Long range campaign #4 – 28th of August to 5th of September 2023

This year, our lives have changed a lot. After the pandemic, with Ana Maria’s bespoke travel agency growing again in a hopeful positive way, we made a very important decision at the beginning of the year.

The circumstances were conducive to a radical change in my career. Already very tired of the oil & gas sector, and specially of having to work for third parties, which was sometimes quite ungrateful, we made the decision that I should leave the sector to dedicate ourselves completely to the travel agency together.

No sooner said than done! Since the very beginning of the year 2023, we’re both officially working in Ana Maria’s project: XO Experience.

With the joy and novelty of working for yourself, and learning day by day from Ana Maria’s vaste knowledge – she has more than 15 years of expertise now with the agency! – the time was approaching to prepare another great trip to Grindelwald with the 3-Wheeler!

This year the event’s days are Thursday 31st of August, Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of September.

After some chats and conversations with the usual members of our squadron, the situation this year will differ from the previous ones.

First of all, Steve will not come to Grindelwald. His main business needs too much attention this summer and he sadly decides to withdraw from this year’s Jungfrau-Treffen adventure.

Chas, on his side, has family invited home just these last days of August and beginning of September. He really wants to come to Switzerland, but the picture is not clear yet.

Charles’ scenario is unfortunate: his 3-Wheeler suffered an engine breakdown. A serious one! The fact is that it seems to be a high cost repair; and, if done, won’t be achieved before the dates of Grindelwald. The sadest part is that finding a spare part is mission impossible. We all know the situation about our S&S X-Wedge engines, which production was discontinued and the lack of spares is a raw reality. He might decide not to repair the 3-Wheeler.

Mario also finds complicated this year to drive from Erfurt to Montignac-de-Lauzun to join the squadron for take off from Soutwest France, as he usually does. Because he hasn’t so many days available this year. And he tells us he will drive direct from Erfurt to Switzerland.

Rob may not join us with his Catherham neither. He can drive for a few days but just after the dates of the Jungfrau-Treffen.

It seems that this year there are too many casualties in the squadron to drive together from Montignac-de-Lauzun to Switzerland. So, we’ll make it easy and drive with the Morgan on the trailer from Madrid to Grindelwald, doing just one overnight on the way and join all our friends there. It’s simpler, and more convenient for us too, because we know we’ll be very busy at work these dates.

But first things first: last year we had a very bad experience with a tyre of the trailer suddenly blowing while driving on the motorway. After a simple investigation, the reason was very clear: the trailer is fantastic, but without us realizing it, they slipped us some very poor-quality Chinese tyres. And after many hours of driving, despite having very few kilometers, one of the tyres could not hold the combination of heat and pressure, and burst, causing us the consequent scare.

Last year one of the tyres blew up on the motorway. Not a good experience…

It’s a fact that the tyres we have on our trailer are unusual. Their dimensions are 195/55 R10C (98). A very small rim diameter. It’s very difficult to find tyres for trailers with these measures. But after some days doing deep research on the internet and asking specialists, the conclusions take us to buy the following ones: Maxxis Trailermaxx.

These are Korean tyres, special for caravans and trailers, extremely robust (10 layers!) and very good quality compound and design. Not cheap – 70 € each – but clearly top quality and reliable.

Brand new high quality tyres: Maxxis Trailermaxx.

When we got them mounted, I asked the tyre shop to balance all the wheels. Most of these small diameter wheels mounted on trailers are not balanced, but we want them to be. Balancing them is really cheap and we’ll have for sure a much smoother ride.

We also do very deep research and discuss on a few trailers’ forums about the pressure we should inflate them to. As we have a two-axle trailer and it’s below 1,5 tons when loaded, the specialists on these forums told us to put a pressure just below 4 barg. In fact, 3,5 barg or 3,7 barg seem the most reasonable pressure after some debate.

This is much less than the original advise I got from the trailer manufacturer. He told me to put 5,5 barg on the Chinese tyres! But they had a much softer sidewall and weaker general construction. A real timebomb as we sadly suffered.

We’ll see how the trailer goes with these new tyres and at 3,7 barg…

As the days of the trip approach, the described scenario regarding our squadron members is confirmed. So, we’ll drive with the trailer all the way from Madrid to Grindelwald as expected, and we decide it’s time to book our lodging. Where shall we stop on our way to Switzerland? We look for a point a little bit closer to Switzerland than just midway. We believe it’s better to drive a longer distance the first day, that we’re fresher, and have a shorter and more relaxed second day.

We also purchase the Swiss Vignette to be allowed to drive on the Swiss motorways. This year it’s an easy task, because the Swiss government allows you to buy it online now! So much easier! We buy three Vignettes, one for each vehicle (which includes the trailer). Now we can drive into Switzerland with total peace of mind.

Regarding the route, we have two choices to get to Switzerland. We choose to drive up straight North and cross to France from the Basque Country. The roads and the traffic shall be better than driving North-East through Catalonia. And there is no difference in driving time and distance, making our choice easier.

Investigating about cozy and original boutique hotels on the way, we find a superb spot in a village called Varetz. It’s the Castel Novel. A super nice looking typical French chateau, with apparently a nice restaurant. And, very important for us, very close to the main motorway and with a large parking where we can leave the Land Rover with the trailer safe at night.

The Castel Novel looks great on the web!

We’ll see if it’s as nice as it looks on the web!

And about the lodging in Grindelwald, we’re clearly too late to get a nice deal at the Bernerhof Hotel. The prices they announce per night are way higher than what we paid last years! But for obvious reasons: we booked the hotel many months in advance the previous years, and this time we’re just a week to go!

Looking for something reasonable, we find a surprisingly well-located apartment in the center of Grindelwald. On the main street! Just few meters away from the Bernerhof and the Kreutz & Post. It looks really nice on the web, and with a huge space of 84 m2 it’s cheaper than staying at the Bernerhof!

And the appartment too! We really hope reality matches the pictures on the web!

The choice is clear. We don’t know if the apartment is as nice as it looks on the Internet, but it’s worth a try. We’ll discover the reality soon.

Day 1 – August the 28th: Madrid to Varetz

Take-off day! Yesterday we packed everything and checked the tyres’ pressure of the trailer and the Land Rover. And got both tanks – the Land Rover’s and the Morgan’s – full of fresh gasoline.

We just need to move the trailer and connect it to the Land Rover, start the biturbo petrol L6, and hit the road!

Our route today will cover a little bit more than 55% of the total route to Grindelwald.

872km – 8h50min

We take the A-1 motorway and pass by Burgos, Vitoria, then the Spanish French border at Irun, keep driving North on the A63 to Bordeaux, and then go East on the A89 to Varetz.

It’s a Monday, and there is little traffic on the motorway. The Land Rover pampers us with a super comfortable ride, and a surprising low fuel consumption for the size and weight of the convoy. Less than 13 l/100km (22 miles per gallon)! Not bad at all for a huge 2,4 tons 4×4 with a 400 hp petrol engine, pulling a 1,3 tons trailer!

But the most important thing today is the feeling of the trailer. So much better! With the new tyres, balanced, and turning at lower pressure, the convoy feels much more stable. The trailer doesn’t bounce as it did with the previous tyres. It’s a huge improvement. For sure the lower pressure is key. But also driving a trailer with high quality tyres gives us peace of mind. We wouldn’t repeat this long trip with the previous Chinese cheap tyres!

