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The tent construction is finished! As you can see, we will be travelling in true style as real Dutch people on a French campsite. (Tomek is slightly embarrassed about the fact that the tent is actually bigger than the car, but we’ll talk about that again when it rains 4 days non-stop).
Tomek found an example on the internet of a convenient way to fold away the tents. The tents pack away in two etuis which are attached to the roof rack; one at the side of the car and one at the back. The roofs of both tents are attached inside the etuis, so we can just unroll them and zip on the sides of the tent. (It sounds really easy, but actually it would be most convenient if we were three people. And had a ladder. Any volunteers?).
We decided to give the car a little extra black paint at the bottom part. A very quick way to hide all the dents, scratches and rusty patches. And it looks pretty fancy too. This was a bit of a midnight operation, because everybody is working on the car in the daytime. After the 3rd paint round it was actually black, all that rests now is peeling off the sun dried masking tape...but it looks cool!
The shower is in place, and it works! We thought we would have to jump out of the car at the end of the day as soon as we parked somewhere, get undressed and quickly take advantage of the water that’s heated by the car engine. But you can just switch on the engine, wait three minutes and the water is really hot! Thanks to the heat exchanger that is hidden in one of the many cavities of the great Pajero. The heat exchanger cable exits at the rear wheel (see picture), here is where the shower hose connects and voilà; all is ready for a nice outdoor splash. Is this Glamping or what?! (thinking of you Carlien & Ernst!)
We started packing the car to see what would be the most convenient and what would make the least noise when driving. All the kitchen things are stored away in the drawers and the back door also functions as a kitchen table. The kitchen is fully equiped with fold away table and handy bottle opener (which has been tested and approved for frequent use).
And after a hard day's work, it's time to practice how to get some food on the table. I have a great teacher (see pictures) Here we come all you 6-eyed fish out there in the former Soviet testing grounds!
After many re-fittings, browsing for extra car parts, buying the wrong ones, chasing the guy who was supposed to paint the front car guards (what?!), then ending up painting them ourselves, burning the car seat with the construction lamp and buying a new car seat to replace it and many other missing bolts and creaky sounds, and a test drive in the woods which ended up in us walking back home since the back brakes blocked and overheated, we are actually getting there, believe it or not.
After a lovely Easter, we started on the interior of the car. Tomek's brother Piotrek built a fold-away plank system, which functions as a cupboard, a drawer system as well as a bed. It's great. The fridge is in its place and the white container next to it on the picture is a water tank for the occasional shower and for cleaning our hands after fixing some oily car part.
The mailman comes round every day now, delivering the car part of that day. This morning we received the heat exchanger which takes water from the engine cooling system and transports it through an intricate maze of copper threads which heats our washing water. It's practically the same as a home shower, let's say.
And the car was ready for a little high pressure shower as well!