View Full Version : Nigels Easter Trip report

21-04-2007, 12:41 AM
What an eventful Easter trip !

We were there for 11 days, so itís a long report, I had a lot to write about.., I`ve included lots of photos so you can quickly jump to the part thats interesting..

as this is a long report, you may want to change the board setting to see more per page. to do this, click > My controls > Board Settings (bottom left hand side) > change Number of posts to show for each topic page to 90.Click Change My Account options. this will let you see the whole report on 1 page

Finished work 6pm Thursday, drove down the M1, met Ian & Jude at Leicester Forest services and arrived at Dartford Travelodge at 11:00pm. Just about to go to bed when I received a txt from Nick saying he was having issues with his caterham, turned out set the tone of the weekend.
Alarm was set for 5:15am Friday morning, but as usual, I didnít need it, the excitement stopped me having a great nights sleep. Quick breakfast in the room, then setoff for Dover for the 8am crossing.

Matt & Cat outside the Dartford travelodge at 5:45am.

Met MattS3 and friends whilst waiting for the ferry and had a good chat with them, they were going on the alfa experience and I offered them a lap in the golf if they wanted to. That would be an offer Rob would live to regret accepting. There were quite a few cars on that crossing, dave & clare arrived a little later and we didnt meet up until we were on the ferry.

The Golf was loaded with loads of camping gear and I was hoping to avoid going onto the top deck, Ian in his Nissan and Lousie in the Mazda managed to get themselves on the lower deck, but the guy obviously thought we were trying to pull a fast one sent me to the top deck, even though the golf was the lowest of the 3 and was nearly grounding....

Met up with Paul & Gwen on the ferry and we all sat down for a full English breakfast. Not the cheapest or best breakfast you`ll ever have, but at that time on a morning, after getting up so early, it was wonderful.

Went for a wander around, saw some people wearing ring merchandise so wandered over for a chat, never saw them again though. Found Dave, Clare & Hollie and between us all, the journey passed quickly.

Ian & Jude and Lousie and the kids were among the first off the ferry and pulled over to wait for me, I was in the last group to disembark, about 10 minutes after them ! We set off on our drive across Europe, TomTom leading the way. The golf is bloody noisy on the motorway and I`d bought a cheap MP3 player and some noise cancelling earphones to help pass the time.

A pretty uneventful trip saw us through to Germany, on teh autobahn, I opened up the golf, just to see what it was like, after a few moments I felt a blip in the engine and a lot of smoke filled my rear view mirror ! I thought the trip was over before it had even started... After dipping the clutch, and blipping the throttle, the smoke stopped, never to reappear again. I realised afterwards the oil pump was unable to maintain pressure about 5,500rpm for any longer than a couple of seconds and i`d suffered a momentary drop in oil pressure, why that caused the smoke and power dip is still a mystery, but for the rest of the weekend, I had to set a 5,000rpm rev limit.

Arrived at the ring without further drama, the crowds we passed were huge and we expected they were a sign of the busy weekend to come.

Set up the tent and whilst Louise and Jude generously offered to finish setting up camp, Ian and I made a dash to the ring to get our JK and do a lap before closing. When I filled in the form and passed over my credit card, I was asked for my passport. It was at the campsite. My driving license perhaps?, nope that was at the campsite too. Turns out they needed a photo, I had just expected them to take a photo with a digital camera, but nope, they needed to scan one in instead. Ian bought his JK and I bought a 1 lap ticket, I just had to do a steady lap after all that travelling. I was about to set off when Andy Carlisle came over and asked if he could jump in the passenger seat. I said he could, but it would be a slow oneÖ

The Golf`s first ever lap of the ring was a steady one, driven with caution as it was my first lap since last August and the first in the car. Afterwards we returned to the campsite for a beautiful meal made by Louise & Jude.

We all turned in early ready for Dave, Ian & Myself to get an early start Saturday morning.

21-04-2007, 12:43 AM
Alarm went off at 7:15am, but it wasnt needed, I was up and awake already. The carpark had about a dozen cars in and although it was cold, there was no frost. After buying my JK, a slow exploratory lap revealed no roadworks, oil or ice and we did another 7 laps before returning for breakfast at around 10am.

Met up with andicroozin and his friends, they were camping in the same area as us, but not too close, we asked why and they said one of their party snored a lot. Seemed strange, but when we woke up and heard him from many feet away, we understood, that man can SNORE !

