Days 69-70: Mishap Morning!

69:  Friday: Driving Day

Little to report.  Again having planned a walk p.m., it clouded over and we felt lazy.  Decided against going to the Verstralen islands close by, as we really need warmer and sunnier weather to push us out the door to do a walk.  So will start to head south.  The guide book formed us that Nordkapp to Oslo is the same distance as Oslo to Rome so conscious also of time … we want to hook up with K’s sister and family and Aged P’s near Bordeaux towards the end of July.

Parked up with 3 other motorhomes and a very small hired Ford Escort van – this couple had a clever pull out kitchen, but the bed area was the whole of the rear with no blinds!  And it is light here 24/7!!.  Had a stroll on the harbour wall to the mini lighthouse.

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You can just make out the cluster of motorhomes in the centre

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70: Mishap Morning

Nice meal and a good nights sleep…. It needed to be for the unanticipated events of the morning!  As per our usual routine, we both prepared to run and walk – J to run 4 miles and K to walk/run for 50 minutes.  K set off a few minutes before J and the routine was set – each having a key for the van.  K returned – no sign of J – he should have returned after about 35 minutes!  K became increasingly concerned – J in hospital – no phone?  Lying unconscious on the roadside?  K decided to drive the van along the route to check for J – last seen giving a cheery wave from the top of a distant hill earlier during the walk/run. After only a kilometre or so, J appeared running towards the van – he had got lost – on a straight road in good weather conditions?  Mishap Number 1.  Does he need a guide dog?  Much relief though for both.

They set off to find a parking area to have breakfast.  A T-junction arrived and a right turn was the appropriate decision for the driver K.  As she turned, she remembered she had left her running shoes at the over night pitch – Mishap Number 2.  Unfortunately, on slamming into reverse, the driver side rear wheel slipped into a ditch which left the passenger side front wheel in fresh air – the van could not move as it is front wheel drive.  Mishap Number 3.  All brakes were swiftly locked – a number of motorists stopped to check if they could help and one lady phoned her husband to bring his tractor to tow us out. A charming chap – builder – was keeping us company – J staying in the passenger seat to provide some weight (?) as a counterbalance.  After some time – and more considerate enquiries from passing folk, tractor arrived – and extricated our home – no damage, but one soft tyre…  Breakfast was heartily enjoyed a bit later…..  When we had both recovered – sail was set towards Narvik…..  No further mishaps – don’t they come in threes?

Photos… etched in our mind!  We had not become blasé, but a missing James and a motorhome in the ditch has been a chastening reminder how fragile we, and our existence are.  A lesson learned and we got off VERY lightly.

Camped overnight just south of Narvik at a picnic area off the road.

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Tyre gripping … air!

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Would that be a a bit of a lean?

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Day 68: Maddy’s Ball and A

68 – Thursday 25th: Grr – Weather

Maddy sent me some pix of her all dolled up from her Leaver’s Ball last night …. proud of my beautiful daughter – don’t she scrub up well!

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Our overnight Football pitch … completely alone 🙂

The rain cleared for a while so we could exercise, but it was still damp and chilly in the air, so our planned walk did not materialise.  We drove through Lecknes, doing some basic shopping and getting rid of recycling.  And onto A.  yes, the town at the end of the island, really is called A.  As we came over the top a mountain, the clouds parted enough for the sun to poke through to reveal the most amazing views at Reine.  We, and as many motorhomes as would fit in the parking all stopped to take pix.  K even got tripod and changed camera lens, so sorry quite a few of similar subjects

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At A we parked up with our fellow at the museum car park … by night fall it was cheek to cheek / bumper to bumper motorhomes, but thankfully quiet from about 11.00 till 8.00.  More stockfish hanging to air but heads this time.  Surprising how large and ugly they are.  Small fishing village pretty, but little here unless you fancy visiting the museum all about fishing, or actually going fishing.  it is however, the Maelstrom Sea that when it get going, if wind and tide are in the same direction, the waves crashing on rocks can be hear d5km away.  Stayed peaceful for us.

