Ziggy – What, Why, How and When?

“Oh, the places you’ll go!” – Dr Seuss

What is Ziggy?

Ziggy is a 2006 (registered in the UK in 2007) Hymer B544 Classic “A” Class, MotorHome.

Why Ziggy?

I purchased Ziggy from Rob and Krys Henshaw, in November 2018. Ziggy was already called Ziggy when I purchased him

In Rob’s words, from his blog:

Why is our Hymer 544 Motorhome called Ziggy?

Several reasons all based around Germany:-

Hymers are made in Germany
Krys, my wife, was born in Germany
We will be spending a significant amount of time in Germany

We will be leading a nomadic or gypsy lifestyle whilst in Germany and the German word for gypsy is Zigeuner  – hence “Ziggy” – we have Phil and Kay Davies from Wales to thank for the name

Rob’s blog is here: https://aussieeuropeantour.com/

I saw the advert for Ziggy on the web and made enquiries straight away. Rob and Krys were still in Germany at the time, so I mostly spoke with Mike Steers (www.motorhomefinder.co.uk), who was helping to sell Ziggy for Rob and Krys. Mike was also the person that Rob and Krys had purchased Ziggy from 21 months earlier, at the start of their European tour.

How?

I agreed the sale and paid Rob the agreed price into his Australian account, via Transferwise. So Ziggy was mine long before I ever saw him. Mad? I don’t think so. Rob was to arrange, as part of the sale, that Ziggy would have a full service, a Habitation check and an MOT, on the days just before I would pick Ziggy up. So, come the big day, all the reports were ready for me and I was good to go. The habitation check had found some slight damp around one of the roof vents and the vent had been removed, resealed and replaced, the day before I arrived in Stafford.

I flew into Manchester airport and caught a train to Stafford, where I spent the night. Mike picked my up the following morning, outside my rather austere B&B. Not a B&B to be recommended, but that’s another story….

We drove to Mike’s house where Ziggy was now parked, after being picked up from the garage early in the morning, as the new bonding around the roof vent needed time to dry overnight. All good!!

I had a quick look around Ziggy and the documentation and the deal was done. All very civilised and friendly. Mike had cooked a lovely breakfast for us, so we ate a hearty meal, before Mike led me (I was driving Ziggy) to a campsite that Mike had booked for me for two nights nearby, in order that I could get used to Ziggy and be close at hand if there were any issues.

As it happened, I had no issues at all with Ziggy and spent a warm and comfortable night. I therefore decided that I did not need to stay the extra night and booked out of the campsite in order to head for my daughter’s place in Billing, Northampton.

WOW!! That first few miles on the motorway were REALLY scary!! It’s been a long time since I have driven a large vehicle and there were roadworks on the M6 (I think). They had narrowed the lanes and I was the slowest vehicle on the road, so when a truck came past, it felt like I could touch it. It seemed SO close AND I was on the Left Hand Side as Ziggy is a LHD vehicle. When I eventually overtook a couple of trucks going uphill, it was even worse!! I could see (out of the corner of my eye), the truck wing mirrors almost touching mine. Anyway, I am here to tell the tale, so not SO bad. I arrived at Kerril’s (daughter) house and parked on her drive, next to their Swift camper. I stayed there for a few days and then headed off for the Portsmouth to Bilbao ferry.

I had researched the Bilbao ferry and the Chunnel prices and concluded that the Bilbao ferry was only £77 more than the Chunnel AND I would have 1000 Kms less travelling to do AND that was without tolls (although I had decided against doing toll roads in Ziggy anyway), to get back to my home in the south of spain. As it transpired, this was a very lucky choice, as it was the time when the Gilets Jaune (Yellow Jacket) demonstrations were at their worst in France and people were being held up for hours.

The ferry docked in Bilbao at 07:00 hrs in the morning, so I had a whole day of driving to get as far as possible. I stopped on a very nice Aire just south of Madrid, which I made easily within the day, even though the camper limit on the motorways is on 90KPH. Fines here in Spain are hefty and as a pensioner, I can no longer afford to risk a fine in exchange for getting to my destination slightly faster. I think I only saw TWO campers in the whole journey down to Torre del Mar, So I have no idea where all the other campers from the ship had gone. <Bemused>