Whoa! Caught you out there didn’t I? You weren’t expecting another blog update quite so quickly eh!
Well it seems only fair that I keep you on your toes as Norway seems intent on doing the same for me…………
The run to Forde from Bergen was dull, grey and wet and only lifted by the moody blue/black waters of the fjords we drove alongside.
As we plunged into the dark and narrow tunnels my choice of the Hobbit on audio book seemed apt - maybe Gollum would leap out on us......
The terrain became hillier and the road narrower as we travelled deeper into Fjordland and the Jostedalsbreen Glacier – the largest in continental Europe.
I was confident that Forde would ease my LPG concerns as I bounced into the service station shop to ask where I could fill up.
The woman at the till was vehement in her total and absolute refusal to believe it possible to re-fill a gas bottle. With her bark of “NO!” and “it is illegal” she brooked no further protestation from me and shut me down with “anyway the guy who does the LPG is on holiday”. I learned later that Norway (Scandi even perhaps) have a very prescribed fortnight for holidays – so that would explain all the deserted roadworks we’d been passing.
Tired and dispirited and undecided about how best to experience the glacier I pushed on a few more miles to a campsite I’d scoped out online for the night. It had good reviews and a heated water slide – so that was a certain co-pilot catered for!
In fact it turned out to be pretty shabby and the rain continued to drive down but the SPAR onsite was surprisingly cheap and the showers and kitchen were fabulous! We conserved gas and cooked a butter chicken in the kitchen which was delicious.
The “free” wifi was nearly as strong as the everlasting downpour and we’d found a bumper packet of custard creams for 170NOK, every electrical device was whacked on charge and we had a whole day in our PJs hiding from the weather!
On the morning of our second night I discovered the area around the roof vent in the bathroom was damp. As I gingerly pressed against the ceiling damp gave way to soggy, distinctly soggy in fact.
Bloody damn everlasting downpour had finally breached the camper and Eileen was taking on water!!!
OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic. We weren’t about to sink after all, it’s a campervan (or even a MoHo some might say) not a boat but the sinking feeling of dread and rising butterflies of anxiety certainly felt like we were under a very real attack!!!
More googling turned up ONE local caravan/bobil (camping or house car in Norwegian) repair place. I emailed then I Facebook’d them and within 15 minutes I had a reply.
Phew, I had optimistic visions of quickly popping in and whipping out the offending vent, drying out the ceiling and dropping a new vent in.
Bring it on!
Ah, no, they were closed for the holidays and he was away in Italy – I bet it wasn’t bloody p*ssing down in Italy!!!!
Right, no one else was going to fix this but me so off we went to the Co-oP Massive nearby where I bought some sealant. Try doing that in Norwegian – it’s both entertaining and frustrating at the same time!
A fair description of my mood but it did make me smile too!
Back to the campsite for another unholy expensive night but a short break in the rain (didn’t last) enabled T to enjoy the heated water slide at least.
Time for me to face my fear of heights and scale the roof – it’s surprisingly high up there and of course the vent is on the opposite side to the rickety roof ladder.
I am absolutely sure I looked like a proper idiot scrambling up there with my bright green toilet cleaning marigolds (the marigolds to save my highly allergic hands from getting any worse than they already were (who the hell goes on a road trip when they’re allergic to steering wheels…….)), a jay cloth, some wet wipes and a small tube of sealant .
I put all my stuff at the top of the ladder then clambered over the roof rails, hanging on for dear life with my left hand. I shoved everything before me as I shuffled along the roof on my knees and forearms – low profile very important in these situations!
Cleaned the area, found the sealant nozzle blocked and half the tube already gone off so I ended up squeezing lumps out onto my finger and daubing/smoothing it around the offending roof vent seal and hoping for the best.
With relief I regained ground level and made even more use of the electric hook up by spending the rest of the day using my hair dryer on the bathroom ceiling.
Feeling thoroughly fed up with the weather and the worry of LPG and leaky roof I decided to skip the Glacier museum at Fjaerland and head instead directly to Briksdal Glacier.
So that’ll be the next, hopefully drier and more interesting chapter…………
Driver & Author