Our plan was to fly out to ZigZag in April 2020 to start our new adventure but due to the COVID 19 pandemic this was delayed and we eventually decided to drive instead. We removed the back seats out of Paul’s old BMW and installed a top box to fit as much in as possible. All packed up on 12th July ready to go, we were happy to have managed to fit pretty much everything in. We had got a lot of new boat equipment, generator, outboard engine, electrical upgrades, paint, tools etc etc and a few clothes! We set off to Harwich for the overnight ferry to Holland.
The car was well loaded, (overloaded!!) and after the first full day driving we realised that we may be expecting at bit too much from the old girl, she started chugging a bit as we approached our 1st hotel on the German/Swiss border. This was bad news, we thought the suspension had gone and we started looking at options of getting our huge load to the boat, unfortunately this was looking very expensive and almost impossible from our current location.
The following day we checked her over, couldn’t see any major problems so rearranged the big generator to the front passenger footwell to try to even the load, it meant that there was little leg room but she seemed happier and started ok the next day, so we took a steady drive through the scenic Alps and Swiss lakes to Bologna in Northern Italy with no major dramas, (Apart from back ache and leg cramps for the passenger). Stayed at a lovely hotel and couldn’t resist the pool bar for an evening drink.
Feeling more positive the next day, only a couple of hours to the ferry at Ancona, thinking we just need to get on the ferry and once we’re in Greece it will be much easier if we need to hire a car etc, we made it to be ferry still chugging along. When we loaded they wanted us to drive up an almost vertical ramp up at least 3 decks, this was stressful but we took a good run up and the old girl made it ok. Now we were thinking we’re almost home and dry, we’ve just got to get off the ferry! Luckily the next day driving off was ok as it was a different arrangement which was less steep.
Our next concern was the expected virus checks and potential quarantine upon entry into Greece, fortunately this all went without a hitch, they looked at our documents and waved us straight through, we were on our way again. We took the coastal road slowly for a couple of hours to the Ionion Marine in Preveza. Big sigh of relief when we arrived at ZigZag. Well done to the old girl for getting us here, ‘Old Girls Rule’!!