Latest diary - part 1 and now part 2 also

on december the 23rd i took out one of our little slide backs to do a local job , during that morning the truck burst into flames as i was loading a car the result of which was i lost everything in my holdall , ie : passport , wallet , licence , digi card etc . its taken untill now to get everything replaced , so for the last six weeks or so i have been confined to the uk . now im ready for a new trip or should i say desperate to get back over the water .
day 1
its tuesday morning , i was weekended in newcastle and spent monday running down and collecting a couple of cars in london before heading to the yard to sort out this trips papers . two of us are shipping out today , me and steve . a quick stop at ashford truck stop to buy the eurovinette and its down to dover , the weather is crap and its worse on the french side the p+o bloke at the booth tells me , thats why you got a couple of hours to wait for the frieghter ( the endeavour ) to get here . we get loaded and have a nice bumpy crossing to calais listening to loads of crockery smashing in the kitchen and trying to get from the coffee machine to the seat without spilling any , an art if you can manage it . off at calais we head into belgium and passing gent , brusseks and genk we call it a night at the belgium / dutch border .
day 2
a quick drive to the services before aachen to buy the toll collect then into germany , this is where me and steve part company , im heading south east while he is off to poland , he will go on to load 2 in poland , 1 in cz and 3 in germany before returning . once i get to cologne the rest of the day is spent on the a3 , i get just north of passau before stopping .
day 3

its not long before i enter austria heading for graz but somethings not right but i cant put my finger on it , then it dawns on me , the go box isnt beeping so i pull into the first services and take it in , it needs replacing . got the new one and paid the tax so far so im back on the road .

there is the odd toll in austria but that comes off the go box as well

once past graz its the direction of maribor and into slovenia

a few km on the motorway before its onto a national for croatia

i get to the border and for me being empty ita a piece of cake and even better no queue

a nice motorway awaits me for the run down to zagreb then onwards towards split

tonights parking is between zagreb and split and a very quiet night it was too

day 4
i head off but soon find the motorway is closed so its onto a national through the hills to get to the coast

i get to the town of zader and look for a mercedes garage

this is where the problems start , i can see the car but we were under the impression that the papers were with the car , the log book etc and just as importantly the official accident papers but it turns out the owner has flown home with them . this bcauses big problems as i cant get the car out of the country without these , after loads of calls we gotta admit defeat and leave the car behind

at least the motorway is open as i head back to zagreb .

after a phone call i get to zagreb but head onwards towards the hungarian border where i end up having a big row with the border staff about being empty but having a trailer on , ( long story ) finally they told me to go 200m to the hungarian side where … i quote " it will be a eec problem" . no problem the hungarian side

i brought the hungarian tax at the border , 60 euros for 10 days

onto the motorway and into the first services for the night

day 5
just gonna do half a shift today, the first part being to run up to budapest

round the m0 and onto the m5 for szeged

off the motorway and through szeged following signs for arrad

i end up following a mathews truck , we end up both stopping for a break and a chat but i stay there for the weekend

he is a hungarian driver , nice bloke . on his way to istambul .
day 7
first job is to get to the romanian border

then stop and buy the romanian tax

this tax you get a sticker for the screen and a paper , 13 euros a day but cheaper if you buy a week
right i got 400 km to go , this is gonna take all day

im heading for a town called ramnicu valcea

i get there late in the evening and after loading the car i stay at the garage over night .
day 8
pretty much a reverse of yesterday as i head back to hungary

i get back to the border and get through no problems

back through szeged and onto the 5 before calling it a night.
day 9
up to budapest again going past a big warberers site on the m0

then a straight drive up to the austrian border and to vienna
as i get onto the 2 at vienna heading for graz again i pass another well known european hauliers place

this one being of lkw walter .

tonights place to stop is near klagenfurt

Hello Mike excellent read and brillant photos,
i do hope that the insurance paid up for all the lost items when your lorry decided to do a BBQ, also trust the steaks tasted nice, your next trip is where perhaps Madras??
OR Istanbaul, :slight_smile: ,

part 2
day 10
leaving the shell services i head off towards italy on a cold morning

once into italy its down the 23 to udine and onto th a4 towards venice

then onward accross northern italy arriving at the peage at milan

round milan still on the 4 for turin and onwards towards frejus

just past turin there is a monastary at the top of a hill which from what a driver was telling me the locals call it the church in the sky cause when its dark its all lit up but the hill is pitch black so it looks like its floating in the sky

gonna stay at the services just past susa for tonight

day 11
a few km further i come off the 4 onto the ss24 signed for sestriere and briancon
i did a video coming down the french side on the n94 towards briancon
past briancon heading south i arrive at a ski resort to collect some keys to a car thats at another ski resort 60 km away , not much distance wise but time consuming on these roads

i eventually get to the next ski resort called puy st vincent 1800 and load an astra with errr minor frontal damage

