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    • We'll see if I have a story to tell tomorrow.
      We are currently parked up in the motorhome outside a local swimming complex in Versier, Germany sitting this out.
      It's going to be a noisy night and the motorhome is rocking like we are on a boat.

      I have a few small stories.

      My wife and I got married in March 2014 in the Coromandel area of New Zealand.
      We'd rented a large house and planned a beach wedding with various weather related backup options ranging from a small natural ampitheatre in a stand of trees between the beach and the house if it was too windy and an open sided marque in the house grounds if it was raining.

      Mother Nature had better ideas though and hit us with Tropical Cyclone Lusi. You couldn't even stand up on the beach, in the trees was out of the question and the horizontal rain ruled the marque out.
      Fortunately as we were away from our home area most of our guests had travelled to the venue the day before and were staying locally, with many actually staying in the house with us. The father-in-law however had to drive around downed trees on the roads to bring the fresh catering over on the morning though.

      We ended up getting married in the garage which all our friends emptied of farm gates and trailers and turned into a chapel while we were getting ready, complete with the white sheet off our bed as the backdrop!
      We had asked the photographers for lots of candid shots before and during the wedding as well as the usual staged stuff and so when our photo's came back the whole thing was made extra special seeing all our friends just getting stuck in and doing what needed to be done to make our day happen. When the wife walked down the aisle she couldn't believe the garage was the same place, everyone did that good a job

    • In 2002 I was travelling Europe by car with my girlfriend at the time and in late afternoon on a winters day we arrived in the snow covered town of Andorra-la-Vella, the capital of the tiny principality of Andorra which is in the mountains between France and Spain.

      Our intended destination for the evening was a camp site about 20 kilometres out of town and as we left town the sun started to go down and it started snowing again.
      About 5km out of town I decided conditions had worsened to a state where I was not comfortable continuing. We could no longer see the road and were relying on the road marker poles on each side of the road to tell if we were still on the road or not

      We managed to get the car turned around and very slowly drove back to Andorra-la-Vella. For the trip back to town the sun was well gone and we were staring out the windscreen looking for the reflector on the next road pole at walking pace.
      As we arrived back in Andorra-la-Vella I saw flashing lights behind us as a service vehicle pulled up and closed gates across the road, shutting it off to all traffic.

      All the while this was going on all I had on my mind was that we were in a white car, in a snow storm, at night. If something had gone wrong we wouldn't have been found until the snow melted in Spring.

      I think roadside snow poles are a european thing. Anywhere that regularly gets snow has them so even if the snow is fairly deep you can see where the road goes.

    • I drive a white truck and I can readily appreciate your concern when travelling in a white car in a blizzard. BTDT, and it is always a concern. Nonetheless, I still drive a white truck.

      My wife told me she wanted an "Authorized vehicle" - you see the signs along interstate highways saying this turnaround is only open for "Authorized vehicles". All the authorized vehicles - electric lineman trucks, telephone trucks, ambulances etc are white - so we bought a white truck so it is an "authorized vehicle" too.... And a lot cooler parked in the desert sun all day.

      Roadside marking poles are quite common along roadsides in the mountains in the western US which get plowed for snow accumulation. I have always thought they were to help the snow plow drivers stay on the road and not depart from the hidden roadway, inadvertently. They are a help to see the buried roadway in storms, I agree. I have used them similarly myself.

    • So far I've no new exciting stories to tell but we've been dodging this for a few days now. When I first posted we'd just moved on from the Black Forest area in Germany to avoid the worst of this, and now we are in Amsterdam for a few days, it's had some fairly wide reaching effects over 4 or 5 countries.

      The last 25 miles driving into Amsterdam yesterday were getting pretty hairy though with strong side gusts of wind against the motorhome making it difficult in places to stay in our lane. One gust was strong enough to push in the spring mounted side mirror against the cab.

    • In San Blas Panama last year, sailing between Panama and Colombia, I did a short stop off in San Blas. Beautiful weather, amazing scenery, idyllic beaches, paradise islands...lots of them to explore.

      I'm a very strong swimmer and feel comfortable in most scenarios involving water so off I went, the water was warm and I had a day free. Put a waterproof camera around my neck and went swimming

      In this area, the water is mostly shallow, and lots of wildlife

      I decided to swim to a recent wreck to have a closer look, the ill fated San Blas Ferry that ran aground on its second voyage

      After a look around it was time to swim back, maybe a mile or so...and then the rain started, torrential rain.

      The wind picked up and visibility at times was almost zero (luckily) for only about 15 minutes. There was no choice but to tread water and float until the storm passed. As I was doing this, not feeling too uncomfortable I did wonder how a less strong swimmer would have handled this situation.

      By the time the rain had subdued, the sun was starting to set and San Blas went back to its normal idyllic self