Sunday, August 10, 2008
Stelvio On The Way Up
Unfortunately disaster strikes halfway up the SS38 to Stelvio when the the car suddenly goes from normal temperature to in the red within a few minutes. we pull over quickly at one of the constant hairpins to check things out just as the expansion tank decides to blow it's contents all over the road (see picture below).
After much head scratching I work out that for some reason the front radiator fan is and hasn't been running which is the route cause of the overheating. Fortunately we have copious supplies of water on board (5 litres) and are able to fill the system with a reasonable amount to get us going. I decide to pull the plug off the radiator switch to make the fan run permanently. We get going again, and on a wing and a prayer manage to get to the top of Stelvio pass where we are able to get more water to refill the system completely.
Nice view where we broke down though :)
Nearly at the top
View from the top
Relaxing at the top
This is quite high up lol
On the way down
We finally got to our hotel in Grosio in the late afternoon...more tomorrow!!
Friday, August 8, 2008
At the time this didn’t detract from the stunning scenery and views but it did however spoil the driving somewhat….due to the Austrian drivers seeming inability to go more than 20 kph round corners in the wet. Although this particular number plate we liked!!
By the time we got onto the expressway to Innsbruck it was absolutely hammering down with rain, which made travel quite hazardous due to the spray kicked up. We managed to reach our hotel in the city centre at around 4.15pm.
Quick shower and a walk in the rain into Innsbruck Old Town for something to eat and drink saw us settled for the night.
Tomorrow we start to drive the roads we came here for with a trip from Innsbruck to Meran(Italy) and on to Grosio (Italy) via the Stelvio Pass….cant wait!!
When we manage to get a faster internet connection we have some pictures to upload
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Managed to get clear of Calais headed for Reims and stopped for petrol...worked out that the V6 had managed to return 27 mpg woo hoo. As we left the petrol station the heavens opened with the biggest downpour we have seen for some time, so much so that 15km down the road we had to stop and take refuge in one of the thankfully frequent rest/picnic areas provided next to the Autoroutes. The UK would do well to learn from our foreign counterparts with regard to this aspect of road travel. In France these rest areas are roughly every 10-20km and have toilets etc.
From dinner time the black clouds vanished and the sun shone...sunglasses were the order of the day and we felt that finally the holiday had begun. Got to our hotel in Strasbourg at a around 4 pm dumped bags and cases and proceeded to walk into central Strasbourg for a well earned beer or two and something to eat.
Back to the hotel for some well earned rest...we will upload pictures as and when.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
1. European breakdown cover
2. European car insurance
3. Travel insurance
5. Driving Licences
6. First Aid Kit
7. Warning Triangle
8. Hi-Vis Waistcoats
9. Bulb kit
10. 2 Cans of Tyre Weld
11. Basic Toolkit
12. 12V Air compressor
14. European Road Atlas
15. Fire Extinguisher
16. DSLR & DV Camcorder
17. Suction Camera Mount.
19. Petrol Can
20. Spare Coolant & Oil
Having duly signed up as interested we waited and waited and it seemed to us that time was ticking away and if we were not careful the trip was going to go down the pan. Eventually we came to the decision due to no real progress with the organised trip to go it alone and organise our own road trip and if that meant missing out on the organised trip then so be it.
Below is the route we are taking along with the hotels we have managed to find and get booked plus some details of expected costs.
Hotels we are using and locations
What follows are the approx routes we are planning to take between Hotels.
Mainly because we have loads of Tesco vouchers to get rid of we are travelling from Folkestone to Calais by Euro Tunnel...the cost of this return journey without vouchers would be £150 but for us vouchers :)
From Calais we are then planning to do a long stint (620KM) to get to Strasbourg where we will have our first Hotel stopover for one night.
Calais To Strasbourg 7th August
We will be staying 2 nights at this Hotel in Grosio, mainly because in the immediate vicinity there are several spectacular driving roads which we intend to explore fully.
Innsbruck to Grosio 9th August
Again...because there are so many brilliant roads and scenery in the location we are staying 2 nights in this Hotel to make the most of it without being rushed.
Well there you have it...that covers our plan for the trip. I'm predicting our costs to be as below. I've converted from Euros into pounds.
Tunnel Crossing.........................£0 (Tesco vouchers)
European AA Breakdown Cover...£87
Petrol Costs @ 3000 miles...........£700
Hotelcosts for 12 nights..............£690
Food & Drink for duration............£600
Toll road fees (unknown).............£???
So not a cheap trip by any means but for us probably a once in a decade trip to make, so we are doing it anyway.