Posts Tagged With: Antwerp

Stella’s put some serious mileage on the clock this summer..

A few weeks ago I went to Belgium and Amsterdam to see some friends..
Unfortunately it wasn’t without a hassle.. The day before I left I was driving towards a shop when all of a sudden Stella was acting weird.. when I turned of the music I could hear a loud rattling noise from the back so I quickly got out and noticed I ran flat on one side.. Luckily there was a very friendly chap who came over and asked me if I needed any help with finding a tyreshop.. A few minutes later I was in his car and another 15 mins later we found a place that had the right tyre size on the shelve.. but f*ck me these were expensive!!! Because of the heavy camber on the rear I took no risk and replaced the other side as well and Stella is now sporting some proper expensive TOYO tyres 🙂
The next day whilst driving on the M25 towards Dover my front screen exploded?!! Just like that with no warning or whatsoever .. BANG! The driver side glass had a million cracks.. Luckily I aimed for an earlier boat so I had time to do a little detour to B&Q for some perspex.. Because I kept driving, the wind kept pushing on the glass which then started to throw little chips off.. I had to pullover as I was covered in glass and a hole in the window made it rather dangerous..

 

 

 

 

So I then tried to get the glass out but because it was so brittle there was no way I was going to get it out properly.. I then came up with the brilliant idea .. Not (LOL) to use a pillow and push it all out..

Luckily most of the glass fell out of the bus but anyone who’s had a similar thing happened knows that it goes everywhere .. and when I say every where it’s all over the place.. Even now ( a few weeks later) I still find little pieces of glass on the cab mat..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily B&Q sell’s perspex in various sizes and with the help of a stanley knife and some white duck tape I managed to do a quick but efficient repair.

I made the boat in time and once landed on the mainland I cruised a little further in the night until I was ready for bed..
After a short but deep sleep I got woken up by a bright blue sky 🙂 Time to open the doors and get the kettle on! Having a fully kitted out campervan makes a huge difference on mornings like these..  It’s all there, working and ready to enjoy.. HMmm coffee!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good times as usual at Bigone beach. Being treated like a king by Dennis and Annelien.. Thanks again guys!!

Went to see a friend in Amsterdam and oh man did we have a great time there 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d been to Amsterdam a few times before but mostly visited the usual suspects 😉 and never went to explore the city. What a great city to live in, it’s nearly as cool as Antwerp 😛

 

 

 

 

After catching up with friends it was time to cruise back to the UK..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A late night boat meant sleeping in Dover and breakfast with a view !! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once back the first job on the list was to sort out the safari window.
I drove down to Chris’s place and when I explained the window story he responded.. “hold on!, I’ve got one of those original safari windows .. I only got 1 and the frame is shot so you can have it”! Well that sure made my day!!

I couldn’t wait and started straight away. Those of you that have a classic (VW) car know that no job goes straight forward and only minutes after I started I ran into a small problem. My original safari’s had been repainted several times and I don’t think anyone has ever made the effort in taking them apart hence why the little screws on the side were covered in paint. Despite trying to remove all the paint and soak them in WD40 they didn’t gave a kick..
So then I called the help of Mr. welder 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The method is simple, first make a few good tack welds on the head of the screw and then you put a little nut over it and weld it to the tack welds. I pored water over it to cool it rapidly so the connection (read as rust) between the screw and thread would brake..

Then carefully unscrew the nut and job done! That’s if all goes well! I was unfortunate that some screw’s broke halfway, fortunately I still managed to get the other half out by repeating the process on the other side.. (the frames were taken apart already)

The donor safari window! This came of another highroof which makes it a perfect replacement! It took quite some determination to get it see through again 😀

As I ran out of time, I didn’t replace the window straight away but instead treated the inside bottom with POR 15 and left it to dry..

It’s fixed now with a new seal! Thanks again Chris!!!

 

Happy days !

 

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Easter @ Antwerp

You never know how much you miss something until it’s gone…

So when I had the opportunity to go back to my hometown, Antwerp, I loaded Stella up and .. up up and awwaaaayyyy..

With temperatures still around 0˚ it was a cold drive down. Not being well myself, I opted to drive straight down to Antwerp to catch an early sleep on my favorite spot at the river. Unfortunately the spot I normally park was now filled by several containers which were designed as hotel rooms with a view on the river.. Hmmm.. So I parked a bit further underneath big industrial ‘historical’ cranes, thinking, I won’t be spotted quickly and hoping on a quiet night.. WRONG bet! It turned out that the big events hall, only a few steps away, had some kind of a party going on and 20 mins after a put myself in bed there was one car after the other driving up and down the “knobbly” stones which made a noise as if I was sleeping on the motor way.. oh dear.. As if that wasn’t enough I had people walking past the bus all night and I even woke up one time thinking the bus was being rocked.. whether that was a dream or not I don’t know but it sure wasn’t a great night of sleep..

So I woke up early and took the advantage of shooting some nice pictures..

