A Travellerspoint blog

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The last few days of luxury.....

I'm still in London, but now just for the last (fun) few days as I'm currently sitting at the bar of a very nice brasserie waiting for 2 friends to join me for an Olympic wrap-up dinner/final drink before I leave the land of civilised clothes and heels, swapping them for walking boots and warm clothes, oh dear, that sounds a bit like my profile when I joined a dating site, I know, it's a miracle I'm not still single!

Apart from the (semi-permanent) change in attire, two other things dawned on me a few days ago, the first is that I won't see any TV for nearly 2 months and you know, that's going to be kind of good, and the other is that I'm actually driving my car all the way up to the Arctic Circle, yes I know I've been planning it for weeks, including scouring the Internet for exactly the cabin I want up there, but the realisation that I'm driving there, well, that's only just dawned on me.....because it's a really, really long way......

On Monday I thought I'd best be at least a little bit sensible and so spent the afternoon with my table spread with maps, plotting my actual route, working out where I would be stopping, for roughly how long and how long the drive would be to get there. You see 2 inches on a map of England could take an hour, on the same scale map around the fjords can take a day, plus if 'half way' is in the middle of nowhere there's nowhere to stay and if 'from there to there' is 12 hours, Lexi the Lab would not be best pleased if I drove it in a day. I've had to cut out Oslo, Gothenburg (sad about that one) and the whole area/island of Odense in Denmark, cutting straight down back over to Germany, but if it pans out that a new job doesn't need me for another week, then maybe it can slip back onto the itinerary.

So, after 3 hours of maps, towns, ferrys and planning, I was on a high and my dear mother was on the receiving end..... she must have thought there was a time warp and she had a hyper 7 year old daughter on the phone not a forty....something......year old....you get the picture.....

I've now got my first 3 weeks accommodation booked, but it's all campsites and so pretty flexible, but still haven't got the cabin in the Lofoten Islands booked. I really want the picture postcard wooden cabin on the waters edge, they are there, but are either booked for just one night in the middle of the period I want, or are £1,200 for 5 nights and much as this is a trip of a lifetime, common sense does come into play sometimes.

Last night a friend stated the obvious (!) that I could change my dates to be there to avoid the blocked out date and I realised that I could, nothing is set in stone, but that's part of the whole adjustment that I'll be going through, realising that for the next few months I really can be anywhere on this planet, so arriving in the Lofoten 3 days later, well, it's hardly brain surgery is it.

Posted by Val G 15:21 Comments (0)


17th August

I'm in quite a unique position (for me) of being un-employed and therefore answerable to no-one.  I know this is the idea of heaven for some, but at this very moment it feels quite un-nerving. I've always 'been there' for someone, be it as a mother, a wife or employee, but as of noon today I am no longer answerable to anyone - and you know what, how many of us have actually had that.....no husband, wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, employer, friend, family....expecting something from you sometime in the immediate (or pretty immediate) future well, for me that time is now....and you know what.... that's really pretty daunting. But now then, if I pull up my braces, tighten my belt and think forwards, I'm about to have the time of my life.......

Posted by Val G 01:15 Comments (0)

And we're off....

sunny 25 °C

Well I'm actually on my way, but not without some last minute nerves I have to say. The pharmacist said it was food poisoning, At first I thought I'd had more wine than I thought at Friday lunch time, but when I was still being very ill at 3o'clock Saturday afternoon I gave in and feebly went into town to Boots pharmacy. Now I'm not too big to admit what I thought (and my Mum thought too, and we know they're always right), which is that it was plain and simply nerves.  Although I've been planning this for ages and am incredibly excited, at the end of the day this is a pretty big thing and it appears my brain realised even if my conscious self didn't. Now if my brain was  really clever, it would have realised that for me to spend my pre-departure day throwing up, unable to eat or even keep water down, does not a good departure make! 

So it was that the Landy was being loaded at 9pm, in the dark. I'm normally incredibly organised and know there's a place for everything, well believe me, as long as there was nothing left on the living room floor and nothing on the verge by the car, I didn't care where in the heck it was, I'd find it when I was feeling better.