We arrive to Varetz at the planned time and park the convoy in a spacious area.

Nice looking chateau!

The chateau looks marvelous. And when we check in and get to our room, we can’t be happier. It’s super spacious and cozy. Really worth the price we’re paying! Just 85 € the night.

And a cozy spacious room! Excellent!

We learn a little bit more about this castle and its history. It’s a 13th century castle, surrounded by a dense forest, with just 26 rooms. And while dining, we’re amazed by the excellent cuisine. Delicious dinner! We will stop here again on our way back. For sure!

Tired but happy, we go to bed after dining. We have another long driving day ahead tomorrow!

Day 2 – August the 29th: Varetz to Grindelwald

We slept like logs! This place is so quiet and peaceful!

We enjoy a fast breakfast and get on the road as soon as possible, because today we need to be at Grindelwald before 17:00 to get the keys of the apartment, and to get directions of where to park the vehicles.

748km – 7h45min

We keep driving on the A89 to Lyon and pass by this busy town at lunch time. Best time of the day to avoid traffic! Then it’s on the A40 and A42 to get to the Swiss border at Geneva.

Because we’re driving a big car with a trailer, we decide to follow the most reasonable route to Grindelwald, which is using the motorways to Bern and then to Thun and Interlaken. Fast and easy!

On our way, Laurens and Rineke send us some concerning pictures of the top of the Männlichen: it’s totally covered in snow!

OMG! The Männlichen covered in snow!

But the weather forecast for the next days is way better. It says it will be sunny. The weather in the Alps is so unpredictable… We hope this year will be sunny during the driving days!

We arrive to Grindelwald at 16:15. Perfect timing! We head directly to the apartment’s rental office to get the keys and know about the parking facilities.

The apartment is just above the rental office, on the main street and few meters away from the supermarket and the main hotels where most of our friends stay. Such a nice centric place!

We have an inside parking place for the Morgan, so it will sleep warm and dry all nights. Just at the entrance of the building’s garage we have the second spot, this one for the Land Rover. The only one that is far away – just a 5 minutes’ drive – is the one for the trailer. It’s by the central offices of the rental company, perfectly safe and it makes sense to leave the trailer there, as we’re not supposed to use it for many days.

On the way back to the apartment we stop by a very nice shop we saw on our way to park the trailer. It’s called Molkerei Gertsch, and they sell cheese and many other local artisan products.

The Molkerei Gertsch. Full of delicacies!

We can’t resist and buy a lot of local cheese and cold meats! They look delicious, and we’ll savor them these days at the apartment, paired with nice beers and wine.

MMmmmm…. drooling already…

After this shopping, we drive back to the apartment and finish settling in comfortably. The apartment is great! As nice as in the pictures! It’s huge for the two of us, and very clean, nicely equipped, and comfortable! What a nice surprise.

The XO Experience portable office!

We use the dining table to deploy our “portable office”. This is something we can’t do in a hotel. We love having so much space. The decision to rent this apartment is a complete success. We will definitely think twice about staying at the Bernerhof hotel next time we’ll come to Grindelwald.

In less than one hour we’re totally installed and working in the apartment with all the vehicles properly parked and secured.

Today is Tuesday. Most of the 3-Wheelers will arrive tomorrow. And they’re already on their way to Grindelwald. We get many pictures on the WhatsApp chat of our bellowed colleagues and friends in route to join us here!

Chas is leaving Montignac-de-Lauzun! With Back Adder this year!

We’re glad to see so many people posting their pictures in the chat! It seems that this year the ambience will be great again!

And here’s the UK gang with Chris upfront! About to cross the Channel.

We work for a few hours and then head out for dinner. We end up enjoying a pizza at Da Salvi.

Dinning at Da Salvi is no mistake!

This is the restaurant were last year Laurens and Rineke organized the farewell dinner. We really liked it, and its cuisine is as good as usual tonight.

Nice pepperoni pizza and weissbier.

After a simple dinner and a local beer, it’s time to go to sleep!

Day 3 – August the 30th: enjoying Brienz and the welcome dinner

We wake up in a sunny day! Just few white clouds here and there. Good news: it seems that the weather forecast was right. At least for today!

Beautiful sunny day!

We see in the chat a lot more messages and pictures. Many are on their way here. It seems that this year it’s going to be a huge gathering of Morgan 3-Wheelers!

Pilots on their way to the Grindelwald Headquarters!

Craig is coming from the UK with a group of nine 3-Wheelers. Mario just took-off from Erfurt, and many others are on their way too. It’s happy to see so many people driving towards Grindelwald this year.

And more getting ready or on their way here!

Meanwhile, Ana Maria and I decide to leave the “office” and enjoy a little bit the area. We’ve been here driving our 3-Wheeler for the past three years, and really wanted to stay a little bit more to enjoy the nature and activities you can do in this alpine area.

We drive to Brienz, to enjoy a fabulous train ride we always wanted to do: the Brienz Rothorn Bahn. This is an amazing journey from the side of the lake, in Brienz at 566 m altitude, up to the Brienzer Rothorn peak at 2.350 m altitude.

The profile of the Brienz Rothorn Bahn.

The upper station is at 2.244 m, meaning that we will climb 1.678 m in just 7,6 km! An average slope of 225‰, 6 tunnels and 20 galleries. And all this in a beautiful train pushed by an old steam locomotive!

Locomotive no# 12. What a beauty!

The Rothorn Bahn Company owns 11 steam locomotives, some manufactured back in 1891! And 3 diesel ones. This is a real jewel. Both the track and the locomotives are a masterpiece of engineering. Absolutely worth the ride!

We love steam trains!

We enjoy so much this superb railway. And as we’re climbing the views over Brienz and its lake are simply stunning.

Best possible views, in and out…

It’s getting cooler as we go up. But we were wise and took our thick coats. That’s what you must do if you’re climbing to a 2.350 m high alpine peak in an open train car! Even if it’s summertime! But some of the other passengers haven’t realized that.

In our space in the car, we are eight people. And amongst them there is an Indian couple with their kid. Father and son wear the appropriate thick jackets, but the mother doesn’t. She is super fashion dressed, like ready for the red carpet, but clearly too light for the occasion. And she bothers everyone taking hundreds of pictures with a super long selfie stick with ridiculous poses and faces.

Doesn’t she know she can shorten it, so she doesn’t have to put her phone under our noses and wave the stick like a saber? I keep my grumpy mood for myself, seeing how the husband suffers with the situation, begging our pardon on many occasions…

The landscape is getting more and more beautiful. The turquoise waters of the Brienzersee disappear as we enter a dense forest and keep climbing between the rocky peaks and tunnels.

Stunning views over the Brienzersee.

Midway, we stop to refill the locomotive with water. We cross other trains coming downhill. We really love the experience. We believe it’s a must do if you’re staying a few days in this area of Interlaken.

Watering the locomotives.

As we climb it gets colder, with many snow patches here and there and freezing temperatures, and the landscape gets more dramatic. There is not a dense forest anymore as we gain altitude, and we progress under beautiful rocky peaks and narrow valleys, sometimes totally wrapped into the clouds.

It’s a magical railway.

