coke – if you need to know). Wether it was the high quantities of sugar or the mild buzz from the alcohol, we will never know, but plans were made, ideas thrown about like inflatable mattresses at an out door festival, and the damp heat, that cringed to every pore was long forgotten. We had decided that we would buy a van and drive from my “house” to Ottilias “house”.
The reason I’m writing about this, and we decided to actually make an entire blog based on this seemingly insignificant feat? Well, my house is in Cape Town, South Africa, and Ottilia’s house, is in Tierp, Sweden. Thats roughly 14 713km. Netflix and chill?
The plan was simple, we had a few months left in Zanzibar, while I finished off the surf season. We had some money in our bank accounts, and a rough idea of what kind of van we wanted to purchase. Ahh the VW Syncro! A rectangular brick, balanced precariously on top of four 14 inch biscuit wheels, with enough space inside to sleep both of us almost comfortably. We searched online for hours, days, weeks – it felt like a lifetime, but we had almost no luck finding anything, let alone getting any response from potential sellers.
The idea faded, like a hangover on a tuesday night, but before we know it it was Friday and we were ready to get back on it (no, not more Malibu and cokes). “Stuff the Syncro!” Ottilia said, with a sense of austerity and confidence, “We don’t need four by four!” She was right, we looked into the off road ability of the 2wd VW vans, and witnessed some amazing feats, stuff that wouldn’t be out of place at, well… a four wheel drive show.
And so began the hunt for something that already had most of the trims we needed, this would keep costs low, and force us to accept what we had on hand. No fussing about in the local mall humming and hawing over what type of camping chairs we were going to buy, waisting three hours of our day discussing the pros and cons of spending the last of our minimal budget on solar lamps instead of a 24 pack of pine scented car fresheners, or trying to decide on the colour of the blinds we want to install. After much (not so much) web searching, and CIA level investigation (again, not really) we found the van we were searching for! Baby blue, twin round Halogens, original engine, with low mileage, minimal rust, and an awesomely refurbished interior. We couldn’t have asked for more! But wait there is more! The van also came camp ready, the owner would include everything we needed, most of it brand new, for our trip of a life time.
A few messages, one phone call, and some patience, we sat down in disbelief, “We just bought a van!?” The feeling was surreal, it didn’t feel real, like it was all a dream, or some mild hallucination.