14. Apr, 2016

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FRIDAY 17-4-15

We were woken to the sound of rain hitting our roof. Oh dear what had happened to all the sunshine? After a bit of a lie-in we scrubbed up, had breakfast, then hit the road. We had done very well with our water consumption over the previous 24 hours. We'd used just 5 gallons plus bottled drinking water (we have an in-line carbon filter fitted to the kitchen sink's tap but we’re playing it safe).

The last 70 miles across der Farderland was quite picturesque, in fact it looked more Austrian than Austria, then in to Austria itself. Not that pretty really, not the part we passed through, besides which we spent much of it inside long dark tunnels. I know it may be unfair but I've never been able to see the Austrians as anything more than Nazi sympathisers. I think escaping from there was the best thing Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer ever did. Unfortunately their progress was slowed down because they had to drag along all those kids that wouldn't stop singing. It is said that on arrival in England it didn't take British Intelligence long to realise that although he was posing as a naval captain, Austria was a land-locked country and therefore had no need of a navy. As punishment he spent the rest of the war years as skipper of a steamboat on Lake Windermere, whilst Julie and the kids toured residential care homes for the elderly.

At the end of the war the elderly residents from all the local care homes clubbed together their pension money and bingo winnings to buy the whole family one-way tickets to America rather than have to endure another rendition of 'Doe-Ray-Me'.

So out of Austria then (I do love to watch on TV their New Years Day concert live from Vienna), and in to Slovenia for a while. Lovely scenery, then in to Croatia, and guess what? They all screwed us for vignettes and toll fees. What rubs salt in to the wounds is that we borrow money to give to the EU so that they can give it to these poorer EU nations to build roads with. Having built them they have the audacity to charge us to use them.

We are spending the night at a TruckStop east of Zagreb, another one with a distinct aroma in the parking area.

Wandering around amongst the ‘Truckies’ is a very rough old girl, clearly on the game, touting for business. Her problem is that she will only appeal to blind truck drivers, which I suggest is a very limited market.

We enjoyed our evening meal of Beef Salad whilst watching a line of Truckies taking a very public pee on the grass (yup, 70 cents here too). I believe Monsanto have developed a GM grass seed which is pee-resistant and with an EU grant, planted it at all TruckStops from Calais to Eastern Europe.

As I prepare for yet another early night (my personal chef and soul-mate having turned in earlier) I find myself looking out of the window at a fat slob of a Truckie doing very strange and exaggerated leg movements. Oh well, he's the one who will have to wear those underpants tomorrow.