It’s getting really cold now, and the Indian woman starts shaking and complaining. Her husband smiles at her and, in English so everyone could understand, he tells her “If you had listened to me when I warned you it will be really cold up here and didn’t dress like a silly teenager to look great for your Instagram pictures, you wouldn’t be freezing now. So, please, stop complaining and annoying everyone with your whining”. What a burn! But we just couldn’t avoid smiling…

Plenty of snow at the top!

When we get to the top, we do a kick visit to the restaurant and café and head immediately down to catch the next return train. Some people stay up here for lunch, but we decide it’s better to come back with the next train, and grab something down in Brienz and walk the village.

The best way to describe this beautiful experience in the Brienz Rothorn Bahn is with the following short video. We hope you enjoy it!

Once we’re back down in Brienz, we do a lovely walk along the shore of the lake and have a very nice lunch at a terrace by the water.

Lake shore at Brienz.

If you ever have the occasion to do the Rothorn Bahn as we did, save some time to walk the village too! It’s a short walk: it doesn’t take us more than half an hour.

Walking in Brienz.
Brienz. Worth a visit.

We decide to come back to Grindelwald, because we have some work to finish, and we want to be free for the time our friends will arrive.

After working a couple of hours, I cross the street to the local Coop supermarket before they close. We need some food and basics for our breakfasts and buy important groceries such as beer and cold meats to properly keep the apartment comfortable.

See the second floor balcony on the left? This is our huge terrace!

The afternoon is sunny, and we see some 3-Wheelers arriving from our balcony. It’s fun to see that other pilots are already enjoying the sun and beers just across our street!

A picture with everything: beer, sunny weather, a 3-Wheeler and our balcony just in front. Perfect scenario!

As soon as we finish our tasks, it’s time to go to the Kreuz & Post to join our friends and enjoy a fresh beer before the welcome dinner. It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces again!

A little after we finish our beers, we go upstairs to the main dining room, where everything is ready for the welcome dinner.

Ready for dinner at the Kreutz & Post.

This year it seems that Laurens and Rineke are going to break last year’s record of attendants! We’re counting approximately fifty 3-Wheelers already in Grindelwald! And they expect to be fifty-four or maybe more on Saturday! That’s an amazing number!

And it is irrefutable proof of the excellent work that Laurens and Rineke have done all these years for all of us. A very well-deserved reward for so much effort and dedication, and attention to detail. The organization has always been impeccable. All of us here have nothing but words of gratitude towards this wonderful couple.

We enjoy a very nice dinner, we catch up with friends, and get ready for tomorrow’s drive. It seems that the weather will be very good. Let’s cross fingers and see tomorrow morning!

After the mandatory glasses of beer and wines, we go back to the apartment to rest and recharge our energies for tomorrow.

Day 4 – August the 31st: first day of the Jungfrau-Treffen

First time in the morning, Grindelwald is still quiet and waking up under a sunny sky. There are just a few light white clouds covering the peaks around the valley.

Early morning at Grindelwald.

The departure for this first driving day is scheduled at 10:30. But the 3-Wheelers are arriving earlier, awaking the town with the deep roar of the big V-Twins.

Gathering at the main parking.

The town’s central parking lot is slowly filling up with Morgans. Greetings, hugs, and more and more familiar faces and friends who arrive with their wonderful machines.

More and more 3-Wheelers invading the parking.

Around 10:00 the parking lot is bustling with 3-Wheelers, drivers and curious onlookers who come to see this magnificent spectacle. This year is simply spectacular. We counted more than fifty cars. Awesome!

What a sunny morning!

The sun begins to shine brightly above the imposing mountains, and the morning gradually warms up. It’s wonderful to see so many friends and 3-Wheeler enthusiasts together again. We share anecdotes, catch up with other’s and enjoy our common love for these very special machines.

Apart the newbies, there are novelties amongst our friends. Pedro Freitas got brand new and shining G56 exhausts, that Craig brought from the UK in the M3W Services support van, and that he kindly installed yesterday late in the afternoon on Pedro’s black machine.

Great ideas! But what a sauna under this sun! LOL!

Pedro has just handed out a bunch of trays that many of the attendees had ordered from him this year. The trays he designed, and 3D printed, for the 3-Wheeler’s center console. They are really practical, and it is not surprising that they are so successful.

And since he never stops inventing and innovating, he has brought the first prototype of a total rain cover that he has manufactured. A very interesting idea: it’s like a tonneau cover, with the necessary opening for the head, similar to the waterproof skirts used on whitewater kayaks.

The truth is that it is very fun to see him stuck in the 3-Wheeler with the protector on. Black car and black hermetic rain cover: with today’s sun, his cockpit may be like a sauna with this on! Surely when he finishes perfecting it, it will be another bestseller. To us at least it seems like an excellent idea.

During this warm gathering, Laurens and Rineke provide us with the classic instructions for these days. The routes are very similar to the ones we’ve done the years before. And we’re really happy with it! Because they’re stunning beautiful scenic roads, and very fun to drive.

The morning route will take us from Interlaken to Habkern, and then through beautiful alpine roads to Beatenberg, Sigriswil, Schwanden, Meiersmaad, Horrenbach, Eriz, Schallenberg and with a nice stop at the Gasthof Siehen for lunch.

Morning route in turquoise.

This yearly meeting is precisely about this: camaraderie and driving on the most beautiful roads of the Bernese Alps.

The peaks are now totally clear. We have an amazing view of the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau, and a fantastic shining sun on the top of them.

Getting ready for take off!

It seems that we’ll have a wonderful weather today!

Ladies and gentlemen, please get into your cockpit and start the engine!

Few do some last-minute adjustments to their little rockets, and all pilots get ready to fire the engines.

Laurens gets on his beautiful Gulf Edition 3-wheeler and gives the long-awaited signal. Every time we start the engines in Grindelwald it is a spectacle, because with so many of these rare cars, the sound of the V-Twins invades the entire valley. But this year it’s even more surprising: we are more than fifty 3-wheeled vehicles!

We progress down the valley towards Interlaken.

Ana Maria and I are driving just two cars behind Laurens, who leads this enormous squadron up the hills.

Then, as we climb towards Beatenberg, Laurens unexpectedly slows down. His engine has suddenly stopped. The entire squadron stands on the side of the road.

The first thing we all think is that one of the classic breakdowns has occurred, such as the fuel pump or the timing belt. But that’s not it, since his fuel pump can be heard humming when he turns on the ignition, and the engine seems to turn with the starter motor when he tries to start it again.

A few minutes later Craig arrives with the M3W Services support van. Nobody sees clearly what is happening. It seems that there is no spark to the spark plugs.

In order not to have so many cars stopped badly on the edge of this road and bothering the traffic, we decide to continue forward until we find a more suitable place to stop and wait. Craig stays there with a few people helping him, trying to fix Laurens’ car.

Ana Maria and I are now in the lead, although we do not have a GPS with the route. And the road quickly becomes very narrow, and we can’t stop without creating a real blockage. We decide keep driving, hoping to be on the right path. We manage to follow the correct route with the whole gang following us.

But as soon as we find a Y on the road where we can safely stop, we pull aside and let the next car, equipped with a GPS with the route loaded, take us from here. It’s a nice occasion to film the Morgans passing by on this beautiful tiny alpine road.

We can see Laurens passing by driving Rineke’s 3-Wheeler. We imagine they swapped cars so Laurens can stay with the squadron and retake the lead as soon as the road conditions allow him to. Meanwhile, Rineke may be with Craig and the few others trying to solve Lauren’s car breakdown. We hope that Craig will do his magic again and solve it soon.