Andicroozin & friends

We needed to get some food & beer, so went to Adenau and whilst there had a walk to weirseifen to take some photos. Louise decided that unless you can get lower down and closer to the track, she wont take any more from there, next time we will walk to the entry to the corner and try from there.


Ian & I could wait no longer,the weather was glorious, track pretty quiet, so we went to do some laps and Louise went to Hatzenbach to take some photos

Some photos from hatzenbach

Did the carpark wander and chatted to loads of brits, passing out Northloop flyers wherever possible :thumb:

Had a PAX lap in Simons Scooby, its faster than the Scenic lap I had last year :lol:

The day was spent giving and taking PAX laps on a track that was surprisingly clear and closure free.

:thumb: We left to go for the photo at 7pm. Jochen was taking the photo from a particularly unsteady pair of stepladders, we had a whip round to give to Steve Gill to pull them away, but he wouldnt do it..

Weeman & Das chin

texas2201 (martin), Simon & Nick looking really excited...

The Castle looked nice in the sunset

Mr Teflon still wearing his drivers hat. He`d put the pipe and slippers away by now... :whistle:

Saturday evening saw us round the campfire, drinking beer and discussing the days laps. We still planned to get up to be at the ring for 8am, so had another early night !

21-04-2007, 12:44 AM
Sunday and Louise wanted to go to Brunchen 2 to get some photos, she enjoys it there. An early start saw the tents with a thin covering of frost ! It had been a chilly night, but the fanheaters we`d taken in the tents and good sleeping bags meant we all had a pretty warm nights sleep.

I had lots of laps, 2 with nick in the 7, the first time you take SX without lifting is a scary feeling !

Nick giving me a lap

Da Moik doing his thing

Kevin in his M3

Is this anyone on Northloop?

The Golf on track with Ian following

The whole day was superb, not a single closure (must be a first for easter sunday !) and loads of enjoyable laps. :thumb: Took Ben Lovejoy out for a PAX lap and he commented on the fun you can have with a well setup Golf MK2, I have to agree, I was thoroughly enjoying my laps. Managed to blag some PAX laps with Steve Gill in his CSL, it sounds brilliant and goes very very well, he has done many more laps in it since last time I saw him when he`d just bought it, although the gear change can be brutal under full throttle changes.

Took Weeman out for a lap, hes actually a really nice bloke ! ;-), on the way back into the carpark, there was an almighty bang, we both looked at each other, I thought something had broken on the car and we exchanged puzzled glances, a glance out of the window saw Nick (leavingeasy) in hysterics having just slapped the roof HARD as we drove past, scaring us both...

Bumped into Andy, he`d recognised the golf and was on his first ever trip, had a chat and realised he had not yet been on track, I offered him a lap in the golf and took him out. It was a steady lap, I didnít want his first ever lap to be memorable for the wrong reasons, but he seemed genuinely excited and was grinning all the way round.

21-04-2007, 12:45 AM
Sunday was the night of `the Meal`, so we headed back for a shower, quick change then to the pub in Adenau


unfortunatley there were a few `no shows`, which was disappointing, but there was nothing we could do about it.

Nick thought the lip gloss suited him... I`m not so sure.

Gary showing off his photos

our table

Andicroozin & gang


Karl going on about something, nobody listened. :whistle:


21-04-2007, 12:47 AM


Karl looking serious.

Dave, what do you think of the Beer?

The kids had their own table in the Bar

The whole evening was very enjoyable, some VLN videos were shown after the meal and a big thanks to Jorg for supplying us with such a nice venue, food and great service. I think everyone had a great time and to say a lot of people had only met via Northloop just showed what a friendly pleasant bunch we really are :)

If you are driving through adenau from Breidscheid, look for it on your right, its worth calling in for a beer, friendly chat and some food :thumb:

Back to the campsite, and drunk more beers whislt sat round the fire. A pattern was forming here and we did our best to keep it going for the rest of the holiday.

Monday morning saw a warmer morning and some clear laps. I had a particularly good lap with a Mini Cooper following me for 1/2 a lap then swapping over after kesselchen, pulling alongside each other before entering the carpark brought thumbs up form both cars :thumb:

The Golf with only an hour to live..

