Yesterday, we dropped off our beloved fire engine at the Port of Liverpool. We’ll (hopefully) see it again in Halifax on the 17th of July.
We were kind of stressed on our drive up to Liverpool on Wednesday evening. We’d been working on the van until that day to get everything finished before we send it off across the Atlantic. It’s all been a bit last minute and the last couple of months have been crazy busy. Now there’s no more opportunities to easily change anything on the van. Our nerves calmed a bit after dinner in a pub along a beautiful road through the Peak District.
We stayed with two lovely friends in Liverpool who kindly offered us their spare room on very short notice. It was a lovely evening of catching up over a pint of craft beer in a very cool pub around the corner from their house.
The next morning, we got up early to get to the truck wash for their opening. Apparently the Canadians carefully inspect any incoming vehicle for soil, so a thorough clean of the outside, including the underfloor, is a must. Unfortunately the truck wash recommended by the shipping company turned out to be more of a car wash and we struggled to even get into their courtyard with our van. They didn’t really have the facilities to do a proper underfloor wash either, but after some discussion tried their best. We might have an expensive second cleaning bill coming our way in Halifax if the inspectors are not satisfied.
From then on, however, everything went incredibly smoothly. We drove to the port, followed the instructions by the shipping agency, passed the security post with flying colours and were escorted to the booking office by one of the port’s vehicles. There we were given a sticker to put on the windscreen (kind of like the tag that goes on your luggage when flying) and directions to ‘the car guy’. We entered a huge car park with hundreds of brand new Land Rovers and Jaguars, and some very nice old Cadillacs and Ford Mustangs too. The car guy came out of his container office, waved us into the spot he wanted us in, reminded us to take all our personal belongings and to leave the keys in the car. He then offered us a lift back to the train station, and that was it. Bye bye fire engine. See you on the other side.
There’s nothing we can do now, apart from hope that all goes well and we can pick it up in Halifax in one piece. And of course that everything runs as smoothly on the Canadian side…
In the meantime, we’re tracking the progress of the ship, the Atlantic Sail, on this nifty map:
The Atlantic Sail is scheduled to leave Liverpool on the 9th and should arrive in Halifax on the 15th.