This summer we are off on an adventure – we’ve saved up, sold up and bought Betty our second hand ice cream van.
This is not just a cute pink ice-cream van, it’s our future. Armed with our tents, sleeping bags and a box of whipped cream chargers we are going to explore UK and Europe paying our way by selling fresh, local fruit and lashings of whipped cream! We Jody and I are starting off in out home town of Brighton to get the idea going with a few tests at the local markets, fayres and festivals – but should it work as we pan (maybe I should be a bit more positive here) WHEN it works then we’ll give up the lease on the flat and take off heading in a generally south then east direction to see where our van van take us and where we will end up. The plan is summer in Europe heading further across the wilds towards India in Autumn or possibly next spring (2013). The agenda and timetable are entirely flexible and we are really going with the stream and flowing our way around the world ….
I have a strong suspicion that we will fall out of love with each other and at the same time, fall heavily into love with Betty! She is the work-horse that will take us where we need to go and provide our income en-route. We were seriously considering stripping her out in order to use her as a camper – but decided that the ability to sell our wares as we travel was far more important than having a van to sleep in! Although we have worked out that it should be possible to just about squeeze onto the floor in their – should the weather conditions prove to entirely unbearable.
But for the rest of the time then we’ll be camping. We have one tent should should help with the make or break friendship aspect ….
The questions that all of our relatives and mates wanted to know was why not use ice-cream as our product of choice – after all 1. Betty is designed for exactly that and 2. Who wouldn’t want to buy ice cream on a hot day?
The answer to those questions are 1. the van was stripped on the inside when we stumbled across it rusting in a farmers paddock (more of that later) and 2. we wanted to be flexible and only sell stuff that was easily available in every country – not just from specialist ice-cream supplies.
We are keeping our equipment to the bare minimum – but are only using the best because we are thinking if we achieve our goal of reaching India (more later) we won’t be able to get spares en-route – we’ve got industrial grade stainless steel whipped cream dispenser – which was actually donated to us, along with the first 360 cream chargers by www.creamchargers.org.uk – so thanks very, very much guys! They were so excited by our plan to spread whipped cream happiness that they were pleased to help us out and all they asked for in return was a few pics of us serving en-route in dramatic situations – so when we get to Istanbul we’ll send them the first snap from in front of the Topkapi palace.
The fridge – we weren’t lucky enough to blag a freebie on this one – is a regular domestic fridge which will powered by an inverter and spare battery when we are unable to get a mains hook up and hopefully our solar panels will trickle a bit more energy into it when we are basking in the sunlight!
The fridge isn’t very large and we are mainly planning to buy and use everything fresh – so it’ll be a case of buying what we need in the morning and hoping to sell it all by early afternoon. Or else we’ll be eating a lot of fruit cocktails as we go…..
The choice of fruit is going to be entirely down to where we are and what is in season – I have aspiration to buy local stuff direct from any farmers that we happen to pass on the way – but we shall see, it might be bogof from Tescos with a free half pint of whipping if things don’t go exactly according to plan.
Work sucks and life is much better than that!
They key to the plan to redirect the work-life-balance into the correct direction. We got a freebie of 360 cream chargers from creamchargers.org.uk for which we will be eternally grateful – it would seem that the Cheeky Monkey was truly into our plan to redirect the course of our lives in the direction of pleasure and heaps of whipped cream! 360x 8gm chargers is a lot of nitrous powered dairy and we are really not scared to use it. The van is powered by diesel which unfortunately makes our mission perhaps the most environmentally degrading since Sting set out to demolish the rainforests to provide the ebony keys on his mate’s piano. Ringo star shot the elephants for the ivory – how does that make you feel Paul? I think you might be vegan anyway – so you’d never have gotten on with our lashings of whipped heavy cream.