Tacho reading: 59,491
Plan to set out at 12.28 Düsseldorf to Leezen for overnight in prep., for possible mods to van based on my experiences with the conversion to date.
Usual boring motorway trip, but not any traffic worth mentioning, but bright and sunny the whole way for a change.
In Leezen by 17:45, settled in and waiting for the morrow.
Days run 543,6 km.
Puttgarden is not quite 200 km from here so tomorrows run to where I usually stop over in Denmark won’t be a long day.
Up and about at 06:00. Höhnes finished by 09:23 and away we go again.
They made a slight adjustment to the rear door opening arrangement and added a small handle to each of the wing doors and lo and behold opening up and getting out is no longer a drama. Which is nice in was of an eventual emergency situation. I also bought couple of storage boxes which are more suitable to the spaces available so once I’m parked up for the day a test re-pack will be needed.
Made the midday ferry at Puttgarden having wasted time in Wismar looking for a “Red” Netto Supermarket who are supposed to have a special offer on Papayas today. Luv ‘em. No luck only “Black” sort found. Supermarkets that is.
Crossing was foggy but punctual, only a 45 minute trip. Cost €87 and followed by an easy 60km run to N54°56’56” E11°59’11” which has become my standard overnight looking up at the bridge (anyone interested can look at my early PPR from February last year, you can find a “View from my Bedroom Window” image there). The Danes are still checking Passports after disembarking, but no real delay.
Spent a couple of hours faffing about packing and re-packing and what do you know? “I think he’s got it”.
Days run 269,4 km.
Start: 00:55 Finish: 12:15
Total km., for day: 618,3
Was awake so early as it was much louder than the last times I stopped there, much more heavy goods vehicles on the move. Plus the ones that were also using the place for a kip were obviously not of the hardy sort. Buggers kept switching their machines on to warm the cabs. Big girls.
Anyway had a pot of tea, filled up water canisters etc., and was on the road driving by 02:06 planning to stop for breakfast at 07:00 and expecting to get to just north of Halden in Norway by about 08.30.
Best laid plans of mice and men sort of day it turned out to be though. Start/stop for the first half. Was in Sweden across the bridge by 03:16. The Swedish Police are also still checking didn't take long at that time of the morning, once we had established that I was travelling alone and that the only animal in the vehicle was good old me, that is.
It was extremely foggy and drizzle rain all the time so I was glad that I was in the Caddy which has front and rear fog lamps. The T5 only has a set at the rear and I’d have been in the deep and smelly if I’d been on the road with it.
Anyway I took the scheduled stop after two hours driving at 04:42, it was quite a strain on the eyes. It was supposed to be a ten minute break to relax but when I opened my eyes again it was 05:26. Moved on but the sleep had made me really tired so I stopped again within ten minutes, laid myself on the bed and slept until 07:30 and felt fit and safe to continue.
This time I finally found the access to the road about 100 kms., before the border with Norway which by-passes the most expensive toll road in the country and takes a B road. Crossed over into Norway at 11:15 and stopped for the day at 12:15. Usual spot N59°08’27” E11°37’47”. Sorted myself out, made my meal and went for a walk at the edge of the lake, slipped, fell, mobile fell out of pocket, splash and FUCK. Pulled it out no problem with the water but the face is broken again. Ah well at least it works.
Crashed at 19:45, still sulking about my mobile.
Start: 07:12 Finish: 15:45
Total km., for day: 325
First stop of the day was at Ørje at the Statoil garage, (Garage GPS N59°08’27” E11°337’47”, thats for my benefit as I always forget), to get a new, 2017, etiquette for my Statoil mug and pay the years fee. This allows one to drink as much , tea, coffee, hot chocolate whatever for free whole year over. Trouble was the garage had a different name and new mugs etc., and I was too tight to buy a new one. Big disappointment, but onwards we shall not despair.
Started driving on again at 09:06 heading for Elverum close to which I have another standard overnight location.
Found a building that fitted into the main photographic theme that I've set for myself. Spent awhile making images and moved on. Passed another one deciding I could get the images on the return journey. Passed though Elverum for my stop but found I’d misjudged the distance, was further than I remembered so I had an improvised one, which turned out to be ok. N60°57’26” E11°29’21”.
Realised while having my meal that I was probably not returning past the building I’d left out so will backtrack the 52 km in the morning.
Spent the rest of the day get my gear into the right configurations to suit the theme and that was it.
Got pretty cold in the night, the windows iced up solid on the inside and the inside temp was about -4,5C. So I switched the heating on at about 04:30.
Start: 05:45 Finish: 18:42
Total km., for day: 482,9
Woke up at 05:45 nice and warm, standard breakfast, rest gear prep., a tidy up of my mansion which was looking a wee bit seedy by now, same as me no doubt.
