Crisis averted - Kenny saves the day

Trip Start Sep 04, 2009
Trip End Sep 20, 2009

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Flag of Denmark  , Region South Denmark,
Saturday, September 19, 2009

The old van didn't want to start this morning. Over and over it kicked but she wouldn't fire. Eventually I flooded it. Years ago when we were broken down in a campsite in the Loire Valley in France (what a lovely place to break down in), we were talking with an old English couple who told us about their old camping days in an early VW camper. The husband claimed that if he parked the van on long wet grass overnight it would never start the next day. This is because during the dawn the moisture in the grass would evaporate up into the engine and make it impossible to fire. His solution was to park his van with the engine over a tarp. I suspected this was what had happened and if I had taken the distributor cap off I reckon I  would have found condensation inside. The problem with the VW camper is of course all your luggage sits atop the engine compartment making access a pain in the butt. However after much perserverence old Madam kicked into life much to the relief of the rest of the campsite who we had now woken up with the noise and choked with petrol fumes!

As we rolled out of the nice little campsite at Frederiksveark, I again heard a noise out of the left hand wheel that Liz had mentioned a couple of days ago. It seemed much louder now so we quickly stopped and did a wheel inspection. Luckily I spotted a section of the tyre in the middle of the tread where it could be clearly seen that the tread was starting to break apart (with the steel wires visible). We quickly changed the spare tyre over (at Formula 1 speed) and were back on the number 16 to Copenhagen within half an hour. Finding the damaged tyre was really lucky so somebody must have been looking over us otherwise who knows what could have happened at high speed on the motorway.

The sunshine was out in full force and the cruise along the number 16 into Copenhagen was effortless. We found a park close to the city centre (almost next to the Tivoli Amusement Park) and then hit the cobble stone streets. A really lovely city for a walk around. It had the usual mix of canals and interesting architecture with a heavy tourist load. The central plaza street reminds me a lot of Nurnberg's kilometres of plazas and it makes for easy strolling, window shopping and people watching. There were a couple of antique markets along the way and we followed the main streeet down to the central square where we had been on our previous visit 2 weeks ago. On that ocassion the weather had been rubbish so this time we got a good impression. We will definitely come back for a city break visit!

Just before leaving at 1pm we grabbed an awesome sandwich at this little backstreet shop (I had a bacon club & Lizzie had this freshly prepared salad roll on brown bread with an avocado mayonnaise which she thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed). It was a 3 hour drive to Esjberg and the ferry back to Harwich and Jasper slept the whole way which made it a nice cruise. He only woke up as we approached the harbour which meant we only had to sing about 3 chorus' of "wheels on the bus". In fact I distinctly remember making up a hybrid version of this song with incorporations of "old macdonalds farm" into the words. e.g. "the pigs onthe bus go oink oink oink.......". Lizzie disputes this as she says she made it up which I did ( lizzie writing)! 

We met some nice people in the boarding queue who were caravanners and had taken their 3 year old girl Isabelle on the long drive up to Norway. She loved Jasper and they had a little play together. They matched our observations in that we never came across any Brits in the campsites we came across in Scandanavia. Loading the van on the ferry was uneventful and there wasn't a UK border control guard either, just a single Danish guy who took a look at our 3 Aussie passports and waved us onboard. I wonder if there will be any stricter checks at the Harwich end?

The water in the north sea was totally calm and the 3 of us (well 2 as Jasper was asleep in his carrier) watched a beautiful sunset before heading down to another nice meal. We retired to bed shortly after dinner and eventually the noisy teenagers on the boat retired to their cabins also. No rolling in our beds this night unlike the trip over. YAY!
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