We’re in Sweden, a little over an hour’s drive from the house where it all started, and the proud new owners of a 100-year-old red cottage on the edge of a small wood.
It’s still raining—the first rain we’ve had since Gloria. It’s the kind of miserable rain that’s just hard enough to warrant turning on the wipers, but not enough to leave them on.
We’re on the run, no longer welcome in Spain. It’s nothing personal, but that does little to ease the sting of rejection.
We’ve been training for social distancing for nearly a year now; assuming neither of us has already been infected, the next two weeks are going to be a breeze.
We’ve never had problems starting before; has our trusty Italian steed finally kicked the bucket? I pop the hood, as is appropriate in these situations, despite having little idea of what to do beneath it.
“You awake?” asks Anne. It’s still dark, both out there and in here. I’ve been awake for nearly an hour. “Half,” I reply, staring up at the blackness.
The Finnish are a quiet people. So far. It’s borderline impressive on occasion. It was no different this time.
If you have ever driven a motorhome/campervan in Europe, then you are probably aware that many motorhome drivers wave at each other. It’s a friendly gesture of acknowledgement. A simple little ‘hello’ and ‘hi there’.
So far, the Finnish landscape is just how I imagined it would be. The roads are long and straight and empty. Woods on the left, woods on the right. To the front and back are also mostly woods, interrupted only by the occasional moose or group of reindeer.
The best-laid plans are nothing if not flexible. When you find out that your route runs past the largest canyon in Northern Europe, it’s a no-brainer. It’s a good 45 minutes off-route, but we’ve got all the time in the world.
Squelching through thick black peat bogs, wading through frigid streams and clambering over jagged rocks. I keep running. Can’t stop. Too important. Everything I’ve ever done, every bit of my training has been in preparation for this moment.
We had no real plan when we arrived in Norway a little over a month ago so when we read about the scenic routes, we figured, why not?
“Finally, they’ve left the camper and left the typing machine out. Chaos! We can write our blog post! … Chaos? Dude, get your arse over here and come and help me put our travel experiences in writing!”
It’s getting lighter now, and the trail is starting to open up. The mountainous landscape around me is as breathtaking as the climb itself. I desperately want to stop and set up my tripod, but the guided groups can’t be far behind, and I’m determined to get there first.
BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP! My alarm clock tells me it’s 1 AM. My clothes are already laid out. A Merino wool undershirt and two warm layers, waterproof trousers and a waterproof jacket. Dress warmly, the advice had read, the weather can change quickly on the mountain.
I am pretty sure I will kill us if I drive in Norway. I almost killed us once in the Netherlands when I accidentally drove onto the hard shoulder of the motorway because I saw a cute house.
I’ve been meaning to write up a post dedicated to the Tardis and all its mannerisms, modifications and shortcomings. For the sake of this story, all you need to know is that it is seriously lacking in the torque department.
People often ask how we finance a trip like this. There is a simple answer to that: we work. We are not rich, and we did not spend years living frugally so we could one day travel Europe.
Living in a camper means living without a huge wall-to-wall IKEA wardrobe, so things had to change.
Three weeks in and we’ve already come full-circle; we’re back in the country that kickstarted this whole trip
Getting the hang of a new daily routine while living in a camper with two dogs and driving most days is quite a challenge…
We recently visited Møns Klint, a 6 km stretch of chalk cliffs along the eastern coast of the Danish island of Møn in the Baltic Sea. Some of the cliffs drop a sheer 120 metres to the sea below. A pretty impressive sight…
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Or as we call it: any given Tuesday.
I had no worries whatsoever about sharing such a small space with the one person who already knows everything there is to know about me. What I did not realise was that Jasper might not be the one I would get to know better…