"2007 to 2010 we travelled around the world in a Land Rover Discovery3.
In 2018 we departed for a second overland adventure with our daughter on board our 4x4 Iveco VM90 camper. Follow our dream here!"
- Vula, Anastasia and Akis -
Last Monday we drove our Iveco into the official workshop of Iveco Service Παυλος Ι. Κοντελλης ΑΕΒΕ in Athens and since then we sleep inside. Let us inform you that Iveco of Greece is our new sponsor! Thank you so much for this Mr. Spiros Arethas!
This is an experience that reminded us the days we had spent in a workshop in Bangkok waiting for our Land Rover’s turbo to be replaced!
Our Iveco VM90 essentially needed a general check up and periodical service. What we experienced here is a different story. We actually followed a complete make over that goes on for five working days by an enthusiastic team of Iveco mechanics, led by chief Dimitris Giannakaras.
The engine was removed, disassembled completely, checked and cleaned thoroughly. “The engine is fresh and strong, you have nothing to fear”, mechanic Elias Zapantiotis said. He fixed a small oil leak at the block sealing – this was the reason the engine had been removed. Be reminded that this vehicle had stayed still for about two years before we bought it in Italy and all these seals and tubes suffer from this.
Various components – timing belt, manual fuel pump, radiator thermostat, alternator, starter and external belts were replaced with brand new. Today the engine is back and works great. A parallel work was done on the front suspension: in each side three ball joints and the fitting joint were replaced, brakes were controlled, cleaned and pads replaced. Clutch was perfect so only its cable was replaced for better feel.
“It will be a completely new vehicle, much more precise and safer on the road”, mechanic Andreas Kollias said. All filters, fluids and oils were changed and we were given some basic spare parts. The accommodation by the Condellis team made us feel we have a new family in Athens and we feel so much more confident to hit the road again now.
Thank you all so much gentlemen!
We decided to travel from Italy to Greece – which means from our adopted to our home country – The World Offroad way. Which means slow, very slow!
We managed to spend 11 nights all the way from Scandiano to Thessaloniki – a thousand mile route anybody else could have covered in two driving days. The secret is that we did only 5 kms on a motorway and more than 1800 kms on small, twisty roads on the Dalmatian coasts.
From Scandiano to Castelgullielmo and San Donà di Piave to Rijeka (Croazia) – Rovanjska – Gradac – Dubrovnik and at Shkoder (Albania) after having crossed Montenegro coast. After a night in a camping next to Ohrid lake (FYROM), welcome to Greece: first night in Psarades village next to Lake Prespa, then a coffee with @ManosEgglezos in Kastoria and finally off-road to Nimfaíon, Florina, Greece village.
There we were invited by Ioannis Iatridis at the traditional La Moara hotel where we met with our friends Theofilos Papavasiliou and his wife Mary – who were back in Naoussa for holidays, coming from Houston, Texas!
After a tour at the Nymfaion, Arktouros sanctuary, where Anastasia encountered an orphan bear for the first time in her life, we finally drove to Thessaloníki. And we are still around there almost disconnected from everything but our parents. Wish you great summer holidays everybody!
We arrive in Dubrovnik, Croatia, today, in a trip back home (Greece) we do it theworldoffroad way: one week of travel for a route anybody else covers in two days – if not only one!
We will post photos from our Dalmatian adventure but now we want to show you one picture with great symbolism for us: it’s actually the very first picture we took from our new drone: the three of us, next to our Iveco and our BMW at the camper area of Carpineti village. Our former and new life in one picture. Bye, bye Italia, you will always be in our hearts!
Truth is that heading to Dogon country, I believed I would find a civilization transformed by tourism. Locals at Bamako warned us that Dogon people care just for money, so I didn’t have the best mood going there.
After two and a half days at Dogon country I’m so happy things are not exactly like this, at least during this low season, we visited the place. What can I can say is that Dogon deserves a visit at 100%. And for sure hire a good guide to do this, like Bukary Mete’, our gentle, English speaking guide. With somebody like him, local people and chiefs of the villages accept you more easily and you can learn much more about their civilisation.
Apart this, you don’t have to pay the entrance taxes and you help the local community as well. We paid about 17.000 CFA (30 euros) per person, for two days, and in the price our overnight in Begnimato was included. Not the drinks and food though.
Dogon people we met where all very friendly and the only think they asked for, was kola nuts. Kola nuts is something like a legal drug in here. For adult only people! They get energy from chewing (and spitting) it, despite I didn’t like it at all. All chiefs that were offered by Akis with these, were pretty delighted, though. So, don’t hesitate to spend 3.000CFA (for one kilo), before driving to Dogon.
As far as our 2 days experience in the Dogon country, it’s difficult to include everything here. We met lovely people, we visited sacred places hidden on the cliff, we walked through magical Begnimato, on the cliff and spent the night there. We saw the girls of the village dancing under the almost full moon sky, late night. And we slept on the roof of a muddy little house, with a mosquito net to protect us, just that!
And the next day, after a walk to the edge of the escarpment, we walked back to the Ende village, where we had left the car. We left Boukary at Kani Kombole village and drove through the Burkina Faso border. Late night we arrived in Ouagadougou where we camped at the hospitable and very clean Hotel OK Inn, at the south outskirts of the city. So, here we are now for the weekend, before hitting the road again to Niger._Vula Netou