Need to sort out something better with the duvets on the bed so they don't keep going walkabout in the night. Had a good night despite this but it niggles.
All done and set off back south at 08:7 for the missed images yesterday, and was trying to get my images by 09:07. Was cold -3,5°C and I'm a bit of practice and all fingers and thumbs. Sorted it out and was finished by 10:40.
Stopped in Tynset where I had planned to overnight, but just after Elverum it started snowing quite determinedly and was settling. Forecast was for it to continue over two to three days and as Tynset is relatively high up, it backs onto the Dovrefjell, I decided discretion was….. and did a runner for Trondheim.
Filled up at what used to be the Statoil garage and sorted out the thingey with my mug and its 2017 etiquette much to my delight.
All went smoothly and was at the ferry at 17:37 and in the Marina close to my friends in 18:42. N63°29’12” E9°59’49”.
All settled in and it appears that I have a problem with my 230 volt mains connection. Checked through all of my external connections for the extension cable and vehicle adaptor cable, and of course that the Marina socket actually had power. Also all fuses in the van were ok. Shit what to do.
I managed to charge all of my camera batteries via the extension cable through the window, but thats not the ideal solution knowing that I shall still be getting some fairly chilly weather. Anyway that was good enough for today and I’ll get on to the guys who did the van conversion tomorrow for some advice.
Always summit. Not to worry we are flexible.
Start: 06:45 Finish: 21:30
Total km., for day 58
Coldest part of the night about 04:30 but heating wasn't necessary. Up and about just intime to catch a beautiful sunrise over the Trondheimfjord. Bright and sunny but heavy cloud forecast, pretty frosty though this early.
First things first breakfast and aaaah lovely, first shower possibility since setting off. Give the van a chance to breath some fresh air. Then get to the 230 volt problem.
Spoke to the gents in Leezen about it and they reckon if it was none of the things I checked out as ok yesterday then it would have to be the first incoming safety trip and test breaker in the van. Have to check that no loose connection in the Euro socket on the outside of the van where the mains power comes in. If it isn't that which is the problem then they said it was safe enough to bridge out the trip switch for the van for the duration of the trip. Naturally it wasn’t.
As my even elementary knowledge, despite all efforts by my mate all those years ago in Bulawayo and Mashaba, is still lethal decided I’d leave it and hope that Rob the guy whom I’m visiting tomorrow can help out, vehicle electro mechanic was his earlier trade, before he retrained as a physiotherapist would you believe. Great guy.
Did a short sightseeing drive, 58 km, to make sure van and board batteries were full. Also photographed a collection of magnificent old buildings in the village and went to a spot where on a large rock outcrop on which one can see the glacial scraping and five basic Elk images chipped into its surface. Dated 2,000 to 4,000 BC. Made me feel quite sprightly.
Not much else walked some to get some of the driving out of the bones as am PD stiff.
Re-read the Pentax book to get my head around the knobs and buttons, all different to the Canon stuff I have.
Had a good night as usual although there was some really heavy rain at sometime during the night.
Start: 06:45 Finish: 23;15
Total km., for the day: All of 7,00
Had to put a new gas cartridge into cooker, they don't last long, have to do a tick list on this one.
Visit with Ingrid and Robert today looking forward to it immensely.
Great day all round and as hoped Robert bridged out my wayward trip switch, so when I find a source along the way I shall have 230v again. They also suggested that I try for internet connections at supermarkets and similar, I knew this was possible in the UK and have used some in Finnland. Was unaware they had started it here. Trouble is they are usually so terribly slow.
After a full day with interesting folks after a full week of nothing but my own, perfect and solitary company, has left me all wound up so settled down in van to get started on my Christmas pressie, Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”, which for the uninitiated, is NOT about that a’hole Trump. Hope he’s not having my thoughts about him spied upon by a microwave courtesy of his lapdog May. Connected to the mains naturally to charge everything that was willing unto the brim.
Start: 06:40 Finish: 15:06
Total km., for day: 158
Wow what a night, absolutely torrential rain and a “oooh, gonna get blown away again” type wind. All quiet again when I woke with 100% cloud cover, less than 50 meter ceiling sometimes. Set off down the 718 at 09:51. Interesting houses across the valley which I shot which may be worth a re-visit n the way home and popping in to see Ingrid and Robert again.
Camped up on the Stjørafjorden again, behind Rohan, Frodo and Co., not around. Been here twice before and on the last occasion had to do a runner because of dangerously high winds.
Took a long walk as first job immediately on arrival for the sake of my little body,
Start: 06:00 Finish: 16:15
Total km., for day: 385
Left immediately after the alarm went of as the road out was due to be shut down between 07:00 and 17:00 for road works and didn't want to be trapped down the fjord all day. Once out of the area stopped and had breakfast in a panic. I nearly completely un-packed the van before finding my mobile which I thought I had lost. Back in my pocket, bloody thing has a mind of its own, or in A’hole Trump’s employ.
