Nuvi to New Country

September 13, 2006


We loooove our new nuvi GPS thing. WOW! We have never used anything like this and waited to pick it up in Amsterdam because that way it came with the European maps instead of U.S. maps which are pretty useless to us now. My job as navigator has never been so easy! Now the driving is so much less tense for both of us and our dear Princess Mozart also got to do lots of movie watching (The American girl Samantha movie) so quite the life of Riley for her too. (Her dvd player is not working so well here probably due to the converter, so she is using the mac here). We are relieved and happy that it went so well and was easy and fun.

It was our first longish trip spanning two countries, so we needed the comfort. It is tricky enough even with it as there still were moments and the big trucks going by make us really sway, but it lifts a huge burden off our shoulders and she is worth her weight in gold. We have named her Florence (with a French style accent of course) and shorten it to plain Flo when we are mad at her. We are just beginners at this and are trying to learn all her tricks, but despite that we are impressed with all her abilities and how well she guides us like the Goddess of navigation. This may well be old hat to many, but it is a brand new toy for us that will be ever so helpful on this trip sorting out roads and places in languages we can not even pronounce and have no clue to reference points. It is very small and hand held as well, so easy to take down off the dash and use in our hands as we walk or bike and when we park no one knows we have it.

So it was a pretty long drive day today and that is all we got done. It was not really that far, only about 260 kilometers, but we got a late start, there was lunch and few stops and wrong turn confusing points. She took us right to our first choice campsite, but it no longer existed, so that was quite confusing. The camping sign was still there, the gate and some sites, but a movie theater complex had moved in. This was from Church’s latest book so I was surprised and will notify them.

So we went to the second book (UK book, Allan Rogers) for our second choice. I think it is probably a typical and traditional campsite in Europe, but very much the kind I hate where there is no privacy whatsoever. (That is what I disliked about the last one Gaasper and this one is worse!) Oh well, it is close to Brugge, rents bikes, has free hot water, free wifi, good price, is clean and close to everything so will have to do.
We won’t be here long, so it is good enough and we are starting to get use to this style.

I am making dinner now while DaVinci and Mozart go to the local markets here which are close by. There is even a McDonald’s and Pizza Hut nearby, but I hope we can pass on them while here and eat something healthy and local.

Just before we left we met another couple (from Gainesville Florida) who just got a van from B&W campers like we did and will travel Europe for a year. They have RV’d around the states and were ready to try this. We met a hang glider from the states when we first arrived who was returning his van after a long trip and he told us about a lone woman from the states who is traveling with 2 cats, so there are a few of us taking this route.

I can not say enough about B&W campers as they were really terrific, every single person we met there with that company. Thank you Rene, Eddie, Richard, Honey, Marcos, Rolf, the girl from Poland (whose name
we do not know)! We could not have done this without your help and appreciate your kindness and service! Besides helping us with the camper, they did lots of other little things that helped us so much from allowing us to take a bunch of great books and maps, to recommending places,to allowing us to use their van one day, to making calls to places like the camera shop and customs for us talking in the local language helping to sort things out. It was like having a local friend or family to help us get a good start.



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