Had a chat to a tired Kenmg whod driven through the night, he looked shattered..
I`d offered to take MattS3 and friends out for a lap on the ferry over and as they were leaving soon, it seemed a great opportunity to do so. Rob was the last in the car and the lap was going well, we were chatting all the way round and as usual when I have a passenger in, I was not going too fast, the previous 3 laps had all been 9:45 - 9:55, quick but not taking any chances. This proved to mean nothing when I came through Pflanzgarten and the rear stepped out, suffice to say I was unable to catch it and the aftermath was one dead golf.

Thread HERE (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=4271) for a full description and photos...


Another huge thanks to Ian Howell, Mav and Johanes for their help after the crash, you really helped me a lot when I was feeling very low. Louise has been incredibly supportive and so has everyone who I spoke to afterwards, from offers of help, loan of trailer to simply asking how I was, it all helped me thorough a praticularly crap day.

After sorting out the car I returned to the campsite and had a beer. Deciding that I needed to get back round the track ASAP, Dave offered to take me out for some PAX laps, the first time through Pflanzgarten was very nerve wracking and I was very tense through the corner. However, after a couple of laps, I was feeling better.

I spent Monday afternoon getting laps from anyone I could find, texas2201, Kevin, Dave, Dave CAN drive in his Elise, Bob in his 250HP Elise and Steve Gill. If I missed you out, I apologise, that afternoon became an enjoyable blur...

Ian Howell took me out for a lap in his 200SX, coming into the Karussel and the power just vanished with the car sounding awful and seeming to misfire, we pulled off straight away. Ians face needed no comment from me apart from "f#####g hell"... A couple of marshalls stopped and we said we handt dropped any oil or hit anything, they were just ringing ADAC when we spotted the intercooler pipe had blown off, a quick fix and we were away again, phew !.

That night saw me drink more beer than any other night during the trip, I cant think why. :blink: :blink: :(

21-04-2007, 12:48 AM
Tuesday and as the ring wasnt open until the evening, we went to the rodelbahn, its great fun and if you havent been, you really need to get organised and go one day. A group is better, you can time yourselves. Dave phoned Gary in the UK to see what time he had to beat :o

There are some animals for the kids and a few swings etc.

Matthew & Catherine trying to make Clare sick

A Happy Ian Howell

Clare with baby rabbit

Dave recording / Timing his Lap





Louise on the Rodelbahn


21-04-2007, 12:49 AM

Tuesday evening and a trip to view at Pflanzgarten


A rapid Suzuki Swift

Back to the campsite and Ian had to change his brake pads. He`d brought a spare set, but turned out they had supplied him with the worng ones, so he had to get a new set from the local Nissan dealers in Adenau

Whilst Ian was doing that, Clare and the kids went hunting for firewood, this became something of an obsession with Clare as the week progressed.

Went to the PK for some beers with Steve Gill, his friend, Dave, clare, Ian, jude, Louise, Me and Matty

Not sure what was supposed to be on this photo? :whistle:

After a very pleasant evening talking cars and general rubbish, back to the campsite and a fire.

It took a while to get going, but clare had found some branches that burned very well, they also covered everyone and everything in ash.

We didnt go to bed until 2am and it was a brilliant evening :thumb:

21-04-2007, 12:50 AM
Wednesday glorious weather and so a visit to Cochem.

Remembered where a small shop sold a large piece of ham in a roll, we all had one and thoroughly enjoyed it :thumb:

Took some photos by a fountain
Matthew, Catherine & Hollie
Dave, Clare & Hollie
Ian & jude
Nigel, louise, Matthew & Catherine

We had icecream and Dave had a Rhubarb Slice
Earlier in the holiday, we had introduced dave to the Rhubarb slice, its beautiful.

21-04-2007, 12:51 AM
Took a trip in the chairlift to the viewing point at the big cross

A drive back and some viewing at AF by Louise. I had some laps with Dave, the guy I`d seen in the Suzuke Swift, which turned out to be a great lap, he said he drove in the VLN and it was a very very smooth and quick lap. :thumb: Also blagged a lap in a Mazda RX8, the driver had only done a few laps and I always find it interesting to go out with someone who hasnt done many laps and doesnt know the circuit, they have totally different brake / turn in points to people who`ve done more laps.

Andy Carlisle

Steve W giving Dave a PAX lap

Dave & Clare in the Clio

Steve Gill


I needed to get a towbar fitted to the Mazda to bring the Golf home, so went to Gebauers. They said 4 hours, turned out to be nearer 8....

