1st & 2nd August
Time for facts today – The team members had to get to Mestre where the port of Venice is situated to meet with their shipping agents – named properly called “team shipping”….

This required a short stroll down little streets from the hotel to the Canale Grande where another waterbus needed to be boarded for the trip to Venice train station.

Mestre is the first stop after Venice – a mere 15 minutes trip – and after arrival Mark, Paul and Willy made it off by taxi to the local shipping agent.

All available documents were handed over to the friendly guys at the office there and the dramatic consequences of not getting the cars by latest the next day were again highlighted. Impossible or not the cars simply had to get off the ship today and through customs as soon as possible or as pronto or whatever….

The office guys promised with almost tears in their eyes that they would do whatever in their power they have – after having been told that our real big force namely Rene and Andre lead by Denise is waiting in the wings….

By 3pm it becomes clear that the cars would not become available today and the teams got onto the train to go to Padova where Vera and Vito would fetch them.

A great evening at the home of Vera and Vito who prepared a huge variety of food which threw all dietary plans which the teams tried to stick to over board.

The salamis, pastas, cheeses, Gulasch and Parma Ham still show up when going on a scale…

Next morning early rise – it is D –day today the teams can fetch their cars. Of to Mestre and after a 1 Hour wait the shipping agent came to guide the teams to their cars…….

There they were standing in a row the keys were handed over and much to their disbelieve the teams realised that

– All batteries were empty
– Icevan had a huge Diesel leak
– Most of all private belongings were gone , Tools , on-board camera’s, rucksacks , clothing

It is assumed that the cars were robbed whilst waiting a night at the Italian docks – because a torch was found close by belonging to team icevan.

Realising that nothing can be done to rectify the situation the cars were kick-started and the teams went off back to Freudenstadt via Austria.

Team Icevan decided to drive via Switzerland to visit a friend of Paul.

Lipstick and Bulldog‘s 8 hour trip went well and all enjoyed the nice scenery whilst crossing the Alps with some mountains covered in snow…
Arriving back in Freudenstadt the cars were cleaned of all rubbish and the anger about the stolen goodies was properly washed down…..

St Marco square in Venice – a huge difference to the deserts in northern Africa

 

…. And no need to braai or stick to diets………

…. And no need to braai or stick to diets………

 

The famous bridge – Rialto

 

Thank you Vera and Vito for your help…….

Thank you Vera and Vito for your help…….

 

Finally ….. reunited in Venice with the cars … minus a lot of content

 

Crossing the alps…..

Crossing the alps…..

 

..Arriving in Freudenstadt the team stopped at their oldest friend’s house –Hans Ziegler- who put the South African Flag out of his balcony for the occasion..

..Arriving in Freudenstadt the team stopped at their oldest friend’s house –Hans Ziegler- who put the South African Flag out of his balcony for the occasion..

 

Arriving in Freudenstadt at sunset time 2nd August 2011

Arriving in Freudenstadt at sunset time 2nd August 2011

 

mission completed – Lipsticks breathes out