Sunday, July 15, 2012

Post-trip debrief back in Melbourne

Arrived back in Melbourne last night.  Interesting that I've got a winter garden happening here, as opposed to all the greenery and flowers blooming in France and Germany.  However, the weather is quite similar to that on the day we left Munich on Friday.  Except it's not raining here.  The sun's up and it looks like my washing will mostly dry on the line.

Before I put our wonderful holiday to bed, I must mention that our final few days in Munich went well.

Despite my concerns re McRent, the rental company from which we hired our van, the handover was better than expected.  We'd felt ripped off in 2010 when we were forced to pay 100 euro for an alleged hair and smudge of 'shampoo' in the bathroom as I mentioned in my previous post

This time we had to return the van on the date planned between 9 and 10 am.  I'd awoken at about five.  Special combo of anxiety and the fact that it was light outside.  I'd started my cleaning frenzy by seven.  I was quite irrational but determined that the van would 'pass' the inspection.  Unfortunately, it started raining which made it particularly difficult to keep mud and footprints out of the van.  I covered the clean floor in towels and Chux cleaning cloths and we used these like stepping stones to avoid 'recontamination'.  

We were also concerned about being charged for a faulty latch on the rear door of the van.  When we'd returned our van in 2010 we were charged for a key that snapped off inside the lock.  Surely not our fault but rather the quality of the key?

As per instructions, we filled the tank with fuel then dropped it into the carwash prior to returning it.  McRent pays for this final exterior clean.

Upon our return to McRent, Sulzemoos - 27 kilometres from Munich - we were greeted by a delightful bloke.  He seemed impressed by our efforts.  He climbed a ladder to inspect the roof, lest we'd damaged it in some way.  We had been concerned about hail storm damage, but we were clear.  He surveyed the vehicle, muttering 'Gut, gut,' while I hovered around in my massive yellow Vietnam rain poncho.  In one hand I clutched a trigger bottle of all purpose cleaner; in the other a Chux cloth, ready to pounce had he suggested, like his female counterpart two years earlier, that the van was not clean.  Must have looked a tad insane.

Perhaps it was this insanity that led me to take close up shots of all the surfaces in the bathroom as proof of their gleaming condition. 

I needn't have been so concerned.  The fellow assured us that it wasn't our fault that the door latch had broken and that it was easily fixed.  We passed with flying colours, apart from the 302 euro that we had to pay for damage - our fault - to the table top in the van.  Otherwise, we got the rest of our 1200 euro deposit back.

The guy at McRent could not have been more obliging on our return, including driving us and our bags back into the village to catch our bus to Munich.

BTW we also did well selling back our bikes.  We'd originally paid 260 euro for two second hand bikes.  We sold them back for 120 euro.  We couldn't have rented bikes for eight weeks at that price.  Definitely the way to go if you're ever considering a similar trip.

So, props to McRent.

And props to us.  We drove 3000 kilometres and cycled 685k during our eight week holiday.


  1. Yay! Could you come over and clean my car for me now? BTW I often drive on dirt roads- it's the hills you know- just so you're prewarned . . .

    Welcome home!

    1. Haha! You should see the condition of my car. Been sitting in the street under a shedding gum tree for eight weeks. But she started first thing. Might treat her to a service this week.

      Feels very strange to be home. Al's pedalled off to work already - in the dark. That'll be me tomorrow, trying to remember how to 'control the class' when I haven't prepared any lessons!