The Mazda when I went to collect, thinking 5 hours and it should be finished.

Ian rang and said they were catching the bus after the problems with the Nissan, so met them for a coffee then saw them off onto the beginning of their homeward adventure.

Had a walk to Metzgesfeld and back to Breidscheid to pass the time

Had a meal with Karl & Claire and Hilary (Claires mum), guess what it was? yep, Cauliflower cheese and Gammon :D . Beautiful as always. :thumb:

Karl was talking about the ring less than usual, I think the fact he hasnt done a SINGLE lap in 2007 is getting to him now. :ph43r: Imagine, living so near and yet not driving it daily, not a pleasant thought...

21-04-2007, 12:52 AM
Went to Wild und Freizeitpark on Saturday, beautiful weather and highly recommended for a day out :thumb:
Apart from rides, there are animals to see and feed, we all had a good day, although it was a long walk in the hot weather.
Feeding the Deer

Louises least favourite ride
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/April%202007/th_MVI_0542.jpg (http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/April%202007/?action=view&current=MVI_0542.flv)

After the rollercoaster


Catherine and Hollie were sleeping at Karl & claires so we decided to have a night out. Dave suggested we try La Lanterna

If you go, order drinks as soon as you go in, then choose your food, we didnt and the service was quite slow which meant Dave was gasping by the time the beer arrived.

The menu was italian and we had starters

Pizzas (Lou had steak)

and then desert :whistle:

My desert was a strawberry icecream, but it arrived with a LOT of fresh strawberries. I could feel the envious eyes of the others burning into me :P

A very enjoyable evening out and recommended :thumb:

21-04-2007, 12:52 AM
Sunday saw some viewing at the mini Karussel
A group of TVR`s had come over from the UK and were making lots of noise on their way round.

Dave then took me out for a few PAX laps in the afternoon :thumb:

A last fire and beer then up early Monday morning, packed the tent away then took it to leave at Jamiem`s, I was supposed to leave it all in the golf and store the golf in his workshop, but as the Golf was broken, I was unsure what to do. The very helpful Manfred generously allowed me to leave my camping gear in his workshop :thumb:

21-04-2007, 12:53 AM
Hooked up Nicks trailer to the Mazda and the brake lights didnt work :( , found a loose connection and corroded one so had to sort that before setting off.


Left campsite at 2pm 16th April towing my golf (first time towing anything...)


at 4pm, as we entered Belgium, realised we had left Louises passport at the campsite, they take it when you check in and forgot to give it back. :o
Turned round, drove back and had passport in hand at 5:10pm 16th April.
Drove towards Dunkerque, but the golf looked too interesting to let pass and the border checkpoint guards thought they`d like to have a look round, what I was doing etc...

This meant we would miss our 10pm ferry, it was very optimistic anyway, but that stop and some traffic delays meant the 12pm ferry was the one we would take.

Saw the sunset


Arrived for ferry at 10:05pm after cruising at 65-70 with A/C on doing 22mpg... :(

Drove onto ferry, had quick bite to eat and then went to sleep for 2 hours.
Woke, went to car and drove off ferry at 2:42am 17th April (German time still on clock.


started driving home
Was foggy so had to drive slowly and concentrate a lot. Stopped at first services on M1 for toilet break and to fill fuel.
Stopped again at watford gap services on M1
at 5:40 am (UK time now) I started to feel drowsy, so pulled off at Donington services and set alarm for 6am, had a 15 minute sleep that took away that sleepy feeling.

Saw the sunrise !


Drove home, the traffic was building quite badly at sheffield onwards and we had to come off 2 junctions early due to an accident.

Drove some very narrow roads :blink: with the trailer on, NOT something I want to repeat ever ever again.

Arrived home at 7:40am, reversed the trailer into my driveway and dragged the golf into the garage.

I trip of highs and lows, but overall, the usual mix of feelings and thoroughly enjoyable :thumb:

21-04-2007, 08:33 AM
A great report of an unusual trip!

I don't think the word 'Polava' (sp?) even comes close!!


21-04-2007, 10:51 AM
Excellent read & the pictures tell the story so well :thumb:

21-04-2007, 11:18 AM
Absolutely fantastic report- I am going to show this to my wife in the hope that I can persuade her along too now.

Why do you always make me feel like such a crap parent??


Darren Langeveld
21-04-2007, 11:38 AM
I've managed to talk Maddie into it off the back of Nige and Louise showing it can be a family thing too! Hence a week in the Eifel Mountains with the family planned this summer.