Rows of suspended cod heads ... still not sure what they are used for.

Rows of suspended cod heads … still not sure what they are used for.

Close enough, thank you!

Close enough, thank you!

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Just part of one row of overnight motorhomers …





Days 65-68: Loftoten Vikings and Camping!

65 – Monday: Not quite to Plan

After our routine exercise before breakfast, K went out with the tripod and took some pix of a boat house on stilts as the colour of the water, rocks and seaweed fascinated her and played with shutter and aperture.  Still don’t know how the boats got to the water as the tidal range is minimal!  But the water truly reflects whatever is around it.  At one point on our journey the sea was so calm with the sky reflected in it that a cruise ship looked as it if was floating in the sky.

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We drove onto Svolvaer, as it is really the major town on the islands, to pick up some free wifi (blog upload and app & podcasts downloads) and visit the Tourist information.  Half failed on both counts.  No free wifi, so forced to enjoy a cake and coffee where we obtained the wifi password, and the Tourist I.C. could only give us some info on the one island.  Chemical toilet emptying does not seem to be plentiful in the islands, presumably as they are encouraging you to pay for camp sites.  The TIC had given us a list of emptying points but as most were campsites, we knew we would have to pay.  So, we duly pulled into the first campsite … it was sunny, it had really nice facilities and a washing machine …. the office was shut for lunch so we could not ask about emptying our toilet.  We got the table and chairs out and had our own lunch ….. 10 mins in, it was a no brainer … we would stay the night.  Actually really cheap; £18.50.  Wash loads £1.80 each and a shower £0.90.   Lovely owner who explained that he had worked on the site for 15 years and was now in his 4th season.   We did not move from the site all afternoon.  So lovely to get table and chairs out end erect the wind break (part of K’s leaving work gift) –  yes, my May camping girls, even had an erection beer.

In fact, we got so comfortable, that we booked for the next night too.

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Why move far?












66 – Tuesday:  Bikes and BBQ

A leisurely start followed by some exercise.  James had followed a track behind the campsite which was hard work and came back as a sweaty puddle.  So we capitalised on his burst of energy and cycled, via a wooden church (did not go in as they charged the equivalent of the meat for our BBQ), back to Svolvaer to the supermarket.  Had lunch in the main square where the most humungous seagull virtually landed on J’s head after his sarney …

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Seagull Pose: just in case










PM was spent very productively:  removing the skunk like stripe of grey from K’s head.  J was girded loins all ready to do the task, but lucky for him, could not get the rubber gloves on.  He was relegated to mirror holder.  Mum, I followed your technique and spotted a missed area to the side, but invisible as my hair hangs down 🙂  Really pleased to ge able to get rid of the grey

BBQ evening – bliss.













67 – Wednesday:  Weather change and Viking Museum

Having collected the final laundry load, exercised and performed full sanitary services on Chardonnay, we moved on from our comfortable pitch … really lovely to be still for a couple of days.  We drove down a virtually single track road with loads of other motor homes … thankfully lots of passing places to a small but major fishing village called Henningsvaer.  Just pretty but we got to see some of the stockfish hanging to dry and loaded in a truck.  The mostly cod is dipped in seawater and then hung to dry for the summer.  Protected from seagulls by netting – perhaps I should wrap J in netting?  Apparently you can buy it as a snack, bash it first to get the skin off as well as cook with it, after more bashing!  I had thought is might be like the Portuguese salt cod that i was not overly keen on, but we will keep our eyes open to try it.

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We had intended to skip the viking museum – how much more can one take … but the reviews of the Borg Viking Museum were excellent.  Despite the entry fee of £25 (thank goodness J is a senior – has to have some benefits!), we really rated it.  They discovered the longest Chieftain’s long house in Scandinavia.  Excellent AV interactive with individual headsets and artefacts to explain the importance of this site.  Viking living made real in the long house by staff and a walk down to the viking ship, passing an axe throwing youth (Health and Safety has definitely gone mad in UK – real fires and axes).

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Over night pitch on a side road, beside a little used football pitch and …. no other motorhomes … yet!

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