Sorry it has been ages since I have posted anything and you haven’t heard anything since I have been on my road trip. I haven’t been able to charge my laptop so found it too difficult to post. I’m so sorry and will try and catch you up with everything!
So the problem was that my inverter had bust. This means I had no 240v power, but I could still charge my 12v stuff eg USBs. I looked at trying to get a DC-DC converter to power my laptop without converting it to AC in the middle, but I couldn’t find one with the right output for my laptop.
Then there was a massive hoohah about trying to get a new inverter. I tried all the local shops that said on their website they might have one, but none had them in stock and I couldn’t get one branch to order it for me to another branch. Then I tried click and collect, but UK postcodes have letters in not just numbers so the french website wouldn’t accept it in the bank details section, even though I wanted to collect from a store. then I tried ordering one from Amazon, to be delivered to a post office that I was oging to be near, spent days in places I wasn’t all that fussed by to make the timings work, only to find that the French post office only had the couriers parcel number (that I couldn’t get my parcel without) but that Amazon used an untracked service, so were unable to get me the tracking number, even though I had the amazon tracking number, so I was in the same building as my parcel but I wasn’t allowed it, and amazon couldn’t be bothered to sort it out speedily so just issued me a refund even though I didn’t want one – I wanted my inverter! (This is why I was grumpy going round Montpellier)
So after all of that I gave up and ordered one to the UK that my darling boyfriend brought out with him on his next visit, and very kindly fitted for me with assistance from my brother via a dodgy connection on facebook videochat.
So I have my laptop working again- Yay! However, now the water pump doesn’t work and we’re not sure why as that is 12v and shouldn’t have been effected by our faffing about with the inverter.
There are plenty of other things that have gone wrong so far too.
In the near future I need to find someone who stocks a 29″ MTB wheel as someone hit my bike while it was on the rack on the van while parked in Chamonix. Being the rear wheel though it would be helpful if that person could also transfer all the gubbins across as I am not very good at bike mechanics- I’ll see what I can find in Austria.
I had to dismantle and clean the hob because it wasn’t lighting right and had yellow instead of blue flame.
My fairy lights were turning themselves on and changing their flashyness at will, but have now completely shaken their connection lose after they had been through the point of waking me up with strobe in the middle of the night- if anyone can suggest how to fix this that would be great as I don’t have access to a soldering iron and not sure how superglue works with electricity.
Turns out I had accidentally left my fridge on vent mode so I was running my batteries down really quickly for no good reason.
My bike pump broke.
My mobile phone contract with iD, which I was told was just like 3 but so that Carphone Warehouse can sell their stuff- turns out there are many ways in which they are different- such as significantly reduced number of countries included in their ‘Roam like home’. So I can’t check google maps in Andorra or Switzerland for example- luckily Adam was with me both times, so we could use his Vodaphone access, but frustrating none the less.
I got a puncture and discovered I had no glue in my puncture repair kit (thank you so much to the Dutch couple who stopped to lend me some!)
Tried a little adaptor that would allow me to access my SD cards from my phone but then my phone crashed and corrupted them so I have no idea if I have any of the photos I took on my “proper camera” from the first 2 weeks of the trip.
Lost my GoPro into a Lake.
Nothing life threateningly serious, and each have been resolved in a simple (but probably expensive) way but each incident is occurring regularly enough to be annoying. I also packed way too much stuff so am constantly losing things for them to reappear a couple of days later (the exception being my toothpaste which Adam accidentally took home with him) which can get tiresome.
So anyway- van life is not all it is cracked up to be! I will get on with creating a bunch more blogs in the coming days to catch you up on the more fun side of things- because it has actually been fun too- and fingers crossed it was all just teething issues and the rest of the trip will run swimmingly!!!