After telling you about Stan and Sally Hannath's charity mission on our website in April – they will be undertaking an adventurous road journey from the northernmost tip of Europe to the southernmost tip of Africa to raise much needed awareness and funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg – we bring you the first blog entry from their trip:
Asparagus, Carnets and Strawberries
In 1949 just about the whole world adopted the Carnet du Passage as a customs document for the temporary import of a vehicle, which is basically like a vehicle passport.
At remote border posts in Zambia, Tanzania, Angola I have seen customs officials break into rare smiles at the sight of the Carnet. This is because it saves them a lot of hassle. Writing in triplicate with no carbon paper in 42°C can be trying...
Last week I had an unfortunate experience at the hands of Zoll - the customs police in Germany. After three buildings and four rooms, the Zoll official was completely bemused by the carnet, a document he had never seen. Two hours later and one page cancelled, I left hoping I had enough pages for the remaining 26 countries I still had to visit! Give me a corrugated iron hut in Zambia any day!
That night we feasted on the seasonal delicacy in Germany: Spiegel (asparagus). At the stalls they sell 10 different sizes/qualities at different prices and it is utterly delicious!
After departing Hamburg the next day we headed north into Denmark in sunny weather. The number of solar panels and wind generators was impressive. I'm not sure about the latter as they look great but how effective are they? Not many being put up anymore according to my Swedish banking friend.
The roads were all easy and free-slowing but the cost for ferries and bridge tolls leave you gasping if you translate into South African Rands.
Sweden was beautiful, and we were fortunate enough to sample the new season’s potatoes and strawberries on sale.
Finally got the Cadac gas cylinder filled today after three failures (as an adapter is needed), because we weren't able to put a full cylinder on the ship!
Tomorrow is midsummer celebrations so the campsites and roads will be busy.