You should try and get your Gert along at the same time as us lot!

Nige, enjoyed the report as usual, but you'll not get me writing any more than I do! LOL

21-04-2007, 12:47 PM
As I was writing I knew it would be a long report, but when you do so much, thats how it ends up. I think the photos help break it up anyway :unsure:

Dave Malings
21-04-2007, 12:53 PM
A good read that!

21-04-2007, 02:00 PM
A very good read Nige, cheers!

21-04-2007, 02:05 PM
Excellent. I've enjoyed the whole families' reports :D

Can't wait till next time.


21-04-2007, 02:56 PM
Nice report & pics.

Hopefully you get your car sorted out soon.

Gary Kinghorn
21-04-2007, 03:06 PM
Great report Nige, I know how long these things take to put together :thumb:

Some great pictures too :thumb:

21-04-2007, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Gary Kinghorn@Apr 21 2007, 04:06 PM
Some great pictures too :thumb:
I`ve got some `better` ones I promised I wouldnt post.

Lets say they are not very flattering :ph43r: and no, I wont post them..

Steve Gill
21-04-2007, 04:44 PM
Nice report Nige, well written :thumb: Look forward to meeting you and the family again in a few weeks :)

21-04-2007, 05:49 PM
Very good report Nigel, enjoyed that, thanks :thumb:


21-04-2007, 06:22 PM
Nice report and for me interesting to learn who is under the helmet :)


Root admin
21-04-2007, 07:01 PM
Nice write up Nige. Shows the family side of things very nicely! :)

21-04-2007, 08:16 PM
Great write up - and as has been said, a real advert for getting better half to warm to the idea of a holiday in the region :)

21-04-2007, 08:35 PM
Excellant read as always Nige, considering the 'drama' and length of trip i would consider that a short report!

22-04-2007, 11:34 AM
I forgot to add, after a week with us, Dave, Clare & Holly were all pronouncing some words with a Yorkshire Accent :thumb: :D

22-04-2007, 12:13 PM
Poor buggers :lol:

One of my mate's back home came from Mansfield originally, if I spent a weekend hanging around with him, i'd get a Notts twang. :lol:

22-04-2007, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by GVK@Apr 22 2007, 12:13 PM
Poor buggers :lol:

One of my mate's back home came from Mansfield originally, if I spent a weekend hanging around with him, i'd get a Notts twang. :lol:

Nothing rong with a mansfield slang :)

23-04-2007, 08:04 PM
Only just got around to reading that :thumb:

Nice read and very good pictures. I echo what Nick said in that you make my parenting skills look poor :( :)


23-04-2007, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by Nige@Apr 22 2007, 11:34 AM
I forgot to add, after a week with us, Dave, Clare & Holly were all pronouncing some words with a Yorkshire Accent :thumb: :D
:thumb: :thumb:

Great report Nige

24-04-2007, 06:28 AM
Great report Nige, Tis nice to know I'm a nice chap, I'd forgotten, LOL

Well done mate, you've shown great resiliance and a damn fine spirit to do what you did, Good luck with that next project and I'll look forward to seeing you soon. :thumb: :thumb: :)

24-04-2007, 09:46 PM
Hello mate. Sorry to here about the golf, good luck with the re-build! Glad to here your fine. Good right up. Sound's like a great trip (apart from the accident)

02-05-2007, 04:38 PM
Hello Nige, That red Citroen was me although i wasn't a member of this site when that was taken.
I don't know if you remember but you were talking to us on the outbound ferry. We were all sat in the lounge in front of the bar. There was myself in my Xsara, Ed in a Nova and Si in a 306 Rallye in our party. We're going back on August 31st :thumb:
Only just realised you "kissed" a barrier. Is is repairable?

02-05-2007, 05:47 PM
Was Si in that really sweetly specced 306? This one?

It went rather well if he was! :thumb:


02-05-2007, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by leavingeasy@May 2 2007, 05:47 PM
Was Si in that really sweetly specced 306? This one?

It went rather well if he was! :thumb:

Nope, thats Matti.

Chris, who called to help me yesterday helped Matti build it. I had a look at it on the Sunday, a very nicely specced car. Although the engine is now dead and he has another to fit before spring bank....


02-05-2007, 06:14 PM
So who is he phoning, Lou or Nige??