A Sad Day: Doris Dies

Day 20: Berlin, Germany to Berlin, Germany.

The title is true. Don’t be alarmed we’re OK. But Doris isn’t. As of right now (830PM) we’re unsure of Doris’ future and what it holds, but all we know is we’re not moving anywhere till Monday.

With Berlin being so big and beautiful we wanted to get up early and out on the bikes this morning. True to our word we were up, out and on the bikes by 740AM. The city was quiet, the sun was bight and the morning was beautiful. Seeing the city landmarks without their hoards of people is the best thing ever. Getting to fully explore and have a look around without people standing on your toes.

We resisted most of the stuff we saw yesterday. The Reichstag, Brandenburg gate, The Cathedral but we managed to get across to the East Side Berlin Wall. Where all the famous graffiti and lots of hotels are.


I think, correct me if I am wrong, it’s the biggest stretch of wall left in Berlin. It’s weird, but magical at the same time. If you didn’t know a huge, 3.6m high, wall was built around West Berlin to stop its people from leaving. Essentially trapping them inside the walls. There were many escape attempts, some successful, most not. But when there is a shoot to kill warrant for escapes, I can’t imagine the fear they’d succumb to trying to escape.

Life in the West was much better than in the East, so to stop people leaving they built a 156km long wall, with 186 watchtowers, 20 bunkers, and it was up for 28 years. Absolutely crazy to think that it was up for so long and divided the country so badly. Thankfully in 1989 it was demolished and Germany was reunified.

The wall today stands here and there with the around 1.5km stretch of wall being the famous graffiti wall. We cycled here early so it was quite and we had the place to ourselves. The wall is huge. The sheer size of it is crazy and to think there was a death zone in the middle too. Crazy.

The artwork displayed on the walls mostly crazy but creatively absolutely magnificent. All manner of artists and work are displayed here and some of them are unbelievable. After a wander up and down the wall pushing our bikes we headed back slowly to Doris.

Back at Doris for 10AM and satisfied that we’d done enough Berlin to head off for our next country, Poland. Well so we thought.

After our usual checks around the van to make sure everything was OK, we kicked Doris into gear and let her run whilst we finished up some bits and mapped out our next location. Whilst we were doing that and whilst Doris seemed absolutely fine, she cut out. Weird we thought.

Left her for a few minutes and tried again. She started momentarily and then cut out. Bollocks. After a few messages to people I trust Doris’ life with, we might have been low on diesel. We weren’t low, but we had been on a slight uphill spot for the last 48 hours.

A quick walk to the garage, 10L of diesel acquired and we were back to hopefully quench Doris’ thirst.


This time she wouldn’t even start.

Thankfully we’re covered well with Motorhome insurance, as you should be. A quick call to AIB to see if they could send someone out to give Doris some medicine and help us on our way. 2 hours late a man from the ADAC (German equivalent to the RAC) and by god was he helpful. Polite, funny and did his absolute best to get Doris to start.

Unfortunately he seems to think the high pressure pump isn’t working. Either air trapped or isn’t working all together. He’s hopefully it isn’t something major, but something he couldn’t really sort whilst just roadside. Although, his van was incredibly well equipped with everything I’d imagine you’d ever need.

Back on the phone to AIB as we were slightly worried that if we got recovered to a garage tonight we’d have to be turfed out of Doris till a diagnostic on Monday. They agreed it was in the best interest for all if they left us where we are and arranged a tow/recovery to a garage first thing on Monday morning.

It put a bit of a black cloud over the morning/afternoon but there really isn’t much we can do. Thankfully she decided whilst parked up safe in Berlin she’d throw up her issue. Rather than the side of a busy Autobahn. Which we’re thankful for. But we’re safe, and we’ve got a few more days in Berlin now I guess. Lets just hope when Monday comes its nothing to serious and we can continue our tour.

The afternoon was still boiling so we decided to go for a little wander with some cards, games and a big throw. We settled near a little lake and the art museum where we played games, slept and enjoyed the evening sun.

We’re sad that Doris’ is poorly but hopefully a mechanic can give us some good news on Monday. May I ask that you leave some words of encouragement for Doris below and wish her the best for her recovery. Our entire 3 month tour relies on her and we need her working!

Tonights camping location: Berlin, Germany. (Park4Night: Click here)

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6 Replies to “A Sad Day: Doris Dies”

  1. Sending a speedy recovery to doris. Hope all is well on Monday.and team doris are on there way again. A rest is best??

    1. Thanks Debs. Lets wait and see what happens in the morning, fingers crossed. Give the little girls a squeeze from me! x

  2. Awww no ? Hoping that Doris can be fixed !! She needs to pull through ? good luck guys x

    1. Thanks buddy. We’re hoping it’ll be a simple fix, just time and money, but we’re confident she’ll be back on the road!

  3. Mark Timperley says: Reply

    Fingers crossed for you both & Doris! We’ve been enjoying following your story, and hope it’s not cut short? We’re just getting used to having the place to ourselves!!! Ha Ha! Seriously though, really hope it’s good news for you all on Monday so you can continue your adventure? Enjoy the rest of your weekend in Berlin (as much as you can anyway?) Let us now the prognosis? Love to you both, (and Doris!) Mum & Mark xx

    1. Thanks Mark. Bet the washing basket has been empty, not that you’d know much about it anyway! Yeah, will ring Mum tomorrow when we’ve got an idea of what’s happening and the outcome of it all. Here’s hoping it’s positive x

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