We wait some minutes after filming most of the pilots, just in case there is any other car or group that is still behind. Because we counted less 3-Wheelers than they should be. Probably the missing ones are those who stayed with Rineke and Craig while he tries to fix Laurens’ car.

So, Ana Maria and I need to catch up with the squadron as soon as possible, trying not to do a wrong turn. The gap between us is a little larger than desired. We don’t see them. But we drive fast enough following our intuition on the right roads, and we soon catch up.

The roads we’re taking along this section are the classic beauties of the low Bernese Alps. Dense forests, suddenly opening to bright green prairies, wood houses with their balconies full of flowers, and absolutely no traffic but the 3-Wheelers. Simply fantastic.

These beautiful Swiss roads…

The squadron makes a stop in a safe large area, so Laurens can retake the lead. We stop for a few minutes so he can call Craig and get news about his car.

Short stop.

Solved! Apparently, a loose electric contact. Sounds easy, but unless you’re a real specialist as Craig, the electric gremlins are sometimes very hard to find!

Green alpine sceneries.

With the good news, we return to the road and soon descend a little from the hills towards the lake, and the road surprises us with tunnels dug into huge rocks and a sudden opening with views over the lake. These roads are truly dreamlike!

After a few excellent kilometers enjoying driving, we see that one of the pilots stops on the side of the road. He signs for the others to continue, and they do. It seems that nothing serious is happening, but just in case Ana Maria and I, who are at the back of the convoy, stop to see if he needs a hand. We don’t like to leave anyone alone, even if he says he doesn’t need help.

It’s Hans Rohrmuller. He lost one of the two bolts holding the front plate. This one then dropped to the floor on the missing bolt’s side, and he unfortunately scratched and bended it. Nothing serious. We check if we can help and stay with him chatting while he removes the plate. Exactly four minutes later we’re ready to hit the road again. We ask him to take the lead as he has a GPS with the route uploaded.

Four or five minutes may sound a little time gap, but the squadron shall be far away from us now. Meaning we have a clear road ahead. Then we have a real good surprise: Hans pushes the “Super Pursuit Mode” button on his rocket and speeds with great precision and optimum use of the engine and gearbox.

Hans’s 3-Wheeler may not be the Knitt 2000 Industries, but it flies like it!

Just as we like it! What a fantastic ride! We’re enjoying every corner of the road, with the massive V-Twins permanently roaring between 4000 and 5000 rpms.

But we’re not too far from the Gasthof Siehen, the restaurant where we’ll have lunch. So, unfortunately, this lovely moment ends relatively quick. But we loved it! Hans is clearly a very skilled driver who knows the limits of his 3-Wheeler. It’s been a real pleasure to follow him!

The parking of the Gasthof Siehen is full of 3-Wheelers. It’s a beautiful sight.

At the Gasthof Siehen.

The best news is that, a few minutes after Hans and us arrive, being the last of the squadron, Rineke makes her appearance with Laurens’ 3-Wheeler. It’s running smooth and clean! Problem fixed!

Laurens’s 3-Wheeler purring like new!

Craig parks the M3W Services van and is cheered by the crowd. It’s such a relief to count on him assisting us!

We really like this place. The food is nice and in good quantity. But as usual the best is the camaraderie. The ambience is always fantastic on every Jungfrau-Treffen we have assisted to.

We finish lunch and get ready to continue our journey. The route back to Grindelwald will take us through Röthenbach, Jassbach-Kreuzweg, Thun, then along the shore of the Thunersee to end up as usual in Interlaken and up to Grindelwald.

Afternoon route in purple.

Now with the squadron complete again, we all jump into our cockpits and start the engines.

The Speedy Marmots enjoying life!

With care, all the Morgans exit the parking and get ready for the afternoon drive of the day. We progress smoothly towards Thun.

Back to the green!

The downhill to this town is beautiful, with the lake on the background. But once we touch town, we go uphill again to avoid driving the busy streets in town.

The views from the upper skirts of the hills, above the lake, are really nice, but we find some traffic passing through the villages. However, it’s worthy to drive up here, as between the villages the road sometimes crosses a dense forest with sharp turns, suddenly you find yourself driving under huge rocky walls, and just after you’re rolling in the middle of a green grass valley. The change of scenery is dramatic and magical.

Such a beautiful road!

The beauty of the nature here in the Swiss Alps is truly amazing.

Lovely Swiss countryside.

We know very few places as beautiful as this area to enjoy the 3-Wheeler.

Who wouldn’t have fun driving on these roads?

We finally take the end of the road just by the lake, to get to Interlaken. This section is also stunning, with the road literally a meter away from the water. We drive along the lake shore for many kilometers.

By the Thunersee.

It’s an easy road, but we must drive slowly and carefully, not only because of the speed limit, but because being flat and next to the lake, there are many cyclists, families enjoying by the water, people walking their dogs, garage exits, traffic lights… We need to pay close attention in this section to avoid an unnecessary risk situation.

But then the road climbs uphill again, to progress by rocky cliffs and tunnels. Still over the water, but there is no more pedestrian lanes and it’s hilly enough to discourage many cyclists.

Faster section as the road climbs the cliffs.

So, we can drive faster again, and reach Interlaken in a blink of an eye. From there, getting to Grindelwald takes us approximately 20 minutes. It’s been a fantastic day! And the weather was very nice: sunny in the morning, and partially cloudy in the afternoon but without rain.

The first thing we do arriving to Grindelwald is refueling. This year, the Shell petrol station has changed of ownership and it’s no more a Shell, but a Migrol. And unfortunately, they don’t sell the nice 100 octane gasoline that Shell does. That’s why we saw so many pilots stopping at the Shell in Wilderswil!

Filling with 100 octane juice.
Queuing at the Shell petrol station.

We have no other choice but to fill the tank with 98 octane gasoline. We know it will run well, but these days, at these altitudes we’ll be driving, we would prefer to get the nice Shell 100 octane golden fluid!

But on our way back to Grindelwald, something happened that needs to be mentioned. Have you seen the new lilac Morgan Super 3 in the previous pictures and videos? It’s Peter Lawrence and Shiley’s new toy. They drove from the UK in it, as part of the group that Craig, from M3W Services, is leading.

Pete, standing by his lilac brand new Super 3.

Well, let us explain what happened with this vehicle: its rear hub’s bearings collapsed during the afternoon drive, provoking a total rear wheel blockage. We’re talking about a major problem! And it happened the first day! Peter and Shirley are devastated. Everyone is very sad about what just happened.

But M3W Services is here! And Craig has plenty of tools and spares in the van! But does he have a rear hub bearing for a new Super 3? Of course he doesn’t… The bad news is that this is a major breakdown, and there is no spare on hand. Under normal circumstances, this bad news would mean to call the road assistance and bring the car back to the UK on a flatbed truck. This is the only choice they have now. So, they call the road assistance and take the Super 3 to a garage in Thun, the largest city around. The Super 3 will sleep there waiting for an international hauling company to ship it to the UK.

