We went up a hill and came down a mountain
29th July 2018
Where are we? Mindresunde, Norway
Last night was a rubbish night sleep all round I think. It was hot and uncomfortable in the van and I for one was obviously a bit worried about Sven, driving around the mountains and fjords of Norway is not a great deal of fun if the tyres or brakes are dodgy. I’m pretty sure Jess was the same. We knew that Gerainger was not the place for us so we were moving on again but the day was not looking brilliant, there was rain about and low clouds on the mountains so the drive promised to be interesting, we just hoped that whatever was the issue yesterday was just a case of me being a bit heavy on the brakes coming down the hill and that everything would be OK today. Plus, Jess had studied some maps and determined that the road out of town only went to 300 metres or so which meant we thought it would not be too extreme or taxing on Sven. We set off and the drive out of town was more of the same; narrow roads steep hill and plenty of tour buses with the added thrill of the low clouds I mentioned earlier. Jess and I were very nervous I think but the girls didn’t pick up on this and certainly were not feeling it themselves as they harmonised to the Abba tunes that have become the soundtrack to our trip. I was just easing my mind with the fact that the hill was only going to be 300 metres high, although we did seem to be continually driving up for quite a while. Then I noticed a sign beside the road telling us we were passing 600 metres, then 700, 800, 900 and by the time we passed one telling us we were over 1000 metres I had lost my faith in Jessica’s map reading ability. By this stage we were actually driving through clouds, our nerves were not improving. But Jessica was driving like Danica Patrick, except slowly, down a mountain and in a campervan rather than a Nascar. The scenery was amazing again as we drove across the mountains, with lakes, waterfalls and mountainous peaks everywhere and the sun was shining a bit more now so it seemed more positive. Then just as we were getting used to the drive, a new level of difficulty was thrown into the mix in the form of tunnels. There was a series of three tunnels which descended halfway down the mountain and these were obviously quite old because they too were fairly narrow and just to add an extra degree of difficulty they were very dimly lit, and given that Jess was wearing her prescription sunglasses all she could see was the occasional headlights coming in our direction. She might as well have been tapping with a white stick out the window all the way down. Anyway we managed to get out of the tunnels and Jess got us safely down the rest of the mountain without any issues with Sven and then it was a nice gentle drive around a lake where we found a spot for a picnic lunch and a café for some cake before moving on to our campsite. And hopefully now we have learned our lesson as we are in a small campsite, parked about 2 metres away from the water with a beautiful view of snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and the lake and when we arrived I could feel all the tension that had built up yesterday melt away and we just sat and chilled for the rest of the day.
What have we learned? Sticking with the gross generalisations, women are better drivers than men but they are hopeless at reading maps.