Lago dell’Olmo -Lago Orta – SWITZERLAND – Simplonpass – Lac de Morat – GERMANY – Schwarzwald (Triberg, Nordrach, Mummelsee,Baden-Baden) 29th May – 2nd June 2017

After an awesome long weekend at Bugaloo festival we stayed a bit longer with Marck, Chiara, Helen and Lee. Spent the morning back at the lake and had lunch with the staff at Lago dell’Olmo restaurant and had THE best  carbonara we have ever tasted. Seriously if you’re ever in this part of Italy you should definitely have a bite to eat and check out the amazing view!

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Chilled out at Marcks for the rest of the day, had a few drinks and finished the day off with a kebab-perfect day of food, beer and VW talk!

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Marck kitted Charlie out with a cool new storage pipe too!

Said goodbye and thanks again to Marck and Chiara for the invite and their help before we made our way north in convoy with Helen and Lee. After a short drive and a stock up at the supermarket, we ended up at a great spot next to Lake Orta.

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Zo, Helen and her two dogs went for a walk and discovered the ‘Sacro Monte di Orta’ a short walk from the spot. It was fascinating to see so many chapels (20 in total, originally there were plans to build 36!) with intricate sculptures and paintings depicting various scenes/episodes of Saint Francis of Assisi’s (an Italian Roman Catholic preacher).

Tris and Lee got chatting to some fellow travellers in the camperstop before the four of us walked up to a picnic area and cooked a load of food for our “last meal” together as we were parting ways the next day.

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Said goodbye to Helen and Lee before we let them speed off towards Switzerland and Germany in their VW T5 (we knew we’d slow them down and they only had a few days before they had to be back in England!). Zo took Tris to see the chapels before leaving and crossed the border into Switzerland. What a beautiful route the Simplonpass was- snow covered mountains, amazing scenery and at 2005m above sea level!

We were going to head to Luzern however a diversion and an ever growing suspicious noise from our engine led us to the decision of making only a short stop in Switzerland.We found somewhere In Murten next to ‘Lac de Morat’ to park up for the evening. Watched a crazy thunderstorm over the lake before getting to bed.

Left early and took the E25 up into Germany. Started making our way through Schwarzwald (The Black Forest) which was incredible- miles and miles of trees and great roads through them. Helen and Lee had told us about the worlds first largest cuckoo clock and thought it was something we better see so stopped in Triberg and luckily found it before it closed for the day!

The guy was really friendly and said he used to have a van just like ours. After getting some photos and waiting for the cuckoo (sad we know!) we carried on and ended up meeting Helen and Lee again in a little place called Nordrach.

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They’d previously visited and made friends with a few locals at a cool sports bar with a 1970’s bowling alley! They’d text us earlier in the day to say; if we made it in time, to visit. Spent the eve with cherry schnapps, brandy and beer with the locals and Helen and Lee. Safe to say we all went to bed a little worse for wear!

We’d been invited for breakfast by William who worked at the local hotel and had spent the eve with us. His bacon and egg fry up was what we all needed! Said our thanks and farewells before seeing Harry(another local we met) and his cool little bar next to a golf course.

We said goodbye for good this time to Helen and Lee as they were making their way back to England. Lee had a look at the engine with Tris and they both suspected the sound was the water pump. We agreed we’d just take it carefully and carried on through the beautiful Black Forest. Noise was gradually getting worse but pushed on to see Lake Mummelsee.

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We walked around; pretty little lake surrounded by woodland, read about the old myths of mermaids being there amongst other little stories linked to the lake!

On our way to Baden-Baden we pulled out of a junction and Tris saw smoke coming out of the van! Zo scrambled around the back through a load of stuff to find the fire extinguisher (just in case!!) whilst Tris found somewhere to pull over…

Luckily it wasn’t a fire but the bearing on the waterpump was the main suspect. We let it cool down, looked for the nearest garage and slowly made our way there. Unfortunately it was late Friday evening so they weren’t open ’til the morning but parked up outside hoping they’d be able to help the next day!

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