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Le Road Trip
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sebuno
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Joined: April 17, 2006
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Location: Toulouse, France
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:44 am    Post subject: Le Road Trip Reply with quote

Hi,
Our name is Seb (Sebastien) & Soizic and we come from Toulouse, France.
We have a 1966 VW bus since 8 years and we used to use it on week-ends and holidays so as to travel around Europe (Portugal, Spain, France and Corsica).
This bus used to be a panelvan modified by a previous owner (windows and ragtop). I wanted to converted it with original windows frames and samba sunroof (that I've got) but I didn't have enough time to do it.
I made most of the things on the bus by myself : IRS conversion with 8x33 beetle gearbox and 1968 baywindows drums at the rear, 1835 engine, dropped spindles and CSP disc brakes in front. We made with Soizic by ourselves all the furnitures inside including a 12V mini fridge and a RnR bed more or less like a SO42.
We was dreaming since a long time to do a big trip but for us it was impossible to think that we should be able to afford it because we are not millionaires and we didn't win at the lottery so we decided to sold all we had in order to afford this one year trip. We sold our 2 modern cars, our furnitures, TV, washing machine, fridge…, and we left our flat we used to rent. By sleeping in the car and cooking inside we save money.
We really wanted to do this trip with our VW bus because thanks to this car we met a lot of nice people all around the world.
Soizic is a school teacher (she teach to students between 9 and 10 years old) and she took a sabbatical year (w/o incomes) and me I used to import RV's (I quit my job).

Overview of our trip :
- USA
The 7th of july 2012, we left Toulouse (France) in direction of Rotterdam (Netherland) in order to load the VW bus on a container. Then we took the plane from Paris the 20th of july to NY (USA). We initially planned to spend one week in NY then to receive the VW bus but the container had delays so we left NY (too expensive) to go to Quebec in Canada by bus (public bus). We went to Montreal and Quebec city. There we rent a mid class car (Toyota matrix) and we converted it into a campervan (we bought some swimming pool mattresses and some blankets and we drove to Tadoussac to see the big blue whales and to Gaspesie (2500kms in 1 week).
Finally, we received our VW bus the 16th of august in New Jersey port (NY) after 3 weeks delay.
We crossed US from East to West (more than 12 000kms in 2 months). We had been to the Niagara falls, Great lakes, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Salt Lake city & Bonneville, Yosemite, San Francisco, Route One to LA (in order to tune up the engine at Vintage Autohaus before the desert) then Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley & then we came back to LA via the Route 66 in order to load again the bus on a container to Singapore.
The transit between LA to Singapour took more or less 4 weeks so during this time, we spent 1 week in Hawaii, Oahu (we found some couch surfing on a boat in Honolulu, cool), 2 weeks in Japan (1 in Tokyo and 1 in Kyoto) then 1 week in Bali.
- South East Asia
After one week waiting in Singapore, we drove in direction to Malaysia where we spent 2 weeks and half then we crossed the south of Thailand during one month (Hat Yai, Songkhla, Krabi, Phuket & we spent Christmas and New Year in Bangkok) and the 3rd of january we went to Cambodia (during 2 weeks and half). Because we couldn't cross the vietnamese border with the VW bus we had been in the South of Lao and we left it at the border for a couple of days. We took our backpacks, we crossed the border by foot and we rent a motorbike for 5 days (we have done more than 500kms in 3 days by motorbike). Back in Lao, we drove in the north (during one week), along the Mekong river in order to reach the north of Thailand. We have been to Chaing Rai, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Kao Yai and back in Bangkok the 17th of february for the annual Volkswagen show. You cannot imagine the number of Volkswagen clubs in Thailand (but also in Malaysia & Singapore). We met a lot of really nice people.
We was also enable to cross Myanmar to go to Bangladesh (the north border is actually close) so we had to go back to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to ship the bus to India (hopefully we knew that maybe we won't be able to cross myanmar so we included the shipping cost in our budget). Note : shipping the car + flight tickets is half of our annual budget.
We are currently in India.

After India, our goal is to come back in France in August but since the beginning of the year there is no way for us to get a Pakistan visa and China is too expensive for us so I thing we will have to ship the car again to Iran (what a pain in the ass).

Our website (In french but you can translate via Google translator) : www.leroadtrip.com

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ccb_dan
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool.
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sebuno
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Joined: April 17, 2006
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Location: Toulouse, France
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some cool pics of the trip...

