It’s b…. cold now and wet! Well, what do you expect when you are at Lat. 70deg North! We didn’t come for the sun but we have been very lucky until about 2am this morning, camped just south of Narvik, when both the wind and rain hit us. Then the sun came out again at 3am!! Forget about sleep when Jen say’s, “whats that slapping noise”? Out of the snug duvet into the biting wind and bright sun wearing not much, to retie the canvas ‘creation’ to cover the roof vents. We like air through the cabin but having them open when it rains, isn’t the best situation. It’s the first time we have used the canvas but it works a treat, when it’s not a howling gale.
Yesterday, 12th saw us driving across the Arctic circle and stop for a ‘selfie’. What modern people we are, after laughing at and deriding the Asian population, taking endless self portraits.
Still a beautiful day but getting cooler and the terrain has certainly changed. The amazing part of the drive was the scale of roadbuilding in the north. Hundreds of k’s of activity of one sort or another in establishing a new highway. From preliminary forest clearing to massive rock works and stages of brand new hot mix, on a solid granite foundation. The cost must be astronomical.
With over 400k’s to reach Narvik yesterday morning, we were again late to get on the road. To make up for the slow progress we decided to drive till after the preferred 4pm stop, and at 8pm, saw us still 40k’s from Narvik. An hour wait and a 25min ferry ride to cross a fjord didn’t help. Amazing difference in travel times here. One would think nothing of driving 6 or 800k’s in a day in New Zealand, but despite the relative light traffic, speeds are much lower here, so not so much progress made. Some amazing tunnels. One 8.7km long and regular toll cameras to pay for them..:)
Now in Tromso, a smallish city of 74,500 population that is a great place to see the Northern Lights. However, thats a winter treat. Having seen the southern hemisphere version in Dunedin, which is lat.45 South many years ago and if it’s anything like that, a sight to behold. Unforgettable.
Our first task driving into the city, was find the Land Rover agents. Biltrend is the company name and what an amazing experience just getting served. A massive multi-story, workshop, showroom and retail motoring parhenalia shop. From servicing and selling cars to snowmobiles and I suspect much more. Their customer service area is impressive too, with receptionists there to discuss clients needs for each brand or vehicle type. It seems they have only just accepted the Jaguar/Land Rover franchisee so we will see how that pans out tomorrow when we visit to talk to the mechanic. More later. We have no idea when or how this is going to work out, but we ain’t moving till we’re sorted!