Back along the 715 to the junction with the 17 and then North towards Namsos. At the turn off onto the 766 at Sjøåson then west. I drove all the roads possible in the area, only one way in and out. Very scenic, wild and the geology fascinating, one can see the scars and force of the glaciers that formed it, well the whole country really.
Filled up in Namsos at the CircleK and had two of my obligatory cocoa’s, was almost out of fuel. Did a bit of stocking up and camped on the river looking across into Namsos.
North again tomorrow, where else in Norway, its either up or down, that little bit of East, West doesn't really count. Too far east and your in Sweden and too far West the Norwegian Sea. As my fancy dictates I suppose.
Start: 05:55 Finish: 16:05
Total Km., 139
Moved across onto the Supermarket car as soon as I packed away the bedding, had breakfast and caught up with my Blog in the hope that the connection, which they do have, checked it last night, is fast enough to upload it.
For the rest of the day, well who knows when the next connection is available? plan is Northwest along the coast, five days of snow predicted. Docent much look like it at the moment though.
Been trying to upload, but can't even get a connect to my editing site. Bugger, useless here but there are a couple of other stores in town where I might have more luck.
Across the river at Kiwi and its looking good. Connection is good but obviously not for what I wish to do. Got this message:
Web Page Blocked
Access to the web page you were trying to visit has been blocked in accordance with company policy. Please contact your system administrator if you believe this is in error.
Scheisse as the Germans say, I tried. Have to try someplace else. Time to move on its already 10:30.
Just trundled along over familiar terrain And got to the ferry at 12:50, next one at 14:30, never mind not in a hurry. Grabbed a nap waiting for the ferry. On the way I had quite a few emergency stops into the landscape. The cause being the Øret which is smoked salmon. Rob had given me it as a thanks for the last of my Martina Polish worst. I mixed it into the salad I knocked up for myself last night. Couldn't eat it all as it was too much and I saved it for today. Decided to throw it away when I opened up the container I’d stored it in over night. From the odour that assailed my sensitive proboscis it was the right decision and of into the bushes it went. Explains the grumbling and gurgling noises that had accompanied me all morning. Depleted my precious supply of bog paper as well.
Stopped at N65°04’59” E12°05’19 cos its nice with brilliant view and its own waterfall. 6°C so not so bad. Its actually a Hikers Car Park off of the 17, quiet and no traffic at all after about 20:00. There is another ferry crossing about 15 km., up the road so when the last on docks thats it until tomorrow morning. The locals stay indoors about the same time.
Shame about the Blog, might be quite awhile before I get another chance. Maybe at Mette’s in Fauske.
Start: 06:50 Finish: 14:40
Total Km., 229,5
Woke after a wonderfully peaceful night, no traffic at all. Got a scare though when I opened up the curtains, it had snowed and the Parking area looked like an ice rink, and me without spikes on this vehicle. When I got out though it just turned out to be slush. Served as a reminder though, a) remember not to camp above the snowlike just yet and b) caution is advised, especially for black ice. Not to bad though in the time I’d been awake a walking great snowplow had buzzed up and down his beat twice and the road was perfectly clear. Really know their stuff up here, no wonder they laugh at us folks down south a bit further when we get a wee bit and everything breaks together.
Arrived in Holm, just up the road some from where I’d camped and had just missed the 09:00 ferry to Vennesund, next one in an hour.
Satnav is having a tantrum I’ve given it a route to Brønøysund which is 50 kilometres from where the Vennesund. Tells me the shortest route is 327 km., and I should “please turn around when possible”. Stuff that, fortunately I’ve been this way before, think of the poor buggers that haven’t.
Anyway just a short drive on the other side lo and behold a CircleK, and what does that mean children. That’s right cuppa cocoa for Martin. Only drank the one though despite the temptation. Think they put something in it to cause problems similar to the one mentioned yesterday. (that problem has been sorted out thank goodness). That way despite the fact that having paid for the year you can drink as much as you like, they keep their costs down and the price of bog paper up.
called into Brønøysund, where I had actually intended to camp, but its a touristy place at the best of times and with Easter just around the corner they’ve gone onto turbo. Found the gas cartridges thank goodness so I can keep on with my morning tea, be bitter if I had to go without.
Set of for Mosøjen, camp site there that I have used on many occasions, internet, showers and electric so that everything gets a full charge up overnight.
Thats about it for this PPR. Actually I thought that a better name for the reports would be OFR’s. Old Farts Progress. Night folks. Take care and have fun, if they work together. If not just have fun.