A month passed since we left Amsterdam for our dream journey; our long way down to Cape Town SA. Our first goal was Genova, Italy from where our car would be shipped to Egypt.
As we now had all the time in the world, no longer rushed by any appointments and obligations, we took our time and toured the France and Italian backroads to relax and unwind. Time used to prepare ourselves on the upcoming adventures by getting in the rhythm of traveling together and living from a car. Quicker than expected we succeeded in this. The extensive preparation and research paid of as we brought the right equipment and the cabinets build in the car by Sander ensure that everything is easy by hand organized. Now Timo still needs to learn to put things back in place te keep it this way;).
In the first weeks we already covered about 3500km in our loyal car which we named ‚Rafiki’. Which is next to the wise mandrill monkey in the Lion Kings also the Swahili word for Friend. A suited name for our companion on this journey. Our first stop in Brussel, to obtain a Ethiopian visa, was our first introduction to the African way of organizing things. We needed to explain the ambassador that an e-visa for his country is only applicable for air travel. After first refusing us we needed to show him his countries website in which the procedure was explained before he decided to help us. Payment could only be done by banktransfer of which he needed a printed proof op payment but of course he did not have any printer. Luckily when all these hurdles were taken we had the visa in our pockets within 15 minutes.
Next stop: the Bordeaux country side to pay a visit to Jeroen and Anne (Monsjou family friends). We received a warm welcome with food prepared with ingredients from their own garden and with local game, with wines from the nearby vineyards, and most important with great company. It was the perfect place to recover from the long drive.
From here we crossed the Dordogne via Avignon towards the Mediterranean sea. We travelled from campsite to campsite no longer driving more than 4 hours a day. We passed through France sleepy villages, hiked in the nature, and enjoyed fresh croissant for breakfast. We reached the Mediterranean at Nice from where the legendary road La Corniche d’Or took us along the mondain coastlines of Nice and Monaco to San Remo Italy. Here we stayed a few days to enjoy the beach, the Italian lunches and watch Ajax-AEK Athens.
After two weeks we reached Genova. As the birthplace of the explorer Columbus a very suited starting point for our African adventures. Reluctant we said a temporary goodbye to our Landcruiser as we handed her in at the container terminal and changed it for a Fiat Punto. While Rafiki was waiting to be shipped we toured the Tuscany country side, the great renaissance cities Lucca, Sienna & San Gimignano and the picture perfect villages of Cinque Terre. Basically we enjoyed a holiday from our holiday by staying in cute B&Bs and exploring the Italian kitchen. We really enjoyed the time spent in Mediterranean Europe and the treats it has to offer. Though by then we where excites to fly to Alexandria to start our African adventure!
Now we are writing this journal in the renewed Great Library of Alexandria and getting in the Egyptian habits and culture. We found out we are very spoiled with the internet we have in NL, giving us a hard time to upload pictures (and our blog). Next time we’ll tell you about our Egyptian experiences in Alexandria, Cairo and the rest of beautiful things we by then have set eyes on.
If you are interested in some pictures, have a look here or follow us on our instagram!