Good morning Metalists,
This will be a condensed account of our leaving of Gloucester to greener pastures, and everything in between. This will be accompanied by a podcast explaining how we managed to get to Amsterdam from Gloucester while Vanlifing the whole journey on a budget. It was 6pm, and we had just done our weekly supply shop, realizing that the night was young and there was so much time to drive. We eventually decided to drive all the way to Essex where the port of Harwich is in one go. It took 9 hours due to diversions, but none of that stopped us par two McDonald stops. We drove mainly through the night, ‘experiencing‘ all the back roads that motorway driving never allows you to explore. We were two days early for the ferry but decided that it would be better to enjoy some of the Essex sun rather than staying in our town and waiting. We arrived at 3am after playing one psytrance album the entire journey to keep me awake. The beach we parked on is absolutely gorgeous and completely free. There is nothing more satisfying than free, open parking, especially with the views that we had been graced. We did indeed stay there for two days, wasting our time by swimming in the ocean and reviewing all the coffee–shops and sights to see when we get there. We‘d managed to stay on budget this far and didn‘t let up as we knew that every penny would go towards a longer time there, and knew that a greater saving would mean a greater spending. On the night before our ferry, we drove to another beach right by the port and completely cleaned out the van. This is the very real side of van life, as every spec of dust had begun to haunt me as it got later and later into the night. We had to get up at the crack of dawn to catch the Stenna line and managed to make it there on time, making it first in line and straight through border control. My father had done this very journey 20 years prior and highly recommended I take some sea–legs as he had violent sea sickness. The ferry ride is 8–9 hours long, and the boat is absolutely massive. As we sat in line waiting to board, the sheer size of it made me feel like a spec of dust. After being waved on, we drove onto the deck and parked up; amazing how many big rigs they fit on those things! It was a smooth ride with free Wi-Fi, a place to eat (Although Engel made vegan rolls that tasted far better) and an arcade that we managed to kill too many Euros in. The rest of the journey was fairly uneventful as we rested up, preparing ourselves for dry land and containing excitement for the place we had both wanted to visit for years.
Stay tuned for part 2: The landing and the journey to Central.