Saturday, July 19, 2014

VW Vans on the Ferry

A trip to Fajardo usually turns up something to bring out the camera and capture, but as I made my way to the terminal to head home, it occurred to me that I'd lugged the camera along all day and now, with another laden bag to carry, wondered why, as nothing had grabbed my attention and it was a few pounds that became a lot more than I wished I was toting along at that moment. And then, I saw the VW vans.

I am hopelessly, though mildly, obsessed with VW vans. Owning both a 1972 camper van and a 1973 regular bus style van, they pop to the surface of my memories with Old Faithful regularity. Road trips, full of waves from many strangers (something about an old camper van brings out the grins along the way, I'm not the only one who will tell you this, ask any old VW van owner) , teaching my kids to drive stick up and down AIA, the back full of kites and extra clothes, wine and cheese in the fridge, ready to go at a moment's notice, there's just something about these vehicles that calls to the road. So when I see one I want to know about it. Especially around here.

These vans, however, were not your usual VW vans. At least not in my experience; the reason I wrote the above paragraph was to let you know I look at them closely when I see them. I looked closely now...

I'm not sure what this cherry truck was doing in the mix, but old trucks rock and this one was primo.

I must say, as different as this is, it's ease of use captured my imagination. I'd never seen a van with a ladder on the side and here were TWO!

The angle of the photos is a bit off because I was sort of skulking to the side while taking photos, as, if any of you have ever tried to take photos at the ferry terminal know, the guards will shut you down tout de suite. Even a guy trying to take a photo of his own van, once he'd backed it onto the ferry, was told to put his phone camera away. I was four feet from him with a bigger camera, but had on the Cloak of Invisibility apparently. Or, I'm just short.

I asked a couple from one of the vans if this was for a rally on Vieques (note: I'm particularly clever in my deductions that way...many vans on the Vieques ferry, etc. - just so you know you aren't reading the post of a dummy) and they said yes. What I didn't find out is whether it was a year specific rally. While most of the vans were of the same general style, a couple were older, one that got on the ferry before I got my camera out; a classic green Westfalia from the early 80's, still rounded on the edges, was the oddball in a group of some pretty oddball vans.

Ladders, water tanks, oh my! I've always said, since moving to Culebra, that NO one knows how to camp in more style than Puerto Ricans. Now I'll add camping in a VW bus to the list of "Damn! That's smart!" camping tips for the future. And yes, if you are crossing a high bridge in a big wind you'd not want a full water tank uncentered, but since that's not applicable around here, well. It's just not.

Oh! I miss my VW! No, this isn't mine, but it if I'd taken a photo of it, this would be it. Lesson - if you live across the street from, or next to the beach, rinse your van often...gas tanks rust and can catch on fire. Trust me on this one. photo credit - somebody selling their van for probably a lot more than I bought mine
If your VW van lust is up and running and you want to stoke it a bit, have fun torturing yourself going here. Please make sure while you are sobbing not to drip onto your keyboard.

Have a semidivinely sentimental Saturday. Do something sacredcowishly.


  1. This brings back so many memories! I had a '67 regular bus style that I zig zagged coast to coast in '69. I think I stayed in 2nd gear for a week while touring Colorado. Thanks for the memories. :))

    1. I get the 2nd gear story! Glad to bring back good memories. I think all of us old bus owners have a sack full!