House on wheels
Hatty and Hank live in Montferlande in Holland, on the border with Germany. Hank 66 years old, and Hatty 56. Having retired, they decided that it was time to travel. This, perhaps, ends the usual and begins unusual.
Hank worked all his life on his own construction company engaged in the production and sale of concrete structures. Hatty was a secretary in hospital for prisoners. In 2008, at the age of 50, Hatty met Hankom, quit from work and moved to him to Montferland. And in 2012 they got married. By the time you dating, the two-meter Hank has already completed his Cermers from the MAN truck. And in 2010, the couple made his first incredible journey through Russia and Mongolia. Then followed routes in Europe, Morocco, Turkey, Central Asia, Iceland. "My planet" Hatty told about off-road, trucks and love for adventure.
– When I met my husband in 2008, the first question he asked me, was: "You love to travel?"I honestly replied that I don’t know because I had never had the opportunity to go. As our relations began to develop, we began to travel, went to France, then to Japan. And I understood: Travel – this is really mine.
– This is my second marriage, with my first husband I divorced in March 2008. I, of course, did not want to spend the rest of life alone and decided to register on the dating site to find a friend. The site has reported that registration is free – it was necessary to just leave your name, email address and photo. I did so. But when trying to watch profiles of other people, it turned out that you need to pay. At that time I did not have extra money and I immediately threw this idea. It turns out that Hank has the same idea, but the money was. He saw my profile, my photo and decided that he would surely want to meet me. For some time we rewrite, and then decided to meet. It was love at first sight.
– Before meeting with Hank, I worked for 40 hours a week. I had neither time nor money to travel the way Hank traveled. Now that we are married, he allowed the new passion to enter into my life. I think we are ideal travel partners, We will never quarrel and share the pleasure of new impressions.
– a year before we met, Hank with a friend thought about how to comfortably travel. Hank is very high (1.98 m), and riding on ordinary campers is not suitable for him, he constantly beats his head. And here a friend offered him to simulate Cermers from the MAN truck. Hank I liked the idea. At that time, he had retired, giving the management of his companion to his company, so he had enough time and means to proceed to the design of his future.
In general, Hank loves to do everything in his own way. And our car is a bright example. Our Cermeven always immediately attracts attention to himself, people want to know details, and Hank gives an incredible pleasure to share the history of her tank. By the time we met, the car was almost ready. I came to the life of Hank in the right time – by the time the colors of the interior of the machine. For women like me, the most important thing is the color of the sofa.
– For us, this is the second home. Inside the car is a large table that at night is transformed into bed. There are many boxes and cabinets for storing different necessary things. A large kitchen has a fridge, a gas stove, microwave and, of course, with water. The car has a heater, air conditioning, TV and lighting. We also have our generator. What is important, there is a small bathroom with shower and toilet. With all this equipment We never need extraneous assistance, we are completely self-sufficient.
– Alteration of the car was very expensive. For the money that Hank spent, in Holland you can buy a small apartment.
– three years have passed before we committed our first journey. The process does not stop: after each trip something breaks Or Hanka has an idea of improving some detail.
– how much money we go to the maintenance of the machine and on gasoline depends on how much we travel. Repair the car itself, money is spent only on buying spare parts. As for gasoline, we burn 30 l for every 100 km. Average counts this € 30,000 per year.
– Hank loves off road, so for him than the road is worse, the better. But honestly, the best road is the road to the destination. The road home is also always beautiful.
– It’s very simple with the routes. We choose where we would like to go, and then check which road is better suitable for the car.
– We use Garmin and TomTom navigators and paper cards of countries. For example, when we travel around Russia, we use cards in our, because the locals will be easier to read. In China, respectively, we always have a map in Chinese.
– somehow we stuck somewhere in the steppes of Mongolia and could not force Ven to move. But Hanka, always ready for surprises, was an anchor in advance. Anchor consisted of two huge iron stoves that we put on the ground in the form of the letter V. Then we needed to insert big colas in anchor holes. Total 30 cokes on meter each. A lot of work, but it allowed us to pull the car with a winch. If nearby was a tree, it would be easier.
During our second trip to Mongolia, a fastener holding a truck house broke. That is, there was a real danger that the house would simply fall from the supporting structure. To get to Ulan Bator, Hank secured the house with wooden boards and additional fasteners. In Ulan Bator, we bought a huge piece of iron and were able to repair our home. But after that, we immediately left the fastest road towards Russia to avoid off-road and extra breakdowns.
– I can not say that in traveling I personally lack something. I do not have time to miss friends, as I always keep a connection with them by mail and in messages. New impressions do not allow to miss. We are often invited to visit, we get acquainted with new people and with their local life. I lead a blog (Hettyenhenk.waarbenjij.Nu) where I post photos from trips and short reports and news.
– Do I live a new life? Yes and no. On the one hand, it’s all the same I. But on the other – I have a very privileged position: I have a loving husband who can afford to keep such an unusual lifestyle and show this life to me.
– The next big journey will be in America and Canada. We ship the car by sea in Califax in Canada in advance, and fly there at the end of April 2014.