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A Yank's perspective on Beltring 2000 (Ver 1)
The following paragraph is copied from an email to Mil-Veh list, all paragraphs afterwards are direct from Tom.
Now that I am alive and well in Southeren Indianna I will share what my 5 days in Beltring was like. If we took every MV show in the US held over 2 years then it would still not equal what I just saw. Truly amazing and very well organised. Meeting people that I have known (remotely) for the last 4 years was just the topping on the cake.... Acres of either vehicles or stalls (that's a booth over here) boggles ones mind. The first day there, 10 minutes after meeting Andreas and Doug, I was riding in the back of a Kettenkrad. (Thanks again Andreas and the krautjuicenstuffenstinken is not all that bad tasting.) And that driving on the wrong side of the road thing! I did it and returned the car just like new. (Well, the side walls on the left side of the car had more mileage than the bottom of the tyres.)
Ok ...... from a Yanks point of view ... here are a few thoughts and ideas from this summer's adventure, in no particular order and reason.
Get your passport now....... if you don't use for Beltring you can always use it later.
Driving is do-able however I recommend two people. One for navigation the other for actual driving. Hertz tossed me the keys and told me to have a nice day. After finding the car (easy) I sat in the drivers seat laughing like a fool.
I'm taking their Ford Focus, driving from the wrong seat, on the wrong side of the road, shifting with the hand that has spent the last 36 years on the armrest, OK I'll have a nice day. However, it was sort of fun but finding my way along with the road signs was somewhat tougher. Pulling over to read the map was tough because as Doug said there is no place to pull over or park. Even out in the open country the edge of the blacktop is the end of the side of the road. There are hedges planted everywhere except for the drive way or other road openings. The area around Beltring is very pretty country side. The towns that you go though are right up against the road and pretty as a picture.
Flying ..... Fly into Gatwick if your going to drive, it will make life much simpler. Get a direct flight. Mine was only 8 hours from Cinny Ohio and cost in the range of $1000.
Rooms ...... I stayed in Royal Tumbridge Wells in a hotel for about the same amount of money as a Holiday Inn here. I had a 15 mint. drive to the Hop Farm everyday with hot showers and a quite room. (In 2002 I am planing on camping some of the time at the show.) Watch out for some of the B & B 's they have a curfew for their visitors to be in by or else you have to sleep on the front step.
Take lots of film then take some more.
Jim Gilmore gave me a few tips at Knob Creek. One of those was to take an empty suitcase. That was an excellent idea and worked like a charm. Thanks Jim!
You can get lots of small stuff and books in your luggage if you remember dirty laundry makes good packing material.
I spent 6 days at the 5 days show with an average of 12 to 14 hours per day.
On Saturday evening I found one whole camp ground that I had missed. This place is bigger than you can believe. Everyday there is something new arriving.
Walking the display areas or camp grounds people for the most parts are friendly and happy to show you there pride and joy be it jeep, truck or a tank.
The language barrier can be a problem for some of the people from the European countries but most everybody speaks some english.
Maps ... Get your road map before you leave this country.
Research .... hit the web .... there are a lot of good sites with information and maps.
Start a hard copy folder to take with you.
Parts ...... being a jeep guy I found that most parts found over there can be found over here.
Small stuff and small NOS parts are pack able, but the prices are roughly the same.
Customs .... I didn't have any problems anyplace but then again I wasn't trying to move anything I could hurt myself with.
Fun ... I got to meet several members of the list, I met and made a new friends with a guy from Tenn. that was also there by himself.
Caution ... When you leave the stall area (vendors) and cross the small concrete bridge head to your left. Follow the outside edge around to the left until you see an old British truck with a Polsten AA gun hanging on the back, a sign with some kind of deformed dog, a flag with a red leaf, and a half-breed motorcycle/dozer...... beware!
Beware those are list members and be careful they are friendly.
That's enough for tonight ... If anyone has any question please fell to ask Nigel will help you with rooms and questions. I didn't get to meet him but saw him at work everyday in the arena.
Gavin .... I got to see him drive by twice but never get to meet him either.
I met Doug, Raimondo, Jeff, Richard, Dennis, Danny, Andreas, and a few others from the list. It was great fun ... do it...... you won't regret it.
MVPA 16138 and IMPS
Thanks to Tom for the article.
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