Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bus in Portsmouth

The vanguard portion of the team (those who flew out on Thursday night) made a stupendous discovery for the team. We've been spending a considerable amount of time discussing and wondering where we're going to park the bus when we arrive in cities through the European portion of our route. Most old cities are far too large and congested for us to deal with in old Thomas.
Somehow, someone realized that we could park the bus in the satelite parking area of the airport. Brilliant!! Airports are outside of town, have easy transportation options into the towns, and the parking lots are monitored and guarded.
So far, it's worked well in Southampton, and should be a viable option in the rest of Europe.

We finally made it back to the bus today in the early afternoon. We almost missed our stop, engrossed in our conversation and failing to notice the stop until it was too late. Lots of bag hauling and hustling, and we were on the shuttle to the bus.
The bus looked fine. No vandalism. No theft. No spontaneous combustion.
We installed the roof rack on the bus while we were in the parking lot. No time like the present to test out the structural integrity of the press board. It looks good, and so far the 3 spare tires are riding in style.

While we were working on the bus, the airport parking security van pulled up. The security people ambled over and started asking questions about the bus. Luckily for us, it turned out that the security person, Bill, was just interested in where the bus came from, where it was going, and what we were all about. He spent the better part of a half hour talking to us while the bus was put back together. Bill was able to help us out on the parking fee, too, which was incredibly appreciated. A great guy, and a stupendous way to officially start off the trip. We all take meeting Bill as a great omen for the rest of the trip. Thanks, Bill!

The bus drove great. No stalling or problems. Still getting our fair share of stares and attention from passing cars and pedestrians. Still haven't passed many cars, nor do I think that we will. More importantly, the music is pumping and the jams are flowing, thanks to our friend, Rod. I cannot imagine how much (more) unbearable this trip would be without tunes.

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