This rear hub bearing failure is a known problem on the first units of the Super 3, and Morgan Motor Company knows it. Maybe they should have recalled immediately all first new Super 3’s to fix this, instead of waiting for the problem arise? But this is not such bad news. It has a positive side! Because, as they know it may happen sooner or later, Morgan Motor Company has sent some spares to their official dealers across Europe. Craig is phoning like crazy, and they even talk directly to Massimo Fumarola, the current CEO of Morgan Motor Company, trying to save Peter and Shirley’s situation. And… jackpot! It happens that Morgan Geneva has a spare!

Immediately Craig, Massimo and Andy Blackwell of MMC, and Morgan Geneva coordinate an urgent shipping of the part to the garage in Thun, where the lilac Super 3 is supposed to sleep, waiting for tomorrow to be towed back to the UK. Thun is 190km from Geneva, and 50km away from Grindelwald. We have no idea if the spare will make it before they close the garage. And if it does, will Craig be able to fix the problem with the tools he has in the M3W Services van? Sadly, all the odds are against Peter and Shirley…

The squadron keeps driving towards Grindelwald. It’s around 18:45 when we park the 3-Wheeler in the garage. It’s so comfortable to have a parking inside the building! The car sleeps warm and dry. And we have direct access from the parking to the apartment, with no need to get outside of the building.

We work for a very short time, because we are supposed to leave immediately for dinner. Again, this year we’ll climb to the Grosse Scheidegg pass, and have a typical Swiss fondue at the restaurant Schreckfeld.

This is one of our favorite roads around Grindelwald. It’s not a public road, but Laurens and Rineke have the appropriate contacts, so they allow us to use it this evening.

On the Grosse Scheidegg pass.

The landscape is amazing, and it gets more and more dramatic as we climb the mountain. Today we have quite a clear view over the valley, and we stop here and there to enjoy the views and take some very good pictures.

As we do these stops here and there, the squadron elongates, and somehow a group of drivers at the back gets disconnected and confused at a crossroads, missing the right path to the restaurant.

Few roads make us smile like this!

We keep driving towards the restaurant Schreckfeld. Some parts are a dirt road, but in very good conditions. As we drive carefully and not too fast, all the 3-Wheelers progress smoothly to the end of the road.

Such an amazing little road.

This is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque routes in the entire Jungfrau-Treffen. And we love doing it year after year. And knowing that a super nice dinner awaits us at the top, it’s truly a dream trip with the Morgan!

Enjoying the drive.

There are very few houses on the way up. Mostly farmers. And many come out to their door to cheer the squadron as we pass by. Their cows are curious too, and don’t seem disturbed by the pops and bangs of our exhausts.

The views at the top are fantastic today. It’s so clear we can admire Grindelwald in the valley and the peaks in front of us: the Mättenberg, the Wetterhorn, Mittelhorn and Rosenhorn, the higher Bärglistock… really stunning views!

Blessed to be here, admiring these mountains.

Little by little, those who got lost minutes before, arrive to the restaurant. The improvised parking gets busy, with 3-Wheelers moving up and down trying to park properly and aligned.

Best background of the day.

At this point in today’s post, we want to make a break to pay tribute to a great colleague, as passionate as anyone about the 3-Wheelers, and an unconditional attendee of the Jungfrau-Treffen.

René Bouvard, with his unmistakable mustache and white beard, was an endearing person. One of those people that we were always happy to see year after year, behind the wheel of his beautiful dark green 3-Wheeler Brooklands Edition.

Unfortunately, two months before the dates on which we are writing this post, René passed away on January 9th 2024, at 64 years of age.

May this post serve as a tribute and memory to René. Rest in peace my friend, and may you continue to enjoy behind the wheel of your 3-Wheeler on these beautiful roads of the Bernese Alps in heaven.

René Bouvard, happy behind the wheel of his beautiful dark green Brooklands Edition.
Always with us, in our memories.

It doesn’t take too long before the last pilots arrive and park properly.

The “lost childs” finally get here.

After the mandatory pictures and chats, we enter the restaurant and enjoy a fabulous classic fondue dinner.

After the delicious dinner and plenty of beers, it’s time to hit the road back to Grindelwald.

It’s pretty cold outside now. Normal, since we are almost 2.000 m above sea level in the middle of the Alps.

Time to drive back to Grindelwald.

But with our thick coats, gloves, the fleece blanket and of course the heated seats, the descent is much faster and pleasant than you may think.

In approximately half an hour we’re back on the good tarmac streets of upper Grindelwald, and a few minutes later we’re rolling into the garage.

What an excellent first day! Time to go to bed!

But hey! This is not sleeping time for everyone! There’s a hero still working this late at night. The spare part for Peter and Shirley’s back wheel bearing arrived late to Thun: at 22:00! But it arrived! Before that, Craig was wise and asked the garage if they could leave the Super 3 outside, and if they don’t mind he works on it in their outer parking space, after they close. Deal done! So, Craig is working in the dark, with just a headlamp, and the tools he has in the M3W Services van. Removing the rear wheel of a Super 3, and replacing the rear hub is a humongous job! Just imagine doing this at night, alone, with the car in a dark parking on the floor (not car lift of course), few tools… Craig’s heroic effort brings him the reward he deserves: the Super 3 is fixed and ready to run!

Super Craig! Savior of 3-Wheelers! Master of the Wrenches! King of the Lithium Batteries!

It’s very late in the night. Around 4 AM, the Super 3 is back in Grindelwald.

Having a skilled and enthusiast mechanic amongst us proves to be such a bless! Craig is truly a “guardian angel” for all of us!

Day 5 – September the 1st: second day of the Jungfrau-Treffen

Today’s departure is scheduled for 10:00. As usual we gather at the parking at least half an hour earlier. We’re again around fifty 3-Wheelers. What an amazing number!

Another sunny day!

More drivers arrived today, and amongst them there a new Super 3. A very nice looking white one with black upholstery. Now Peter and Shirley’s lilac Super 3 won’t be alone!

Nice looking Super 3!

The best news is that the sun is shining as we never saw in Grindelwald. This is an incredible sunny summer day! Just have a look at the pictures and notice the beautiful blue skies in the background!

The route today is taking us to the Schwartzsee. We’ll pass through Leissigen, Aeschi, Spiez, Wimmis, Blumenstein, Wattenwil, Riggisberg and Sangerboden.

Morning route in turquoise.

These are known roads, but they’re so beautiful and fun to drive that we’re all happy to drive on them again this year.

We leave Grindelwald at the scheduled time, with the now classic expectation of passers-by and curious people.

Leaving Grindenwald.

The weather this morning is truly spectacular. Not a single cloud is seen. I hope this sun shines on us all day.

Not a single cloud at sight!

Yesterday we proved that being a lot of cars is not a problem while in traffic. No one got lost, but in the evening climbing the Grosse Scheidegg pass to the restaurant. And because we stopped a lot to take pictures here and there.

But when we’re on public roads, we keep together, and the drive is smooth and peaceful. We’re surprised by that. We suspected it would be difficult to get everyone together, but yesterday proved us wrong. Let’s see how we do today!

The huge squadron progresses without trouble this morning. Being a lot of vehicles, from time-to-time Laurens, who’s leading the swarm, stops to make sure we’re still all together. These are great photo opportunities as we get very close to each other during these short stops!

Huge squadron!

The fact that there is almost no traffic on these roads, makes the driving very easy. And it’s not complicated to stick together. We can even drive very fast in some sections, without any risk.

Didier and Caroline: always happy people!

