Here we go trying out a different challenge and a thank you to Cee for bringing it to my attention 🙂 This is a new challenge started this month by Clare on her Clare’s Cosmos blog. If you follow the link you can read all about it and how it came to be.

Being me, I’m already going to bend the rules a little. You see, my desktop isn’t always a photo. Quite often it’s a screenshot from a game and that is the case this month with an image from American Truck Simulator…

You can catch up with Clare’s inaugural post Here and hopefully join in too!

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After a bit of a break and to give myself a bit a change, I’ve returned to hunting in Hirschfelden. I felt that I should have a brief rest from farming so and I’ve been mixing the hunt with some heavy hauling in Europe for the past week. In my opinion, Hirschfelden is probably the prettiest of the maps in The Hunter – Call of the Wild and merits my return.

I’ve reset my profile – after completing most of the challenges in Layton Lakes and getting two-thirds of the way through the Hirschfelden tasks. This time I’m hunting purely for the pleasure of the journey and I’m not rushing anywhere. I’ve not tied myself down to ‘earned’ weapons either – I’ve started out using the guns and bow that I get for free after buying various DLC’s. So I already have a good range of firepower. In fact, the only gun I’ve bought is the .223 rifle for Foxes and Roe Deer!

In this first week back I’ve been hunting purely for the pleasure of exploring and found some wonderful vistas along the way 🙂 The Rathenfeldt area around the starting location on the map has received a lot more scrutiny than in my past visits and it has produced some enjoyable hunting of Roe and Fallow Deer. I also found this small henge not too far from the Outpost in a valley I’d never explored before…

…It ties in well with the bronze age burial mound further south in Rathenfeldt that is a known landmark.

Further north along the Hirschdorf River I enjoyed sundown looking up the river valley…

A visit to the lookout point also produced a lovely view to the southwest across Rathenfeldt…

…And there was the joy of the early morning in South Petershain…

I’ve gradually expanded my area north to Petershain Lake where I reaquainted myself with the nearby fields – a favourite location of mine…

…and to renew my private war with the Wild Boar…

…a whole family of them…

…I joked with one of my Twitter friends that if he had some Onions, I had a load of Bratwurst on the Hoof 😉

Although I’m not pursuing the challenges this time, I am doing ones that fall neatly into my new mode of hunting. So this morning I was on my way to Petershain Cornfields early to catch the Fallow Deer eating the crop and got this wonderfully moody view of nearby woodland…

For those of my readers that are waiting for a Farming update – don’t worry, I plan to return to Boundary Farm very soon and Rosland after that 🙂

The week before last I was depressed – I realise that now. I went through a period when I couldn’t settle to anything. Not even my favourite games were holding my attention. I did get some farming done and you’ve seen the posts about that but I did little else. Some afternoons I was just binge watching tv re-runs of things like NCIS – anything that has a ‘happy ending’. We’re not talking clinical depression, just the loss of that sense of wellbeing and a lack of get up and go. I think all the Covid news did finally get to me, as it has to a lot of other people. Last Friday I had a few extra beers and went to bed early to sleep it off…

I woke on Saturday with a bit of a hangover – nothing serious, just evidence that I had overdone it the previous evening in the form of a stuffy nose. When I fired up the pc I decided to do some gentle driving in Euro truck. I think it proved to be a good choice.

It started with a trip east in Maria, my MAN TGX. I had drifted over to Kaliningrad on Friday morning before that beer. One of the long outstanding achievements in Steam requires delivering from the Russian Enclave there to the Motherland. I’ve never had much luck in getting jobs to Russia – just one from my previous visits but this time it was different. There was a job to Vyborg that Saturday morning. It was the start of a weekend’s driving in Maria that would knock out 2 of the required deliveries for the Enclave Transit Achievement and push Maria’s driven distance up to over 45000km. Here’s some images from those trips…

By late Sunday afternoon, I’d reached a point where there were no new jobs from Kaliningrad going to ‘Mother Russia’ so I decided to head back to France – time to give Maria a rest and get another of the fleet out of the garage or possibly try a new truck. I picked up a load back to Strasbourg. By the time I got there I’d completed 5569km of in-game driving since Saturday morning…

It fell to a new truck to take up the baton and return to Kaliningrad. I’ve been looking at a mod of the Mitsubishi Fuso superGreat V for a while. It’s a good looking truck and I finally decided to give it a go. There were a couple of issues with that decision, the main one being that it’s only available in right-hand drive because it’s a Japanese domestic market version. There are a number of other minor issues with the sounds and the coupling to trailers but over all it’s a nice mod.

I did some early runs in northern France and Germany as I tried out various things. Here’s some shots…

…Our company standard metallic blue seems to suit this truck well and I really like the layout of the instruments in the cab. What I don’t like is the small fuel tank – only 350l and those coupling issues which I think I’ve narrowed down to a mix of tyre sizes affecting the 5th wheel height for all trailers along with a real dislike of certain Krone trailers. That’s something that I’m sure the modder will work on although it may not be an issue on their target Project Japan map audience.

The worst of the glitches overcome and I took the Fuso, now christened ‘Fujin’ after the Japanese Wind God, back to Kaliningrad. We then continued our good fortune of finding the jobs needed to complete the Enclave Transit achievement, hauling to Sosnovy Bor and Luga. On the 27th I tweeted to my trucking colleagues “Sunrise to sunset driving in SCS Software ETS2 🙂 Fujin brings another day to a close with a run from St Petersburg to Kaliningrad. Glad to find that gas station open – running on fumes about then 😉 ” with these images from that trip…

…Then it was time for Fujin to head home to Lille via Sweden and Germany. After the relaxing roads through Scandinavia there was lots of traffic on the autobahn to keep our attention…

…Back in Lille yesterday evening, it was time for Fujin to rest with 9880km covered since Sunday evening. Today Renzo will take over and we’ll be doing some heavy-haulin’ 🙂

And me? – My Shiny Side is back up thanks to Euro Truck Simulator. I hope your Shiny Side is good too 🙂