A week into my trip already. The seven days have flown by, however, getting on the ferry in Dover seems like it happened a month ago!
So much has already passed, that I’ll be grateful for this weblog doodad when I get home so I can remember what I did on day one!
This morning I woke up on the Arctic Circle, 66’33” North, well as near to it as I could be anyhow .
As soon as I awoke, I could hear the sound of a Truck cruising on the road….. Or was it? I could hear something approaching…….maybe not……. Yep definitely something coming…… Maybe a train? Then at last the Truck passed. It was so silent up there with so little traffic, that you can hear approaching vehicles about 30 seconds before seeing it! And then you see it and it still has to travel to get past you!
It’s a bizarre experience, waking up in the Arctic, in an old Land Rover, on your birthday. It’s not a memory to be forgotten soon that’s for sure!
After a quick once over of the landy, a top up of engine oil, transfer box oil, and water and an adjustment to the radiator fan cowling which had worked a bit loose, I started the journey back down the previously trodden path of the E6.
I was in awe on the way North, I was now stunned on the way back, it’s the same, but, I’m seeing everything I missed behind me going the other way!
Norway is still ridiculous!
It also has a lot of water;
One of the fears of driving here is that I’ll miss something that I should’ve taken a photo of, and then, because I haven’t taken a shot of that particular thing it’ll haunt me and I’ll regret it. One thing is for sure, if you don’t get a good look or don’t get a picture this time, then the next great opportunity is no more than a few miles away. The shots above were all taken today, I have others, and I missed some but really, you could never go away disappointed that you didn’t see a great waterfall, lake, river, mountain etc.
There really are not many reasons for not coming here, it’s a long way sure, but then so is Scotland from Bedfordshire. One thing that is mentioned a lot, is the cost of purchases here. Well the truth is yes, it’s expensive;
A medium size jar of Nescafé gold blend – £5
1 kg (2lb) of sugar – £3.60
Packet of biscuits – £2.60
It goes on, so, bring your own food!
Fuel however, is a little unlike the UK in it’s pricing.
In the UK, diesel is generally more expensive than unleaded (I think the fuel companies hike the cost of diesel because they know folks will pay more for the greater mileage. Diesel in the UK also was cheaper until the increase of private diesel engined cars).
In Norway, unleaded is more expensive at around £1.60 per litre compared to £1.45 for diesel.
As I own a diesel chugging motor, I’m quite happy that the cost of diesel here is roughly comparable to the cost at home.
So yes it’s more expensive to buy stuff here, but just bring it with you, a journey around Scotland will rack up a good few thousand miles as will coming here. Just make sure you come here in a diesel engined car.
So now on to important business….Toilets!
Another reason for Norway’s Ridiculousness, is the amount of public loo’s there are!
Every other rest stop along the road has one, and they can be miles from any town, so how good are they?
Imagine, along the road, miles from anywhere, in a layby, there’s what looks like a garden shed with the letters ‘WC’ on the door. Seriously, if I saw that in the UK I’d just pass on by!
But the ones I’ve used are great! (Well as far as Loo’s can be great). They are regularly checked and cleaned, don’t smell, well maintained, with toilet paper (but take your own just in case). No running water though, so make sure you have some hand wipes and yup, the toilet bowl is just a ‘long drop’!