BACK ON THE ROAD – FROM FAR NORTH WEST TO NORTH EAST

YES… we are rolling again. What a nightmare in the last 24h. But let’s try to follow the last days step by step.
We had a good time with Mario through seven days. Fun, action and he was a perfect mate. 3 blokes in tiny camper van stuffed with equipment, surf and kite boards, several wetsuits and surfing gear … quite a challenge. It’s not a typical camper life what we were doing when one is usually spending most of the time time outside. It’s getting quite sticky in there, when we came back from a session all wet trying to get out of our suits. Anyway … next time we are on a trip, he’s always welcome to join us (don’t forget to by some proper winter boots Bro).

But it was time for him and also for us to think about the way back. We decided to pass Lofoten from mid west, to north east still keeping an eye open for some good locations. And we found one or another. To shorten the way we took a ferry from Lodingen back to the mainland to Bognes. Marios flight was going from Bodo. So we had to head south west again 300km through the rough Norwegian mountains. The streets were bad, but as we were quiet used to it, we managed to drive the way in two days and arrived that early, that we even had one more kite surf session in the morning before we dropped him off. Bye Mario. Was a pleasure traveling with you!!!

We didn’t want to loose time and left Bodo at the same evening towards Lappland / Sweden. From far west to east. Again over some Norwegian mountain passes.

The first track was as bad as always. Silly weather and curvy steep streets and we took it slowly.
We parked our car for the night at a truck stop close to the Polar Circle.

Next to us was Frank. A truck driver with his 40 tonnes truck transporting stuff for supermarkets from Bodo to Trondheim. Frank is always on the road. One week of driving and then one week of rest. But in his free time he cruises on his Harley also being member of a motorcycle club. Probably not in winter. He shared a beer with us (THX FRANK) and mentioned, that this night was going to be really cold.

We woke up early and already noticed the freezing cold outside while having a cigarette and a coffee. That was definitely colder then what we were used to.
But the car started as always. Only the windows didn’t get clear. They were completely full of ice. From the inside. After a bit of scratching we managed to have enough view to continue our way. A couple of mountain passes and there we were: Hello Sweden. And not far away from the boarder we also crossed the Arctic Circle again. This time the other way round.

The Swedish roads were a bit better. Still icy and snowy, but not that steep. Seems like the „political“ boarder also switched the landscape. From rough, rocky and icy into gently snowy. The mountains were smaller, covered with silvery, white snow and the view was fantastic. Everything seemed more silky.

We haven’t seen the sun for more then two weeks. Not at all. And then suddenly there it was. It raised directly in front of us. Higher and higher up to a point, where we could finally see the massive big yellow-orange ball. We knew it won’t last for long, but we had to get out trying to touch and feel the light. Some warmth reached us and it was an incredible feeling.

But as always through this journey, we felt, that something was wrong. Our beards were immediately frozen through our breath. Hair in our noses started tickling. It must have been really cold. But we were caught in the scenery. Driving further and getting in and out for taking footage.
Then it happened. The camper van started stuttering. First slow, then more and more and then it stopped. We weren’t able to start it again. F**k. Stuck in the middle of nowhere again. We didn’t have any choice. We had to call the SOS. Standing there with -25 (at day time) was not an option for the night. Someone on the phone said: OK,… we will come around, but it will take some time. Maybe up to 8 hours. Or more. And maybe not today, We will call you back. The whole procedure on the phone was about an hour. Mainly trying to allocate us where we were.
Again a tricky situation. We switched off phones, tried to safe battery and the heating was on really low. Who knows, when help is arriving and weather they gonna find us. And it went even more cold.

After an endless time of freezing someone from the Swedish Rescue came along to pick us up. Somewhen in the night. He drove us 200km south to a garage, where the camper van could stay over night. The Diesel filter was frozen through the temperature. We had to change it and had to stay at least for one night in a hotel. Somewhere close to the garage and it happened, that we stranded at a place, where all of the automotive industry were testing their new cars on frozen lakes somewhere in Lappland.

We totally felt displaced. But we enjoined the warmth. Breakfast was sort of cool. All of these well dressed automotive corps and we in the middle of it. Coming from a surf trip from the north.

We got the camper van ready next morning and off to the baltic sea.
Back on the road finally.