 

The sun was up early, and it was very welcome after such horrible weather in the past weeks..

 

I made a phone call to see partner in crime Iris and left, cruising past some of Antwerp’s stunning buildings..

 

Not the best picture, but, this recent impressive build is the new museum MAS (museum at the current).  There’s a lot of locals who are divided about it..

I think it’s a cool building, in the wrong place 🙂

The below building is one of my favorites! I lived opposite for several years and it was my first view when I walked out of the door.. Strangely though.. I’ve never seen it on the inside.. ‘the Museum of fine art’ houses an impressive collection of some of the biggest artists from the 14th century onwards..

The rest of the day I spent with my friend walking in the city, visiting the flea market and ..  a well know known typical “brown” cafe named the “Duifkes” for some proper Stella’s from the draught!! Oh man.. I miss this pure golden liquid!!

After a good time in the evening I left Antwerp city and drove to my all time favorite club LAROCCA in Lier.. It’s approx 1.30am when I arrive. I asked my buddy Dennis to leave me a space on the parking in front of the club..

Larocca is not your average club.. it’s something where you come home to.. It feels just right, time after time, and so after a bunch of friends arrive the party kicks off until the early hours.. whoop whoop..

It’s about 9.30am when I get woken up by my buddy Leslie who pulls me up from the sofa at the entrance and drops me of in Stella.. A few hours later a wake up not really sure where I am and I freak out seeing a half naked dude next to me in bed.. EEeeK!!   😀

It was now well past lunch time (1.30pm) and we could still hear the club going strong..

A quick view out of the bus made me realise we were now camping on the parking of Belgium’s best club 😀

The next morning I woke up, fresh as a bird :-), and ready to help Leslie out with a costumer’s ( and friend’s) bus who was waiting for some welding jobs..

As usual there’s always a very impressive collection of cars in the garage and this time it was no different..

Good lad Bart was represent as well, I met this fella last year and he’s is just so hilarious when you’re out on the piss and he’s suffering a hangover the next day.. Good to see you Bart!

A genuine Early speedster!!

A ’60 double door 15 window.. common as fuck.. NOT!!! and another 365, this time a genuine convertible!

 

Bobber’s and a stunning 57 mango that will see the roads very soon!

 

 

 

1930’s something – Vauxhall in original paint.. I started talking to the owner about how cool it would look being chopped, slammed, shortened but he was not having any of that .. LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one uber sexy ride for sure!!!

The double door 15 window needed some basic cabfloor repair.. so I thought.. ?

She’s in overall good condition, but, does have some issues and the doglegs were actually in worse condition then I first thought..

 

Clean cut and ready for repair ..

Wimson stopped by at the garage to fiddle with his bobber and because I always see him showing of pictures of the lovely food from his ‘Teerak’ I kindly invited myself over for dinner.. Man .. his lady can cook some proper Thai food.. to say this was good is an understatement!!    yum yum  🙂       (thanks PUY!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning I was back in the workshop rebuilding the LHS dogleg and trimming the replacement piece to go back in..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished the LHS of the cab floor and cleaned it all up looking all factory again and leaving as much of the good original metal as possible.

 

Good fit!

My Buddy Arnold from Holland came down to the garage as well and Wim invited us all for another fantastic Thai evening, his girlfriend Puy can cook some really really nice food.. Thanks again my Teerak! 😉

Starters..

Main dish..

And desert.. I’m seriously on a diet now..

On one of the mornings after leaving my bus parked for just 5 minutes ,I came back from the bakery only to find my mirror splattered all over the road.. Thanks tw@t!!  Both of them now need to be replaced.. 😦

So after a weeks holiday it was time to drive back home to London..

But, not before my stop at Piet & Katrien who invited me for dinner and they even put a heater in Stella..  This was very welcome as it was very very cold every night.. I’d slept in Stella in the alps when it was snowing but somehow it felt much colder this week.

After a really nice evening filled with beers and great Belgian food I left in the morning to catch my ferry.

Whilst waiting in the queue to get on the boat I noticed this a old 4×4 with full length roof rack and overland roof tent and thought .. cool ride.. that dude is probably having a similar sort of trip.. A bit later on the boat I ran into Mark owner of the “kempes” barndoor and it turned out that the 4×4 is his and he just came back from a snowboard holiday and slept in his tent.. Proper hardcore me thinks !

 

Another flawless trip for Stella! Leslie did some tweeking on the carbs as it was puffing a lot and found the carbs being set to rich.. It now runs a lot better and is far more fuel economic!

A big thank you to all friends for your hospitality, food, drinks and showers..

I’ll be back in June for more fun 🙂

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Home sweet home..

A while ago we went back and forth to Antwerp..

Even tho it’s only 7 months since we moved yet it seems so long since we’ve been here together..

We slept at our favorite spot near to the river..   it becomes a standard now when we go back. 🙂

He’s becoming such a little poser.. ! lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s always something new around this place..

 

Until next time, hopefully not too long!!

 

 

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