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Author Topic: Tips without putting a downer on it.  (Read 8521 times)

Tai-chi wanderer

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Tips without putting a downer on it.
« on: March 17, 2015, 10:05:13 AM »
Hi lots on the Forum about building and planning, can I put down horror stories straight away. Most are coming from peeps in flimsies (custom/A class motorhomes), so already they are travelling with a huge target on their sides.  Look at me 80k m/home and all the valuables inside.

Mark will poke me for being negative but after living/traveling the roads for over 30 years we have a cautionary tale. It will never happen to us, hmmmmmmm.
We let our guard down, last year in September.

Okay horror story..... It happened to us.
Down a tiny country lane, nr. Gueret in the Limousin region, heading for St Dizier. Rain coming down, skies low, Tom Petty on the cd.
Pulled over because a huge Mitzi Animal was storming towards me, it barrelled past and took off my wing mirror. It was quickly followed by 2 more big 4 x drive vehicles, and 2 small cars.
My mirror was gone. no more, blank hole, empty scenic space. I pulled off slowly, bewailing that would cost me.
5 minutes down the road all L erupted behind me, flashing lights, horns blaring. I thought it might be an ambulance, (Brit thoughts akimbo) It could not pass so I pulled as close to the ditch next to me and tried to breath in. Still the lights flashed and mud was being churned from the adjacent ditch as the vehicle could not pass. I stopped.
Now we are seasoned travellers and have done Spain and Italy for over 30 years, first rule, don't stop, second, have camera handy, third, have a can of hairspray to the fore, forth, baseball bat down the side of the door (masquerading as a door handle lift, to pull you up the step).
 
My passenger rolled down the window, wrong side of the road don't forget. He was almost pulled  though the window frame by a hairy Frenchie, about 6.4 tall, wearing a boiler suit. I stepped out the other side, and ran around the front. Immediately I was spat on and shouted at, possibly exceeding 120 decibels. I had 2 elderly passengers, we had booked a Gite to stay for 2 weeks. My wife was in the back, unable to see what was going on.
In seconds I was surrounded by about 10 guys, my passenger says 14, I did not count. All the cars had turned about and chased me down the lane.
 
So I was lost in France 14.00 hrs, gendarmes at lunch of course and me defending 3 elderly peeps as an only driver ..... With my rough French, I sussed out they wanted 100 for their smashed mirror. Walking over to look at their damage, I looked in the cab a saw 2 rifles and a shotgun propped up against the dashboard.
Wrong move, I've lived in France, out of season hunters, pink caps and raiding somebodies 'chaise' plot. Then I got a thump on the chest by mister big n hairy. There was a horse fair we had passed further down the road, so hunters and gypsies on the make from Johnny tourist.
I'm pretty fiery and teach tai-chi and contest taikwondo, but here I was going to get a good kicking, too many.
Even tho I was tempted to demonstrate the Glasgow keees, because his spitty face was bent so close to mine and my knee was so precisely aimed.
 
His spiel was, we Brits always had a sob story about how broke we were and how we hated their country and the French and yet made a mess of it by visiting, etc.
 
Rather a long thread so I'll cut it there. Unless you want to hear the end.
Time this was set in, September 2014. Moral..... do not stop, just drive to the nearest town, village, whatever.
Never been stopped before, never had any trouble. Do not relax your guard, always be sensible about parking.
We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 10:08:02 AM by Tai-chi wanderer »

JakeLeeYes

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Re: Tips without putting a downer on it.
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2015, 02:17:22 PM »
Horrible story Tai-Chi! Hope everyone was okay afterwards. Definitely wont be stopping for anyone on my travels
2003 LDV Convoy Owner. Currently turning her into a campervan!

Tai-chi wanderer

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Re: Tips without putting a downer on it.
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2015, 03:43:46 PM »
Wasn't too bad, if you have others you are responsible for you tend to keep your head.

A couple of other cars came down the road from the opposite direction and I thrust my mobile into their hands and asked them to call the Gendarme, they knew exactly where we were and the pikies fled. We did not get a photo of their reg. number and the police kept us in the station for over 2 hours.
They hated that we had been banditised in their patch and after I stirred them from their larcononism, lunch is a big deal in France. And told them the crew had many guns in their vehicles, they actually stirred into life.

No result tho, but we came out of it okay, being looked after. Thank you Spirit of travelers. 8)

Camper Van Travels

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Re: Tips without putting a downer on it.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 02:59:08 PM »
The cheapest way to ward off any unwelcome visitors (or vehicle break in's) is to set up a motion detector alarm. As soon as the thing is set off, the most awful blood curling set of growls emanates from the inside of your van making any would be thief think twice about breaking and entering.


drift

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Re: Tips without putting a downer on it.
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2015, 02:09:40 AM »
this is why I don't go anywhere that I can't legally have my pistol. I've had half a dozen such incidents, and there's simply no way that i will risk such bs, nor allow such punks to even think that they want to try it with me.

Tai-chi wanderer

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Re: Tips without putting a downer on it.
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2015, 11:03:54 AM »
Hi Drift, welcome aboard. We were not hurt just a bit shocked, half the fun of traveling is you sharpen your wits.
You are always monitoring, water, 12v power, food, gas, and the space about you, start taking it for granted and the sneaky buggers take advantage. You'll even get robbed at hippy haven Glasto.

In the 3 decades of travel we have only had 2 incidents abroad, here in Blighty they happen almost daily, so get out there, life's dangerous, thank Spirit that's what we are here for, to experience it.
And on a aging hippy note, violence begets the same, karma stuff.

My life partner says as she wakes up in the van, today change the scenery. Make it so......

kryten

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Re: Tips without putting a downer on it.
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2015, 08:54:31 PM »
this is why I don't go anywhere that I can't legally have my pistol. I've had half a dozen such incidents, and there's simply no way that i will risk such bs, nor allow such punks to even think that they want to try it with me.

Try that in Europe and you'll find yourself spending some time in another type of small space.