8:30 start & after 64 km realised forgotten passport so had to return to pick it up. Left home again at 10:00. Even so got the15:15 ferry from Puttgarden & reached the usual stop in Denmark at 19:00 (for my future reference the coordinates are N55 09'58" E11 57'31").
The roads were surprisingly clear both of traffic & snow. Denmark was worse. Drifting snow.
Restless night 0.1 deg in van when woke. Up at 04:15 on the road at 05:15.
Fairly long drive to a camp site just 30 km south of Lillehammer. Near a place named Brumunddal.
Good sleep but had to turn the electric heater on at about 03:00 was bitterly cold. Minimum was minus 18 deg C. The water in the pipes from the canisters to tap were frozen so no water. Fortunately had enough in my drinking bottle which I defrosted in front of the heater.
Turned out that it was only the pipes the canisters were okay thanks to their fleece jackets.
On start up to leave had a great deal of flashing warning lights from the suspension. Seems that the sensors also froze in the levelled position. The rubber sleeve had also frozen to the suspension column.
Spoke to them & decided to continue. Couple more frights on the way but everything settled down.
Headed for Steinkjer to a Camp that we have used quite frequently Turned out to be closed for repairs so had to go on for a bit.
The other one was also closed but parked up and fortunately found an outdoor socket from which I am half inching and happily gobbling up the clandestine power.
In Oppdal stopped at a plumbers and got some pipe insulation and fitted it up this evening. Hope it works.
Coming up over the Dovrefjell the temp went down to minus 30. Slippery as well. Can drive along at between 80-90 km/hr no problem in some places, but a lot of the time I was doing not much over 60-65. No real problem with stopping either as long as one has time, fair amount, and is driving in a straight line. If you have to be quick the ABS does its dancing the Light Fandango thing. The Dovreflell is a National Park area and there is a herd of Musk Ox that roam about there all year around. Have seen a documentary of them. Obviously did not get to see them. The highest point is at 2286 meters but the road only goes through at between 16 to 1800 I guess. It is fairly flat up top between two mountain ranges with a permanent wind blowing across it. Which explains the temperature I guess.
That's another day grub and sleep. Hope I don't freeze!!
Seems my insulation work was successful.
On the road by 08:30 and arrived in Fauske 17:45. Quite a stressful day. The roads were reasonably clear but for some reason they do not clear down to asphalt so one is permanently driving on ice. As long as one keeps the to a reasonable speed
At one point in a gentle curve doing about 30 the van went independent and the back went out with a wheel over the drop but managed to get it back where upon it decided to attack the crash barrier but gave it up just before it actually crashed. Lot of button holes on the floor.
Another big problems are the large transport vehicles hurtling around. They frighten the life out of you under normal circumstances, ask Terry, but in these conditions it can be a major hazard. A fair number of the drivers respect on coming traffic and slow a bit, but not all. Then its is truly dodgy as their vacuum raises an enormous cloud of snow behind them and it is impossible to see through it. More button holes.
No problem going over the Saltfjellet, which is where one crosses 66 degrees North. Again high, so cold and windy which caused a lot of drifting snow and poor visibility. Coming down off the Fjell on the run up to Fauske, about 90 km it started to snow and did not stop. As it was dark by then the visibility is again almost down to about 30-40 meters. So it takes forever crawling along.
Last leg up to Sortland today.
Left Fauske at 07:45 & reached Bosgnes for the Lødingen ferry at 11:00. Next one was at 11:45 so not a long wait. Just time for a brew.
The road was a nightmare without any exaggeration it was one continuous sheet of ice. Lost it twice and I was going so slow the few Norwegians coming up behind me were getting frustrated. To hell with them.
On the way out of Fauske an ambulance and police blue lights went rushing by. About 20 km further found out why. Had to wait for the first time in all of the trips up here, at a red light flashing on a tunnel entrance. Once got the green at the other end was stopped again. Blue light was there. It was at the the end of one tunnel and the entry of the next. About 150 m apart. Some nut had lost it coming the other way and bent him/herself quite spectacularly. So I carried on at my pace. Only about 60 km once I get off the ferry.
Made it at 13:50 road in one hell of a state. All in all 2525 km door to door. Only 224 today which gives an average of 575 km for the first four days which is not unacceptable!
Hey, almost forgot, just after the ambulance I mentioned went past me I spotted an Elk, you know, one of those fictitious animals they put on hundreds of "beware" signs alongside the roads to get tourists excited. This one was just off the side of the road & despite the snow quite hard to see with the odd shrubs and trees around. It was still dark at the time.
Did a deal with the guy that runs the site and the six weeks I am here will only cost me €375 and that includes all the usual facilities and electrical power. Chuffed about that!
Oh! Just got up & looked out of my front (side door). Think I'll have to change my plans for today. Snowed in & until they come & clear away out on the site I'm stuck. Even with 4x4 but its not so bad that I cannot walk out. Going to be fun here this time I guess! Ah we'll breakfast first.
Only have about four hours of daylight at the moment, so in a brake in the snow I managed to dig myself out and started out to have a look in town. It was so slippery I chickened out and scurried back to my camp with my ears down and tail between my legs. Even the locals were rolling along at about 20 km/hr. They are tyre’d up differently,both with a special tread and studs. When I left DUS it was with a complete set of brand new winter tyres. Safe enough but not quite enough for these conditions. One things for sure I’m damned glad we bought the van with four wheel drive.
Same conditions, more or less as yesterday so I shall go walkabout. Looks as though it may clear so I can get out and explore a bit with the van.
One thing is for sure patience is going to be in demand here.
These are just some snaps I made along the way.
First two thru' the windscreen just before getting to Sortland.