After intensive last weeks in Austria, farewell parties and preparations, the day has come. On the 12th of June, we started our adventure and took off from Linz to London.
We stayed two nights in London with the wonderful #RibbonAndBeard, our Spanish friends who also traveled around the globe in 2015. We walked through the city and enjoyed great views and monuments.
Being in London we had to visit the Queen and try some Fish & Chips.
Moreover, we ordered our first VDM (Vagabundos del Mundo) coffee. I know what you are thinking: How can you afford Starbucks on a trip like that? Well, in London 2 £ for a coffee is not expensive =)
We must admit that taking the underground and walking up the hills loaded with our backpacks was a bit challenging but we enjoyed it anyway.
It was the first step into the English speaking country and for us a time to fade into traveler mode.
The Vanper: Stan the Van
On the 14th of June, we took off from London to Denver. We are blessed to have a family in Lakewood. Thanks to them we could get our van waiting for us here. The day our Vanper Valentino aka Stan the Van has come! It is 1989 white – blue Ford Coachmen Econoline 250.
This didn’t mean that we could hit the road the next day and start traveling. Many things had to get fixed beforehand. For a start, we got “new shoes” proper tires – safety first!
As the next step, we dismantled all unwanted parts that were there from the previous owner, like shelves and other interior parts, and washed all the curtains. We got rid of the under-the-van tanks that were not usable or broken such as the LP tank and grey water tank. We also had to scrap an old foil off the windows, peel off the old wallpapers and remove old rotten wood panels.
As the Van got cleaned up we proceeded with planning what we would like to build inside and which parts we found essential.
This all was possible only thanks to the support of Sandy and Jose (uncle of Ivan) they great knowledge and hardware tools.
Rocky Mountain National Park
By the end of the week 1, together with family, we went to the breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park. We quartered in Estes Park, a town right next to the Park.
This is the first National Park we visit in the U.S. and we hope for many more. We have seen lots of wonderful landscapes and wild animals, that we had never seen before: moose, elk, chipmunks, marmots.
On the 18th of June we some climbed rocks around the Horseshoe waterfall and enjoyed our first hike in the U.S. with @Emilio an @Diana on the Mountain called Twin Sisters. The hike was a 7,8 miles long hike and led us to the 11,433 Feet summit and back.
Here we must admit that all the units are quite challenging for us here in the U.S.: degrees in Fahrenheit, distance in miles, elevation in feet, length in inches, mass in pounds, volume in US fluid ounces, etc. Total madness ;). We are happy that conversion apps are existing and hopefully soon we will learn.
So to give you an idea 11,433 Feet it is 3485 meters which is quite high for a hike taking in to account that the higher it gets, the less oxygen content is in the air and it’s harder to breathe. Nevertheless, we managed quite well and enjoy it a lot!!
Next day we took a ride to the top of the Rocky Mountain National Park (the alpine region of the park) with road 34 which is the highest continuously paved road in the U.S. Although it is summer we saw a lot of snow around the mountains (glaciers).
Arriving back to Lakewood we had a note posted on our Van that said “ Hi if you would like to sell your Ford van (and the phone number)” – OUR VAN IS NOT FOR SALE!!
What a great end of the 1st week.
Stayed tuned for the upcoming posts!