Progress, at last!

We are delighted to be able to show a first picture of the new paint job on the MAN truck as well as a first glimpse at the cabin which is being built. Enjoy!

MAN truck in matte blue

MAN truck – painted

 

Exterior view of the cabin

Exterior of the cabin

 

Interior view of the cabin

Interior of the cabin

 

Macarons

125 g almond flour  (for pistachio use 50 g pistachio + 75 g of almond)
210 g confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
for 1 minute in food processor

100 g egg white (about 3 eggs, but it needs to be 100g)
30 g sugar
whisk briefly by hand to combine
and then:
2 minutes (with timer) on medium
2 minutes (with timer) on medium high
2 minutes (with timer) on high
in stand mixer (or with hand mixer)

Add any coloring (paste or powder, no liquid) now and mix for another 30 seconds

Sieve almond/sugar into new bowl until no more than 1 tbsp is left.
Add almond/sugar mix to egg whites
Fold 30-35 times until it reaches flowing consistency, but not too flowing

(see here: The Science Behind French Macarons – Kitchen Conundrums with Thomas Joseph)

Print the template at the end of the post. Place template under baking paper.

Use pastry bag (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UTEDT8W/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1) to pipe.

Drop baking sheet 3 times on counter top (removes air bubbles)

Let sit for 15-30 minutes to dry out top (when you touch the top, it should not stick to your finger)

Good time to preheat oven to 150C/300F normal (not convection)

 

Bake for 13-16 minutes, turn the baking sheet at 7 minutes.

 

Immediately remove from baking sheet to wire rack and let cool for 1 hour before filling.

 

 

 

Watch this video for process:

The Science Behind French Macarons – Kitchen Conundrums with Thomas Joseph

But don’t follow his amounts ūüôā

 

Trade-in

You are looking at a Steyr 12M18 truck which used to serve the Austrian army for some time. This what we chose as the ideal base for an expedition vehicle – at first that is. Then came the second thoughts and an opportunity to purchase a more modern vehicle, a MAN truck, to be used as a base for the cabin.

In 2015 Björn visited the Abenteuer Allrad in Bad Kissingen. He had an appointment with Stefan from Excap. After a good discussion and a drive through the off-road area, Björn decided on the spot to order an Excap. Sealed with a handshake (and later a contract) we were on the waiting list.

About 15 months later the Excap work was finished. The vehicle was completely overhauled and rebuilt. The frame was extended by 50cm to allow for a slightly bigger living area (1m² gained).

Below are two more pictures to show the progress.

 

We wish the new owner of the Steyr the best of luck and safe travels!

How it all started?

I grew up in a small town in Germany. When I was ten my parents bought an old Volkswagen van. Over the summer my dad, my brother, and I spent countless hours cleaning and then sanding it. A neighbor who was a retired woodworker built custom benches, that could be both used for storage and for creating sleeping space for the 4 of us (plus 3 Great Danes).

Our “Bus” at Pyla-sur-mer approx. 1980

In the following years my brother and I kept planning a grand trip through the USA, which never happened, because it was too expensive. Yet, I kept dreaming about a big trip. Through the years I owned several Volkswagen camper vans, both in Germany and later in the USA. In 2000 we bought a 30ft C-class RV, which we used extensively for short trips throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Our Bigfoot.

The RV was perfect¬†for Anja and I, and our two daughters Julia and Elena. Large enough to have enough room when it rains, but not too large to get into the state and national parks. There was still¬†my dream to at some point explore the USA, but it never seemed to be the right time. In 2004 we were reminded that we shouldn’t take life for granted. I decided to take a leave of absence from work and finally go on the big trip I have dreamed of.

The 2004 bigtrip

The trip was a great experience for all. Already during the trip, we decided that we had to do something like it again, when our daughters were teenagers. We had sold our first RV in 2005, because with the children busy at school and us busy with work and life, we just didn’t find the time to use it much.

In 2007 we visited Australia, in 2008 we did a 3 week tent safari in Namibia, in 2009 we visited Thailand and Japan. Time was moving along, the kids got older, and finally in 2012 we were ready for the next RV adventure. I had a sabbatical from work and both Julia and Elena were teenagers. We bought a used RV Рthis time 33ft with two slideouts. We got a good deal on the used vehicle, so we spend money on updating it a bit insight (best feature was a dishwasher). Off we went again. This time we focused on the Western USA.


2 years earlier though, while researching what kind of RV to buy for the 2012 trip I had discovered a different class of “camper” that was mainly a European phenomenon – an expedition vehicle. The Facebook post below was the first of such vehicles I saw.

How it all started
In the next few years I researched more and more. I found different websites, forums, and attended Abenteuer Allrad, an off-road trade shows, for the first time. Each time I had seemingly found the right choice for us, I learned something that was a showstopper. After all research it became clear that we needed a vehicle older than 25 years to be able to be imported to the US without regard to whether it complies with all DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

 

When will the journey begin?

Welcome to our travel blog.

While we are waiting for our vehicle to be outfitted with a cabin that will serve us as a new tiny home on wheels, Bjorn and I are getting exited about the trips we are planning to take: United States, Canada, Alaska, Africa, South America to name a few.

Will you come along virtually?

More details to follow soon…