Everyone is enjoying this beautiful day. And the landscape of this part of the alps, above Thun, is so Swiss and peaceful!

Blue skies, intense green grass, deep red 3-Wheeler…

We finally approach the Schwartzsee. The views of the mountains while we reach the high point before the descent are probably the best part of the day.

As in previous years, we stop for lunch at the Schwartzseestärn. The parking is big, but not for more than fifty 3-Wheelers! Will everyone fit in?

We must park as close as possible to each other to make room for everyone. It doesn’t take too long to have all vehicles parked, and we stay outside a little time to enjoy the sun and stretch our legs before lunch.

Alignement almost perfect… LOL!
Crowded parking.

The Schwartzseestärn is a nice posh restaurant by the little lake. Very nice cuisine. We have an excellent meal. And this year they accept credit cards! What a novelty! We brought cash thinking we’ll have to pay that way, but this year it happens they have improved their service accepting foreign credit cards.

There is something with the water they give you in this restaurant. We don’t know if it is brand-name bottled water or if it is tap water that is served to us in elegant bottles, but the fact is that it is incredibly diuretic.

Since this is the third year we’re having lunch here, we no longer fall into the trap of drinking too much water. We still remember the anguish we went through the first year, when our bladder almost exploded, and we had to beg for a private bathroom in a workshop in Thun so as not to wet ourselves.

Therefore, we carefully dose the water we drink and go to the bathroom as many times as possible and especially just before going out.

It’s time to get back to the Morgans for the afternoon route. With full bellies, we sit comfortably in the cockpits and fire the engines. More beautiful alpine roads await us!

We’ll come back to Grindelwald from the Schwartzsee via Pfaffeien, Zumholz. Guggisberg, Riffenmatt, Gurnigel, Wattenwil, Thierachern, Amsoldingen and of course the inevitable Interlaken.

Afternoon route in purple.

We elegantly align on the road along the Schwartzsee shore, waiting for Laurens to take the lead.

The weather is still amazing. Not a single cloud in the intense blue skies! Quite unusual in the Alps. And the best is that the temperature is mild. Even a little bit fresh. Something that you really appreciate when you’re driving an open Morgan 3-Wheeler under the sun.

Dreamlike roads.

We keep driving on beautiful, isolated roads, with little traffic. Sometimes it takes even fifteen or twenty minutes to see another car.

And fun hairpins.

Nice curves, some hairpins, and all surrounded by green prairies and dense forests. Such a nice scenario.

We progress quite fast until we start the approach to the Thunersee, where we must stop from time to time because of some road works.

Road works ahead!

As in previous years, we find out that the Swiss do a lot of road works during the summer months. It totally makes sense, as it’s obviously the best time to repair these small roads, that might have been damaged during winter with the snow and daily freezing temperatures.

Waiting for the green light.

We keep driving towards the shores of the lake, still on small local roads. It’s surprising to see how disciplined we are, keeping the squadron compact all together. No breakdowns nor other kind of issues today. Excellent day!

Everybody is enjoying this fantastic sunny day.

Pedro and Victoria. A lovely couple!

As we arrive close to Thun, where we’ll take the fast road along the lake’s shore towards Interlaken.

But before that, our keen eye detects some pilots stopping here and there, detaching from the group. Ah! Ah! They had too much water at the Schwartzseenstärn! We pity them, as we know the feeling…

And another one down, victim of the diuretic waters of the Schwartzseestärn… LOL!

Once we reach the outskirts of Thun and get on the fast road to Interlaken, we all know the way back and we get a little bit disorganized. There is no need to stay together anymore, as the route is almost finished. That’s why some pilots speed up. Probably to get to the Shell petrol station first, to avoid queuing, or maybe because they’re in a hurry to find a bathroom because of the diuretic water! Who knows…

Give me some octanes!

After the mandatory petrol station stop, we park the car in the garage and go upstairs to check on the emails and do a little bit of work. But just a little bit, because we’re meeting again in the main central parking at 18:00.

As every year, we’ll drive up to the Männlichen and have dinner there. We all remember the picture that Laurens and Rineke sent us three days ago! With the entrance of the Berghauss Männlichen – the restaurant – totally covered in snow! We hope that with these last three sunny days, the situation has changed. They say it’s totally clear now, and sunny, but it’s at 2.222 m altitude in the Alps, so quite unpredictable.

We climb the mountain using the very twisted maintenance road, leaving Grindelwald behind, getting smaller and smaller down in the valley.

As we progress, the weather is still amazing. We can see the peaks around us, which is quite unusual this time of the day.

From time to time, we pass through light clouds. Literally getting into them.

Coming out of the clouds.

And when we get out of the fog, we see again the blue sky and the peaks. That’s a nice experience.

Hello ladies! Can you please tell us if we’re in the right direction?
Wow! No clouds up here!

As we approach the Männlichen, the scenery with the white snowed peaks in the background is stunning. What a view!

Look at this frame!

But is there snow at the Männlichen, where we heading to? Not at all! Every year we’ve come here, there was something special about the light and the scenery, but we never could see the peaks around here because they’re usually covered by clouds.

But look at the skies up here today! It’s, by far, the clearest and sunnier day for us here!

Perfect parking spot.

Just compare the two next pictures! The first one was sent by Laurens and Rineke three days ago. Only three days ago!

Up here, three days ago.
And today.

Here is the best example of how erratic and unpredictable the weather is in this area of the Bernese Alps!

We park the Morgans here and there, and we all wander around taking amazing pictures. It’s quite an exceptional day up here. We don’t think we’ll have another day like this at the Männlichen!

Nice dinner, nice company. We can’t ask for a better experience up here! And after we finish dinner and get out to reach the cars, the night is also beautiful.

Last minutes of light over the Alps.
And what a beautiful night!

Despite the night is clear, it’s cold up here. Thick coats on and ready to go!

Little by little we start our engines and roil downhill back to Grindelwald. It’s beautiful to see at night this small maintenance road, twisted downwards to the valley, full of the light spots of our 3-Wheelers, as if it were a Christmas garland.

Once we get to the apartment, we quickly go to bed. It’s time to dream about tomorrow! It’s supposed to be the great day, with even more attendants and driving on the best mountain passes of the area!

Day 6 – September the 2nd: third day of the Jungfrau-Treffen

Today is Saturday, and traditionally the busiest day of the Jungfrau-Treffen. Busy in many aspects. We normally have more drivers joining the squadron. Precisely because it’s Saturday and today more people can join because it’s the weekend.

But on the other hand, and because the exact same reason, the roads are busier too. Much more cyclists, motorcycles, and of course cars.

At this morning gathering at the parking, we can count fifty-four 3-Wheelers! Incredible number. It’s going to be another great day. And we have again an incredible sunny day!

A other super sunny morning!

It’s 10:00. Let’s go and hit the road! The route this morning is taking us to Brienz, then we’ll climb the Brünigpass, and take towards Meiringen, Innertkirchen and reach the Sustenpass, then Wassen, Andermatt and end the morning drive with the Oberalppass.

We’re driving from Grindelwald towards Interlaken. We haven’t reach Wilderswil, and Christophe Molina is driving his Super Dry Edition three Morgans ahead of us. We’re driving at 80 or 90 km/h when his Morgan cap flies off his head! No chance he brakes and stops. We’re driving too fast. The two cars behind him just run over the cap, That’s still rolling on the tarmac when we’re about to run over it too.