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Rotterdam, Netherland

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Manhattan NYC, NY, USA

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Niagara Falls, On, Canada

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Great Lakes, On, Canada

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Ste Catherine, On, Canada

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Lac Michigan, ID, USA

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IO, USA

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Mount Rushmore, SD, USA

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Yellowstone, WY, USA

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Bonneville, UT, USA

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Yosemite, CA, USA

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Malibu, CA, USA

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Las Vegas, NV, USA

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Grand Canyon, AR, USA

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Monument Valley, UT, USA

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Route 66, CA, USA

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Honolulu, Hi, USA

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Kyoto, Japan

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Bali, Indonesia

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Singapour, Singapore

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Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia

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Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand

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Krabi, Thailand

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Phuket, Thailand

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Bangkok, Thailand

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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Kompong Chnang, Cambodia

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Mekong river, Cambodia

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Along bay, Vietnam

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Vang Vieng, Laos

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Luang Prabong, Laos

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Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Chaing Mai, Thailand

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Siam VW Festival, Bangkok, Thailand

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Phuket, Thailand

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Port Klang, Malaysia
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nimbus
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice..love the pictures.
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Vintagespeed
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked damn man, you've travelled the world..
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mandraks
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree that is le road trip!
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landkholdings
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Honey, let's quit our jobs, sell all our stuff, and take the bus around the world." has got to sound more convincing in French.

Well done, man!
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JacksHere
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool wow nice trip, cool pic with the elephant Surprised
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revho
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ho Lee Fook. That is a heck of a trip. Thanks for the pics.
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OG67westy
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome adventure! and great pics! I'll bet you were glad to have those A/T tires and stock height bus when you saw the roads in Cambodia! Did you have any mechanical breakdowns along the way? how about mental breakdowns?! Shocked Laughing
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dawerks
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's beyond fantastic!!

Do you have a link to a blog or pictures of you in India?? Any plans to visit the Golden Temple?

And you can get a Visa to Pakistan, you just have to know the right person to bribe Smile
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Deutschland84
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extremely Jealous.
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SO33
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That´s one heck of a trip !

Bravo les toulousains ! C'est gonflé ! Wink


Last edited by SO33 on Fri May 03, 2013 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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far rider
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! very cool. Kudos to you two for following through on something most of us only dream about.
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tisius
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that is a long trip, and by the looks of the pictures you've seen it all, and enjoyed it very much, perfect!
I love it, driving your bus like that Cool, that is what I would call quite an achievement and an awesome trip.

Ca, c'est formidable Cool !
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sebuno
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys,
Thanks a lot for your posts.
Yes this Road Trip is amazing (I coulnd' dream better) !
We are now ready to leave India. Unfortunately we wasn't able to get a visa for Pakistan because of the elections so we had to ship the car again to Dubai then we should take a ferry to Iran (what a shame). We was really disappointed because we didn't plan that on our budget and now we are really over budget. After one month and half waiting and 23 hours in 4 days in the Iranian Embassy, we finally get our visa last thursday but... it will expire in 14 days ! We drove the day after to Mumbai (1000 miles) in 2 days and half, on tuesday we stuffed the car on the container and the vessel left India this morning. We should receive the bus in Dubai on Sunday (or early in the morning on Monday) and our visa will expire on Friday. Yesterday we took a look at the ferry and we saw that there is only 2 ferries per week : one on tuesday and one on sunday (we heard one every day). That means that we must take the ferry on tuesday and we will only have one day to move the container from the vessel and to clear the customs (usually it takes 2 or 3 days). I don't know how we will make it.
Please pray and cross fingers for us !
Seb

Note : except that, we really spent a good time in India and Volkswagen India take care of us and invited us to visit the Indian Plant in Pune :
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http://www.cardekho.com/india-car-news/1966-volksw...-10377.htm
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GarryA
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what a fantastic journey. As one who has done international travel by personal vehicle I understand the logistics of all the border crossings. But as you know those pictures and memories of all the places you experienced will be with you for the rest of your lives and worth any effort it took. Congratulations.
Post up more details of your trip.
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Braukuche
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great trip, keep the pictures coming.
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sebuno
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One recent funny pic from India :
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tlavergne
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you suffered any mechanical breakdowns? If so, what were they and how did you get the problem taken care of?
Tom
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