This current leg of the misadventure began when we were driving down the mountain backwards at night while the engine was smoking and transmission oil was spilling all over the road. After scotch, French fries and failing to take the bus into town, as you may recall, we hired a taxi driver from Bangladesh to take us to the closest gas station to buy more transmission oil. The driver ended up calling his friend named Ozcan, a mechanic from Turkey, who confirmed that we had a leak in the transmission. .

Naturally, as one does, we ended up living in Ozcan’s parking lot where there conveniently happened be a mosque upstairs with a bathroom Ozcan gave us permission to use. His assistant from Gambia, who spoke perfect English who has been living in Salzburg since 2003 after having a child with an Austrian woman, helped translate the unfortunate news that the pump was likely gone and that only one guy in Austria could fix and rebuild the transmission. Enter: US Automatic Bogenhuber.

The charming 60-year old owner drove 30 mins into Salzburg with his girlfriend to meet us, continually forgot we were Canadian and spoke to us in German and basically told us he’s the man for the job and that he’d tow the vehicle and fix it up with his son over the weekend. He has all the parts and whatever he doesn’t have he’ll import from Holland. He happens to own the parts company. Of course he does! Just when we were about to sell the van for scrap metal, the Universe intervened and gave us a little helping hand. .

For now, a five-day escape and a plan-less plan on the final stretch of this stretch of the Vanlife adventure. Heading south


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