It's me, Elo - remember, the person who is about 8 weeks late on posting updates? Well, let me grab my time machine and tell you about week 5 & 6.
Week five started with an excitement overflow as we reached mainland and could finally step outside the van again without turning into Olaf. Don't get me wrong, warm weather is always nice. But when living in such a small, confined space, it makes a huge difference to be able to live outside. Unfold the table, cook, eat, do dishes, dance a little macarena - it's all more complicated inside 80 square foot.
However the excitement wave progressively faded when the tiredness caught up on us. Being on the road is amazing, every day you wake up somewhere new, drive to incredible places, make incredible memories and continue the adventure on to the next day. But keeping up that rhythm is also incredibly energy demanding.
Living in a van means looking for night spots ev-er-y night. Preferably a nice one. And as effortless as it may look on our pictures, waking up with an ocean view probably required an hour of driving around at night looking for it. That being at the end of the day, usually after having used up all day light for exploring, we would already be very tired and hungry. Yet we had to keep driving on the hunt for a place to park.
A few week practice and we've had the hunting technique down: co-pilot on google maps, driver's eyes wide open, both on the look out for any little side roads, overlooks, pull overs, beaches, public land, etc. When on to a good catch, the next step would be locating our own predators trap - the no overnight parking signs. If no traps at sight, all left to do would be to analyse the surrounding for safety and general scouting.
More than night spot hunting, living in a van also means being aware of your basic survival needs: where to find drinkable water, where and what to eat, where to shower, where to do dishes, laundry, where to find fuel - ok maybe not all part of our genetic needs. But still, all of these are daily worries when on the road. Now couple that with very little quality sleep - and abracadabra you get two exhausted little birds.
So we took a break in Saint Anne, Quebec. Got a motel room and did nothing for a day. You'd actually be amazed how doing nothing, can feel so amazing after being continuously active.
After fuelling up on energy (and fuel), we continued on to the Gaspésie National Park (where we saw that lovely moose!), crossed the St Lawrence River, visited the lovely town of Tadoussac and started driving inlands to Saguenay. That's where we had our first uncomfortable van life experience. As we were just falling asleep on a river shore rest area, five inebriated guys started showing interest to our van (I know it's the coolest, most badass van ever, but guys, privacy!). They tried opening doors, which thankfully were locked, shone light inside - which triggered an immense amusement and thrill to their game. Us, on the other side, not so amused, terrified and half asleep, did not have the reflex to drive off. Their festivity rose to another level when they tried to take air out of our tires. Eventually they found a more interesting occupation and left us alone. But even after driving away to another spot, that night, neither of us could fall back asleep.
To sum up, week five was a roller coster of emotions - first excited, then tired, then frightened. We felt like we needed a another, longer break, so we decided to drive up to Michigan, where Kevin's relative were living. We spend all of week six there, which was absolutely unplanned and made the trip take another direction (no pun intended). I'll tell you more about it in the next chapter.
As a final note I have to say that I had being going back and forth on wether to detail week five on here or not. But I feel like the truth always wins. Even if it doesn't look as dreamy and perfect as the video. Or maybe that's exactly why I write these articles: to balance it out, telling you about real life moments.