An update on my trip so far:
Landed last Tuesday the 10th of May. Spend most of the day driving around finding shops and places until I could get into my room later that evening. Crashed out around 10 after getting pizza for dinner.
Wednesday morning was taken up by my Surface Pro 3 after it installed an update and wouldn’t boot up. While fixing it I used my laptop to lookup camper vans around the area. Messaged and emailed a few people and arranged to have a look at the vans on Thursday.
Thursday afternoon I put down a deposit on one of the vans. I liked it and it drove well. It needed a few things fixed, MOT (Ministry of Transport) test and new tyres before I would take it. The owner was happy to do that. So I gave him till Monday as I had the rental car till Tuesday.
Friday I crashed out hard. The time zone differences really stuffed me around. Slept most of the day.
Saturday, I was up early and headed off to Silverstone for the Blancpain GT Series. The Blancpain GT Series is a small event over here, but you wouldn't really think it was with the cars that were on display. The first thing I checked out was the Aston Martin Vulcan. They had 2 on display there and they took one of out on track during lunch so you could hear the natural aspirated v12,and to also to take investors out and new owners for a ride. I also got talking to a few people about events that happen at Silverstone and other motorpsport events that happen around the UK. Shout out to Brian. That afternoon I received an email that I wasn't expecting. The confirmation of media accreditation for the 24 hour race at the Nürburgring. I couldn't believe that I got in. I checked the email 20 times to make sure that they didn't send it to the wrong person, but it had my name on it. I was so excited.
Sunday, I was up early again and off to Silverstone. I spent most of the morning talking to another photographer after asking him about the lens he was using. His name is Rich Webb, you should check out his website he has some really cool work http://www.richwebb.co.uk/. Spend the afternoon walking to the International Pit Straight. It was worth it. The event finished up at 6pm and I was wrecked from all the walking. Such an awesome weekend, things were going as planned plus extra, what could go wrong?
Monday, spent the day chilling out. Made sure that I had the money ready for the van and had a pub lunch. Got a phone call from the guy with the van saying he wouldn't be able to drop it off to me till between 5-6pm, which I was fine with. Gotta another phone call from the guy saying that he had been arrested on the way up, but the police won't tell him why they cuffed him. He was going to get back to me as soon as he could. No contact from him for the rest of the night.
Tuesday, I extended the lease on the rental car, ask the owners of the place I was staying at if I could stay longer, which they were fine with, and tried calling the van guy every 15 minutes after I woke up. 18 hours after his arrest he was released and I was able to speak to him. So... the van may have been used in some criminal acts of stealing stuff from a hardware store in August last year. Someone walked out and didn't pay for stuff. The owner said that it wasn't him. The Police were gong to keep the van as evidence. While it had all gone to shit I started looking at vans again. Checked out another van around noon and told him I would get back to him. I called the Police and explained everything and they wouldn't release the van till Saturday afternoon or Sunday. But they can really hold it for 28 days, so I was up shit creek. At that point I decided to get my deposit back because I needed a van. Called the new van guy back and told him I wanted to take it out for a test drive before buying it. Tuesday super stressful, farrrrrk...
Wednesday, took the new van out for a spin and it was all good. It didn't have all the features of the other van, but it was simpler. If anything else went wrong with the other van, I don't think I would be able to fix it. So I bought the new van. Did a lot of driving as I had the owner drive it to where I was staying, and I had to drop him back off. That afternoon I also picked up a Honda 2kva generator which had been converted to gas that I paid too much for (damn gumtree not showing other ads). But I'll have to live with that. Also the GPS of the rental car took me through the centre of London. Never again.
Thursday, dropped the rental car off, arranged for insurance and RAC. Packed up my crap and started off in the van to Halfords to buy a plug-in cooler box (Halford is like supercheap/repco but with push bikes too). Bought some food to put in the cooler box and other stuff and things so that I could live out of the van with. Spent the night at a truck parking bay on the side of the motorway. It was too late for me to get into a caravan park.
Friday, did some more shopping and driving. Since I'm now shooting the 24 hour race at the Nürburgring, there is some prerequisites to shoot in the pits. To shoot in the pits you need fire proof overalls and a helmet/bike helmet/stack hat. So I spent the morning calling places but then I thought why don't I just get a race suit? Made some calls and one guy had some stock, but it was a 2 hour drive, at the time he was my only hope. Drove down to see him and was able to buy a race suit that fitted me, score. I got talking to him about what I'm doing and what I had done before. Found out that he loves drift, which is awesome. He can see the potential from it as a new form of motorsport and to bring in new blood into motorsport. Check out their site http://www.advanced-wear.co.uk/ and like their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AWSRacewear/?fref=ts .
The 24 hour race at the Nürburgring is going to be the biggest event I've ever been to and shot. But I don't have a big lens, I mean really big lens. Called a few camera shops and found one in Guildford that had the lens I wanted in stock. It was a hour drive north. I wouldn't be able to pick it up that day. Seeing if I could get away with not staying in a caravan park I pulled into a place on the side on the motorway. There wasn't many people there but there was a bunch of guys. I looked up the place in google via it's name and the autocomplete added dogging to the end of it. Now if you don't know what dogging is look it up on Pornhub and Redtube. You'll get the idea. While reading the article about dogging for this location 2 men came up to my van. One of the men came up to the drivers window and asked “Do you have any women in there?” I replied “No”. My next thought was fuck staying here, there might be a place closer to Guildford. So I left and went to Guildford. There was no placed I could just stay the night that didn't have a lot of traffic, or I thought was a dogging area. So I found a caravan park and I was able to get into it before it closed. Much safer then the dogging site. I also tried calling the old van guy multiple times during the day as he was going to give me my deposit back but he didn't pickup or reply back to my SMSes.
Saturday, This is today for me. So I bought my new lens and its pretty good. I still have to give it a full test, but I like it so far. I also picked up some extra stuff from Halfords for the van and went to Go Outdoors to get some more stuff. During all of this I tried calling and messaging the old van guy to get my deposit back, but no answer. So I went to the place he is staying at and no one was home. I called the police and left a message for the police office dealing with the old van to call me back. The van guy has to go back in 2 weeks to see them so they can sting him for everything then. Fuck him, he's wasted so much of my time and all I wanted was my deposit back.
So now I'm down near Dover and will be booking the ferry trip to France. I'm currently running on the generator at the camp site and it works perfect. I wish I had more time in the UK but it's time to move on. The real adventure starts tomorrow.