Sunday morning I came downstairs to find that Lexi had also been ill several times during the night (now that's what I call empathy ! )  then within half an hour of being on the road I was beeped by a driver near the M25 as I had a flat tyre, so a quick detour to the garage to squirt some air and that was sorted. So if things come in 3's then I'm done, the next 8 weeks will be trouble free, yeah right :-)

I whizzed through France, poodled through Belgium and settled down for the night in Holland (and had my first meal in 2 days, yippee). The heat! now that I was not prepared for and obviously neither was Lexi, who begrudgingly  got back in the car after our second stop. I mean I'm going to Norway, I hardly thought I needed to get my air con repaired, sorry Lexi :-(

Posted by Val G 01:18 Archived in Netherlands Comments (1)

OK, who brought the teenager....

sunny 20 °C

....whoops, that would be me !

She may be blonde, with huge eyes and a perfected "you can't mean me" look, but my little (!) Lab is being a right minx.

The other night I went to bed, having said the magic words to blondie about it being bed time, which at home has her going straight to her cage.  Well on this night she very begrudgingly came into the tent and when I popped my head over the insect screen of my sleeping area, all I saw was a bum, tail and legs, it was like a cartoon where  the dog just stops half way along, the body disappearing into a fence, except this dog was half out of the tent! I decided to leave her, it was a hot night and she probably just wanted some air. Next time I looked, all I saw was the tip of her tail! I called her back in and the cheeky madam went round to the other side of the tent and stood by the door waiting for me to let her in....I was not impressed!

The next night at bedtime she refused to come into the tent a all, we were at a much more lively campsite and she was clearly enjoying watching everyone and had no intention of coming in and I was dumbstruck that it looked like I would have to physically pull her in, she thankfully came to her senses just in time, but I did unzip a corner of the tent as a compromise so she could peek out, but in the morning the tent was full of sand, so I'm really not sure how many friends she had over after I went to sleep.

Today it was as if she knew we were 'here' as she was bounding in and out of the lakes, running around the woods like a mad thing and then when we got back to the tent, grabbed her football in her mouth and started careering around the campsite like a dog possessed, much to the amusement of the other campers. Now, she's lying at my feet snoring, so I don't think she'll be off clubbing tonight.

Posted by Val G 11:50 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

Oh my God I'm actually here.....

sunny 20 °C

.....and I'm only allowing myself one other occasion to say that by the way....

I crossed the border into Scandinavia at lunch time today and couldn't stop smiling. I know I've been gone 4 days and already been through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, but this was always my reason for the journey, somewhere that has been on my To Visit  list for at least 4 years and now I'm actually here. 

And yes it really is that different, from the long clear roads sweeping through the pine forests, to the beautifully manicured roundabouts in the middle of nowhere, and as for the scenery, well I've not even been here a day and I'm already running out of adjectives and my camera just doesn't seem to do it justice. 

I have had to work at it to get here mind you, aside from having to come alone because I've given up waiting for company, losing my job which gave me the time, the 19 hours on the road since Sunday and the thunder and lightening in northern Germany that seemed determined to thwart my way.  Looking out from my tent this afternoon, across a row of boats rocking on the water with the river snaking around the bend, then walking alongside a lake with water so clear I could see each pebble on the bottom with water lilies bobbing alongside, dappled in the sun, yes, it's been worth every moment. OK maybe this could be somewhere in Britain, but it's not, the peace, the blue skies....oh yes, and I can't understand a single  word ;-)

I haven't seen an English car since Monday when I was several hours south of Hamburg, they're probably all migrating like the birds and heading south for the summer, not intrigued enough to turn left off the ferry. I did see an English motorbike today though, a lone traveller with his bike packed for his travels, passing me just meters after crossing the border into Denmark, there is so much irony in there......

Another interesting sight that I saw on arriving on the Danish roads, was an estate car filled to the roof with packs of Beck's and Coca-Cola, literally, which did remind me that this whole region is probably the most expensive in Europe, it's not by chance that I'm sat here with a cold bottle of German purchased Beck's.

It's just started to get dark, so I've zipped my insect screen closed across my huge doorway, so still looking out over the river, safe and smug in my totally insect proof tent (I hope) there's even a zip around the flap where my power cable comes in, honestly, the mod cons are all catered for nowadays, well how else do I keep my kindle charged :-)

Posted by Val G 12:00 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

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