back to briancon and the stunning road accross to grenoble

back onto a motorway i head north and get as far as the shell between chambery and geneva before my 90 hours catches up with me

i end up staying here from friday afternoon to monday morning and was the only truck here the entire weekend

day 14
once up onto the 40 haeding for the blanc the first job today is go to a recovery firm in magland and unload the 2 cars and trailer , now im empty i go back on the 40 for geneva , i wouldnt normally worry about taking cars into swiss but i gotta load 3 so i would end up going in as a rigid and coming out as a wagon and drag and tbh im not sure how that would work with the swiss tax
anyway i go in at geneva and head for laussanne and zurich

going through zuric to get on the road for chur

i go through chur

to the road for arosa and stop dead in my tracks , a 2.3 width limit and an 18t weight limit put a stop to that plan so after a few phone calls i park in the swimming centre car park in chur for the night

day 15
its late morning before the small recovery van that went up to arosa to bring the car down gets to me and i load the audi a6

a couple of hours later im near zurich at a place called uster to load a vw touareg

back to laussanne and i continue south on the 9 to a place called bex where i spend the night parked at the railway / tram station
day 16
round the corner to the garage to load a ford focus

back to laussanne again skirting lake geneva

then back to geneva heading out back to magland , once there i offload the 3 and load all 5 in the best order to fit them on then load a landcruiser from the garage

righ thays me fully loaded and heading homeward bound , i get as far as aire langres for the night
day 17
pretty straight forward , five or six hour run up to calais , boat over , tip the volvo in deal and take the rest back to the yard
ok bit of fun for you . 17 days,11 countries but how many km ■■? start to finish , what do you reckon

what car is back :smiley:
first bit really is what car cause i havent got a clue

but these i do know but do you

Great pictures and write up.

The dark green truck is probably a Roman and the bright green one is an IFA

The Gold 4x4 Yaz ?

The Dark Blue mini might be a Honda Jazz ?

great pictures and interesting write up, I am wondering how much it costs to get a car back to the UK taking into account how long you were away it must be very expensive

taking a rigid into Swiss and road train out you would have to pay the road train tax for the whole journey

The 4x4 is ARO, Romanian make, then there’s Dacia 1300 (Renault 12 Made in Romania), Roman truck (MAN Made in Romania), Dacia Logan (low-cost Renault car), Ifa (Made in GDR), the log on the black mini rings my bell but cann’t remember at the moment and don’t know the blue one.
Nice trip BTW.

Well, actually the blue one is probably Daihatsu Sirion

cracking diary mad monk, i was wondering the other day where you had gone, what caused the fire with the other truck? sadly the missus computer has not loaded all the pictures up (well, and im off to the pub!) so i cant have a guess at the cars!!!

a top read n pics mm :smiley:

Mike, Excellent as all ways, you are going further and further , so next trip is over into ASIA perhaps■■?

Excellent read there MM, makes me apprecieate what im missing!! :cry:

Love reading all these long distance diaries, especially the Eastern European ones, lets have more of them chaps!!

Guess the mileage…ok, about 2800 miles!! :open_mouth: :laughing: :laughing:

hi pete , who knows where the next trip is gonna take me , i wouldnt even begin to guess where , could be anywhere . same again jimti i have no idea , it must be paying for the boss to send us , i think part of the contract is wherever the car is we go and get it . with the swiss i wasnt too sure as my id card for swiss is for a 26t rigid but i had a car to collect at magland anyway so it all worked out pretty well . pete the insurance hasnt paid out yet , these things are a nightmare and normally long and drawn out , euromat no one quite knows what caused it , the popular theory is that there was a small hole in the hydraulic pipe that was pulsing out fluid that came into contact with the exhaust or something else hot . bullitt your a little bit out on the milage , the whole trip base to base was 7994km or roughly 5000 miles

Brilliant pics and diary Mike,you must feel more like a tourist than a driver doing all of that.
And how frustrating to go all the way for the Merc and find there’s no paperwork for it,no wonder green card insurance is so expensive in the UK.

That was brilliant Mike, cheers. Some of those roads look superb, and with plenty of parking too. It’s just a pity your line of work doesn’t allow for a bigger cab though eh. Keep em coming mate, and cheers for taking the time to post. :wink:

wondered where you had been, glad your bback, with more great diaries and pics.
fair old trip that 1 :sunglasses:

magnificent diary! must be lots of driving around!! :smiley:

I think there is proton in there that black one lol the blue one is a smart car

Good one as always Monk, I think that could be some sort of record.

8 days to load 1 car!

That’s what you call hanging it out :laughing:

really enjoyed the diary. I used to do “Rumo” via austria /Hungary. and Italy was my last over the pond job 6 yrs ago now tho :cry: ( I dont half miss it :grimacing: ) Used the " frejus" quite often (was usually too heavy for swiss) I remember the church in the sky all lit up at night, your pic really did take me back, thanx…ps. enjoyed the vid to ( Happy days eh lol)