This is a story about a great scooter that is dearly missed by now... But more of that later on ;)
We left Ashwell Farm pretty early for we wanted to not drive right through London but around it. We had gotten a very interesting impression of the English way to drive so we were really scared of the Londoner rush hour. Or so we thought. On our way we realized the satnav was sending us straight through London even though we had planned the route before and it shouldn't have changed in the meantime. Yet it somehow thought it had a better plan for us... -.-
The Londoner rush hour was... impressive. Stop and go without an end, line changes, people arguing, honking, ... But in that traffic we somehow found the time to enjoy ourselves: Schwabi set the idle of his scooter, Lena refilled her cooling water, Mart gave a foreign car an amiable pink paint job... without planning it. The Londoner came out of his car, said some non understandable stuff, seemed to be really angry, had forgotten to attach the hand break and therefore his own car went a "little" further because it felt like it. But the guy just went back into his car and drove on – fortunately.
But eventually it had an end. When we were out of London we searched for a petrol station, but there was none. For like miles and miles there was no petrol station and we were all in need of fuel and of a break because of that stressful traffic. Finally we just drove off the big street we were on because we just needed a break. We ended up in a place called "Bluewater". It was pretty awkward: The landscape was awesome and right through it lead big streets with like no cars on it with the streets ending up in huge parking lots with quite a lot of cars on them. But again there were about no people and we felt really strange. But we were hungry so a few of us went into the building next to the parking lot. It turned out to be a shopping center. No normal shopping center, no. There's just two words for it: Huge and sterile. Everywhere strange people running from shop to shop, stepping into the shopping center felt like taking a step into a time space 20 years in the future. Since everything was really, really expensive we left the place and Mart had found a petrol station quite close where we could get fuel and have a little lunch.
We called a hostel in Dover for we couldn't find any camping site and it was right next to the ferry port so we would have been able to head off to Calais the next morning. But well... this was not meant to happen, I guess. On our way to Dover everything seemed fine and the weather was great, everything went well. Until my scooter felt like: "Ummmmm... I didn't have my time to play diva in this vacation, now it's my turn!" and got slower and slower and slower and stopped. Nobody heard my honking so for once I was left behind with a broken scooter. Yay.
Since I knew some time the rest of the group would realize I wasn't there anymore I just waited for them to come back (which took quite a little time). When they were back we brought the scooter into a parking lot of a school next to the place where the scooter broke down because it had felt as if something had cracked. First we thought it was the V-belt, but when we opened the variator a broken plate smiled at us. In that moment I knew it was hopeless to repair the scooter because for the spare parts we would have to wait like days.
I was wondering how such a plate could break just like that, but we realized the pre-owner must have used some trick to keep the scooter running and forgot to put in back the cooling plate. Yay. While we were working a man came over and asked us whether we had a problem and if he was able to help us. He was really motivated and told us he had a few motorcycles himself. Anyway, we needed a place to stay for the night because nobody wanted me to go back home just like that and therefore my luggage was to get sent back to Karlsruhe. The man, John (the second), helped us to find a stay for the night.
When some of us went for the next youth hostel in Medway (there were again no camping sites), Lena, Mart and me stayed at the parking lot (two people needed to come back to get me and my luggage transported). John offered us to leave the scooter in his garage until I could come back and transport the scooter back to Germany, which was just awesome. Before I had thought I would need to sell it or leave it where it stood or something, but like that I didn't need to worry about that anymore.
So we left John (the second) with my scooter and he was like "You know, my address is not really hard to find out: Over there in that school there was the place in which Charles Dickens died." Wow. That was funny somehow. During our drive to the hostel the Fabi and Alex went shopping and found "Your local Mini Mart"... =)
We had a nice evening in the hostel setting plans for the rest of the journey: None of the others even considered me going home by plane or train. The next morning Alex got a new wheel for his was out of profile depth, Lena's exhaust got welded again and Moprü got new breaks.
All that took quite a lot of time, but finally we could head off to the next post office to send Moprü's and my luggage to Karlsruhe (we needed to send both because the one transporting me on the pillion seat couldn't carry their own luggage).
There we couldn't find parcels tall enough to fit the backpacks, but there was a very friendly and helpful butcher couple giving us their empty boxes and the man in the post office (he was really, really patient and helped us a lot – with a lot of sarcastic comments) helped us to send our parcels to the right place... For sending the parcels we needed to leave an English address behind if the parcels were too dangerous of content to get sent... Again, John (the second) offered us to leave behind his address. Finally, the luggage was sent, Moprü took Nora's luggage and I took place in her pillion seat and we drove off to Dover. But here I'll make an end to this entry – otherwise it would get far too long ;)