4th Van International
2CVTV took the OB (Outside Broadcast) mobile studio van on the overnight boat from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and drove to Amerongen, a small town south east of Utrecht to spend over an hour trying to find the site of the meeting.
We looked at local campsites, we asked several people who looked blankly at us; we tried the police station but it was shut. We decided that we were in the wrong place or in the right place at the wrong time. Our final hope was a Shell service station on the main road through the town, but they had not heard of the meeting either. We filled up with petrol and were about to leave when a yellow van drew up alongside us and the driver (who’s name was Tony) said “Hello, are you going to the van meeting?” We said we were but that couldn’t find it”. “Ah yes” he replied, “It is not easy to find. It is not in Amerongen it is in Leersum (the next town). I think I can remember how to get there”. So we followed Tony back through the town, at Leersum we turned right off the main street along a winding road with fields on both sides to the Boeterbloem B&B and mini-camping site.
We drove past the house and the barn into the field where the meeting was being held. Tony, who is from Germany and had his young son Johannes with him, introduced us to the organisers of the event.
After setting up, we spent time talking to people. We noticed a rather strong smell of petrol coming from our van which was instantly investigated by several other van owners. Dick located the cause of the problem - a leak in the petrol hose under the car. No-one had a new pipe but one of the attendees, who arrived in a bright yellow classic 2cv Wegenwacht (Dutch AA) van and works for the Wegenwacht, said he had one at home and would fit it for us. So we left the meeting and followed him to Dordrecht where he replaced the pipe for us. As he was about to start his shift we followed him, this time in his modern Wegenwacht van, back to the motorway where we went our separate ways.
Back at the meeting the vans had gone on a convoy which took them on a pleasant route that involved crossing the river on the ferry twice.
In the evening we had a joint barbeque, which went on late into the night. In the morning several people had to leave early, but at 11 0’clock the games started with an “identify the van part” competition – a collection of small bits and pieces were on display and you had to write down (in Dutch of course) what they were. Dick was undaunted and filled in the entire form. The forms were taken away and the points added up. Tony was presented with a bottle of wine for coming second. Dick was presented with a special prize (for enthusiasm I think) for his amusing answers. The winners from Belgium were presented with a 2cv van manual – in the wrong language which we all found hilariously funny.
Next there was the van slalom competition. The course was marked out with flowerpots (this is Holland after all), one by one the vans were driven around the course, which included reversing into a tight parking area, against the clock. The surprised winner was from Holland.
It was now lunchtime and many people had to leave to be back home ready for work on Monday morning. We said goodbye to a really good bunch of 2cv-ers and hope to return next year.