80 km/h… target acquired… predicting the rolling movement of the cap on the tarmac… steering with high precision to have the cap passing exactly between the inner side of my front left wheel and the side of the 3-Wheeler, considering the exhaust… lean my body and drop my hand being careful not to scratch it over the tarmac, but low enough to grab the cap, and…. Swooossh!!! GOT IT!

Christophe’s cap.

Ana María stares at me first in disbelief, and then in amazement when I pass her the cap. She can’t believe I caught it. Oh yeah! Speedy Marmots driving precision! We just ruled the road here!

We keep driving for many kilometers towards Brienz, and pass town, climbing up the Brünigpass. As there is traffic, and the squadron separates at a busy crossroad, we do a very short stop a little further to make sure everyone is on the right path.

I take my chance and to Christophe’s car and give him his cap. He stares at me surprised. He can’t believe I recovered his cap on the run! He’s the lucky man of the day!

We drive a beautiful section of the road below huge rocks and tunnels.

Driving below these huge rocky parts of the road is sometimes scary, but we have faith in the Swiss engineers… LOL!

We continue climbing towards the Sustenpass. Good weather, good asphalt and a twisty road that is fun to drive.

Today the scenery is even more impressive.

After we start the first curves of the Sustenpass, suddenly we drive slowly. Very slowly. What’s happening? Well, it happens that a tourist with a rented Mercedes van is ahead of the pack at the speed of a snail.

In general, people are very polite, and when they see us in their rearview mirror driving much faster, they usually move out of the way as soon as they have the chance to let us pass. And although if you drive a car, it is not mandatory to stop on the shoulder to let other faster vehicles pass (which is mandatory if you drive a truck, bus or vehicle with a trailer, at least in Spain), it is a common rule of courtesy and very much appreciated.

But this man doesn’t seem to understand it that way. And despite the signals that Laurens and closest cars are giving him, and some rude signs from motorcyclist that pass him, he continues climbing the mountain pass at less than 30 km/h, creating a real traffic jam behind him.

Frustrated, we’re forced to leave more space and drive as slow as him. But the annoying part is that he speeds in the straight parts of the road, where it’s precisely the best and only parts we can pass him. But as we say, he takes the corners at 30 km/h and suddenly speeds a lot when it’s straight. Laurens becomes desperate and overtakes him as soon as he can and stays in front of him giving him signs to move aside and let pass the vehicles behind him. Although he does not seem to understand and, in the end, when the road gets wide enough, Laurens forces him to stop in the middle of the road.

Laurens gets out and walks to his window to explain that he should be courteous and move aside to let the other vehicles behind him pass if he is driving so extremely slowly. The guy seems like a new or very inexperienced driver. Or maybe he is just a little dumb behind the wheel. While he listens to Laurens with a stunned face, the squadron takes the opportunity to overtake him and resume the appropriate rhythm for the road.

Before reaching the top, we make a long stop on the side of the road, in a nice large area where we don’t bother traffic. Apparently one car is having electric problems. It’s Frank who noticed something is wrong with his electrics. We wait for Craig to arrive with the M3W Services van and check the problem. May it be a rectifier? Or is it the battery that just died?

Technical stop.

While they check, we enjoy the nice weather and the scenery. Nice chats and a lot of fun.

That’s a bunch of 3-Wheelers!

At the sight of so many 3-Wheelers parked on the side of the road, we have motorcyclists and other drivers stopping by our side. And they come to talk and ask questions about the Morgans. It’s a pleasant moment. Relaxed and funny.

It doesn’t take too long to find out that the problem of the car is the lithium battery. Apparently, it’s an Exide lithium battery, and these are known for failing randomly, and without any warning. Craig has batteries in the van, so the problem is quickly fixed, and we get on the road again.

We keep driving towards our lunch destination, the Alp Hïtta restaurant. But the views today are so beautiful, that some stop here and there to take fantastic pictures. At some point, one of us stops before a hairpin and takes pictures of almost all the 3-Wheelers of the squadron passing by. That’s a really nice book we have!

It’s a nice, pleasant drive to the restaurant, enjoying these mythical alpine roads. We’re in the very best area of the Bernese Alps!

We park by the restaurant. We’re so many 3-Wheelers this year that we need to park some on the access road. There is no traffic here, so this is not an issue.

Those beautiful machines…

The views form this restaurant Alp Hïtta are the best ones in the area. From its terrace we can see the whole valley and the Furka and Grimsel roads in the background.

Nice glass of beer!

As it’s a super sunny day, we can enjoy our lunch at the terrace. The ambiance has always been fantastic during all these years of the Jungfrau-Treffen, and this one is not an exception.

Everyone is enjoying lunch.
Chas and Mario look like in a jacuzzy.

We have a light lunch, and just one beer. Not only because I’m driving, but because on the way back to Grindelwald, we’ll do the Furka and the Grimsel passes, and there is almost no place to stop if you need to visit a toilet. We follow our philosophy: the less liquids, the better…

The Speedy Marmots.

We’re ready to come back on the road. All pilots get to their Morgans, and we start the big V-Twins.

Red, red and red.

Once on the road, the views are so incredible today, with such a blue sky, that we can’t resist to stop and take some breathtaking pictures.

Mythical Furkapass.
One of my favorite pictures of this year!

We keep driving downhill to cross Andermatt and head to the valley, to connect with the famous Furkapass.

The Furka and Grimsel are probably the most epic roads of this area. Famous for their hairpins, they’re the Mecca of cyclists, bikers and most drivers that come to Switzerland to enjoy its alpine roads.

But the consequence of this fame is that they’re so busy today! We can’t blame anyone. Who wouldn’t like to enjoy these mountain passes a super sunny summer Saturday?

Today, as you can appreciate in the videos, there’s quite an invasion of cyclists. We drive carefully to avoid any risky maneuver endangering any of them or us.

We have Peter and Shirley driving behind us this afternoon, in their lilac Super 3. We’re so happy to see them on our rearview mirrors after the bad breakdown they had the first day! Seeing their happy faces driving these mountain passes is one of the best rewards of our day.

Once we find ourselves back in the valley that takes us to Brienz, we take a different route we’ve never done. This time, we stick to the left side of the valley, on a narrow road. The reason we do this, is to do something interesting… Every year we’ve been here, we could see jet fighters taking off or landing somewhere in this area. There is for sure a military airbase. It’s the Meiringen Air Base. And the funny thing is that not only we head towards it, but this road crosses the runway!

After crossing the runway we’re on the South side of the Brienzersee. And there is a nice shorter road through modern tunnels that takes us to Interlaken, so we don’t need to drive around the lake on the Brienz’s side. This side is not so beautiful, but clearly much faster.

Shortcut. In the tunnels.

When we arrive to the apartment, we feel happy and lucky. We’ve been blessed with an amazing weather. The bitter side is that the Jungfrau-Treffen 2023 has come to an end. This was the last driving day!

We relax in the apartment, work a little bit, and invite Chas, Mario and friends to share cold beers, cheese we bought here in Grindelwald, and cold meats we bring from Spain. Who would say no to a frozen Weissbier and Spanish “pata Negra” ham?

After eating such delicatessen, we go to Da Silva for the farewell dinner.

Another fantastic dinner. We thank Laurens and Rineke for their amazing effort and excellent organization of the whole event, and hope we’ll be back next year to see this fantastic family of friends again.

Mario, Ana Maria and Chas. Les Trois Mousquetaires.

See you next year!

Day 7 – September the 3rd: Relaxed day in Grindelwald

Today is the day that most of our friends leave Grindelwald driving back home.

But this is not our case. Because we’re driving back home with the Land Rover pulling the trailer, being a long a relatively heavy convoy, we prefer to avoid leaving and driving on a Sunday. That’s why we rented the apartment until tomorrow Monday. We’re sure that the traffic will be much better than today that is the last Sunday of August!

Still sunny!

It’s a sunny day again, but we stay at the apartment catching up with work. Checking the WhatsApp chat, we notice that we’re not the only ones staying in Grindelwald today. Chris Goldin and his group, and Calum Fraser are staying until tomorrow too.

Last 3-Wheelers in town.

And from time to time, we hear the distinctive sound of a S&S V-Twin on the street. We must be some pilots still in town.

We can see Craig leaving town with his ducklings. We wish them a safe way back to the UK free of breakdowns!

The day goes by, busy working in the apartment, and permanently checking the news in the WhatsApp group.

Then a message from Hans Rhormüller gets in: his Centa rollers broke down on his way home! What a pity! Fortunately, it was on his way back home and not the day he was coming here or during the days of the event! This is the second Centa failure this year. The first one was Michael Ittensohn’s P101 that broke yesterday.

Hans got a Centa rollers’ breakdown.

This is such a common failure, and so unpredictable! We are very happy we asked M3W Services to do the Centa improvement installing a Phil Bleazey modified unit on our car. If it ever happens that our rollers break, we can change them relatively easy, even by the side of the road. Whoever thinks about touring with his 3-Wheeler, this modification is a must!

During the afternoon, we contact Chris Golding. They’ll have dinner with Laurens and Rineke and invite us over. We are happy and agree. And we invite him and the gang (Peter, Richard, Shaun, Calum, etc.) to join us before dinner for an appetizer in our apartment. Not all of them can come; Libby is not feeling well. She may even miss dinner. We hope it’s nothing serious.

Some Spanish and Swiss delicacies…

We try to finish all the delicacies we have in the fridge: cold meats, cheeses, beers, etc. And almost manage do it! But it’s time to join Rineke and Laurens at the Kreuze & Post for dinner.

We enjoy this last nice calm dinner in Grindelwald. We have a very nice time.

Shaun explains what’s happening to Libby, and it happens we have some drugs at the apartment that can be helpful. I cross the street and come back in less than five minutes and give him the tablets. We hope they’ll help her to sleep well and wake up much better tomorrow morning.

Special whisky edition…

One last special drink before coming back to the apartment!

Tomorrow we’ll be leaving early in the morning. But we may see Calum tomorrow night! It happens he is heading to Caramulo, in Portugal, and we told him about the fantastic place in Varetz: the Castel Novel. He might sleep there too!

We say goodbye definitively to our friends, wishing them a safe trip tomorrow. We hope to see them all very soon!

Back at the apartment, we pack everything and get ready to leave tomorrow first hour.

Day 8 – September the 4th: Grindelwald to Varetz

Relatively early in the morning we load the Land Rover and go to pick the trailer where it’s being parked all these days. It’s easy to take it back to the apartment and, knowing the space in the building’s garage, we decide to take the whole convoy – Land Rover and the trailer – down to the second floor of the garage, and load the Morgan in there instead of doing it outside.

The garage ramp is wide enough to do it. But as usual, our major concern with the Land Rover is the height of the garage. But we checked before and it’s high enough for the tall Defender.

All loaded and ready, and off we go! We can’t speed pulling the trailer, so this is going to be another relaxed day behind the steering wheel. The new Defender is so comfortable!

Our route is simple: motorways to Varetz. The opposite of what we did on our way here.

750km – 7h45min

While we’re driving exiting Switzerland by Geneva’s border, we get news from our friends. And these are not so good…

The picture says it all!

Chris Golding’s gang just got a snapped timing belt! Fortunately, they have spares and are experienced. They know how to change it. The new timing belt makes it a little bit hard because it’s not as flexible as they would wish.

But they end up fixing it, and the car is back on the road. They send a picture of all of them enjoying lunch. And even Libby looks great! All “timing belts” are fixed!

All cars and people are fixed now!

Chas and Mario send a nice picture in the vicinity or Courchevel. Rob joined them with his Catherham Super 7 and they’re enjoying the Col de La Madeleine over there, on their way to the Provence.

Chas, Mario and Rob at the Col de La Madeleine.

And then, more concerning news: Craig and his ducklings had a breakdown too! And apparently a major one! Paul Vincent’s master clutch cylinder failed!

Another breakdown. Just an appetizer for Super Craig!

But Craig is too skilled to get afraid by a “simple” clutch cylinder failure by the side of a French motorway. And he fixes it. What a genius mechanic… 

And fixed!

Soon this group send another happy picture, with all problems fixed and everyone happy!

Shiny happy people!

About us, we progress smoothly towards Varetz, and stop to refuel before leaving the motorway. Calum passes us when we’re refueling and gets to Castel Novel ten minutes before we do. He seems to love the place. We’re happy we convinced him to stay here tonight!

Calum has just arrived to the Castel Novel.

He is savoring a cold beer when we arrive. I join him as soon as possible after we do the check in. His beer looked too fresh and tasty to lose any time upstairs!

Ana Maria joins us a little after, and we have dinner together enjoying the nice cuisine of the place and a fantastic bottle of French wine.

We’ll sleep great tonight!

Day 9 – September the 5th: Varetz to Madrid

This is our last day. We’re supposed to arrive home tonight. We have more than 9 hours to drive, covering 875km. Why more than nine hours today?

875km – 9h45min

The reason is that we’re taking a deviation from the motorway and pay a visit to Steve and Annette at Montignac-de-Lauzun. Steve couldn’t make this year to Grindelwald, and we really want to see him and Annette.

Calum leaves before we do, but he’ll stop by Montignac-de-Lauzun too, because he wants to say hello to Steve too.

Time for Calum to leave Castel Novel.

Everything is ready and the Land Rover full of fuel! On the road again!

And soon after off we go too!

So, we meet at Steve and Annette’s and have a nice appetizer before continuing our way South to Spain. It’s so nice to see our beloved friends!

Ana María and I leave before Calum because we really want to make it to Madrid today. We advise Calum about another super nice place to spend the night, just by the Portuguese border: the Fuerte de La Concepción. It’s an amazing hotel built into an old 18th century fortress. If he drives fast, he might be there for dinner.

We stop by a known place for lunch, in Saint-Justin: Le Cadet de Gascogne. We’ve been here before and love the place. And we can conveniently park the convoy in front of the terrasse.

Super nice spot for lunch at Saint-Justin.

The rest of our day runs perfect. We arrive to Madrid for dinner. Back home and happy!

Everyone in the Whatsapp group is sending good news. Most of them are already home, or still on their way but without any trouble. All good news!

And Calum arrived safely for dinner too at the Fuerte de La Concepción!

Let his nice picture of his dinner table be the last one for this year’s Jungfrau-Treffen post!

It’s being a real pleasure! See you again next year! Maybe before the Jungfrau-Treffen in other 3-Wheeler adventures!