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Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey
      #180914 - 06/05/11 02:33 PM

Click here for the Discussion thread

I am proud to bring to you the diary, photos and other items from Erik and AC's epic odyssey in Africa. A journey from the North Cape of Norway to the Cape of Southern Africa.

I remember first "meeting" Erik online on a website where he was asking questions about Africa before his trip as part of planning the 'safari'. Safari used in its original Swahili meaning is a "journey". I always had a dream of a trip like this, and travelled to Africa in 1988 as part of that dream. Met and discussed such a journey with others whom had done similar years before that and was offered jobs in Ghana and South Africa but for various reasons never took them up. So never realised a "continental safari". But because of my interest I corresponded with Erik and enjoyed his occasional posts and comments during the journey and then later on his return. Finally meeting Erik and AC in person a couple of years ago, at their home on a wooded mountain in Norway.

These photos and stories were originally on Erik's dunia.no website but when the account was discontinued, Erik kindly sent a CD to me of the trip. Finally it is being re-published onto NitroExpress.com for your enjoyment, and as a permanent record of this epic trip.

John Hahn



    Part 1
  • Introduction
  • Planning
  • Equipment
  • Route map and country information
  • Sponsors
  • Links
  • Off-road driving in Norway
  • Trip to Bergen
  • June in Norway
  • To the North Cape of Norway and Europe
  • Lofoten, Norway
  • August in Norway
  • France, September
  • France and Spain
    Part 2
  • Morocco & Africa, September
  • Morocco & Mauritania

  • To be continued

This website will show you our preparations and travels through Africa. We will be travelling from the North Cape of Norway to Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa. The car we will be driving is a Land Rover Defender 110 td5 which will be our home for 13 months and is becoming more and more equipped as the days go by. The trip has been planned since January 2001 and departure is set for September the 3. 2002. By then we will be ready for the trip of our life!

We are a married couple living in Oslo, Norway. Anne Cathrine is 29 and Erik is 32. Both of us spend a lot of time outdoors; in the mountains and forests in Norway, enjoying skiing, snowboarding, hunting and hiking etc.

After having been to the southern part of Africa a few times, we have become fascinated in the geography, culture and wildlife that is so diverse on this huge continent. There is something about the light, sounds and smells that we find addictive. This will be a journey where we will experience things that most people can`t even imagine, and we ourselves probably can`t even begin to fully understand what is out there waiting for us.

Join us in our preparation for the trip and our travels through Africa………

When we first started planning for this trip, we began to read available printed material and search on the Internet. The Internet is an invaluable source of information where we find most of our reading material. The truly inspiring reading have been about similar trips to Africa by private people like ourselves, and some of these sites offer a great deal of excellent information for other travellers.

Other overland sites with forums are also extremely helpful. We have also spent a great deal of time talking to people with experience in Land Rovers, Africa, medicine, off-roading, vehicle recovery, etc. either face to face, on the phone or by e-mail. Here comes a list of some sites, books and other information we have found useful:

  • Overland through Southern Africa; Willie and Sandra Olivier, Hirt & Carter Cape Ltd
  • Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide; Tom Sheppard, Deserts Winds with Land Rover
  • Sahara Overland; Chris Scott, Trailblazer Publications
  • Wild Places of Southern Africa; Tim O`Hagan, Southern Book Publisher Ltd
  • Africa by Road, The Bradt Travel Guide; Charlie Shackell and Ulya Bracht, Bradt Travel Guides, UK


To be as prepared as we can hope to be for a trip like this, we decided to try to learn as much as possible before departure.

Here is a list of what we hope to do before we leave:

  • French classes - In most West African countries, French is the official language. This will hopefully help make communication easier.
  • First-aid - Just in case!
  • Mechanical - So that we can fix problems that might pop up.
  • Winching - There are quite a few dangers here that should be kept in mind.


  • Insurance - Except for Europe, insurance for the car is out of the question. There is a company in England called CampbellIrvine Ltd. that will insure cars driving through Africa, but it's too expensive for us.
  • Carnet - Kind of a passport for the car. You get it stamped coming into a country and must have it stamped when you leave. If it isn't stamped out, they can claim you sold the car in that country and therefore you have to pay import taxes etc. A carnet is usually sourced at your national auto club.
  • Visas - There are few visas that we can get in Norway that will be of use. Most are only valid if you enter the country within 3 months. Thus most countries will be out of "time range" for us, and we will have to get visas along the way in various capitol cities.

The Land Rover Defender 110 td5:

We chose this car for several reasons:
1) In terms of storage space, the Defender 110 is perfect for our needs and is also long enough for us to sleep inside if the need arises.
2) There are few or no vehicles in its category that has the terrain abilities that it has.
3) Although the TD5 is a modern engine, most other mechanical parts are the same as they have always been. The fact that we are not engine mechanics, made us decide that it was better for us to have an engine that is new and hopefully won't have problems rather than an old one that will have problems (that we most likely wouldn't be able to fix anyway…)

  • Hi-lift jack
  • Hand winch
  • Winching gloves
  • tools
  • Aluminium boxes
  • Superwinch Husky electric 3850 kg winch.
  • Sand Plates
  • 6 diesel jerry-cans
  • Air compressor
  • Maps
  • Engel fridge/freezer
  • SOS Rescue Tool (shovel, 2 saws,
    axe, crowbar, plate cutter, hammer…)
  • 12 volt to 220 volt inverter
  • Snatch blocks
  • Shackles
  • Spares for car
  • Tree straps
  • Extra 45 liter diesel tank
  • Tyre-pliers
  • 2 extra wheels/tyres
  • 5 water jerry-cans
  • 12 volt water filter system
  • Emergency rations
  • shovel
  • Sync

Camping Gear:
  • camping chairs
  • camping beds
  • camping tables
  • mini hammocks
  • Propane stove
  • Kitchen/cooking equipment
  • Small ground tent
  • water bottles
  • blankets
  • Side awning against rain & sun
  • Flash lights
  • Roof-top tent
  • Toilet seat with 4 legs!
  • Sleeping bags

Personal gear besides the obvious:
  • Warm jacket
  • Boots
  • Sandals
  • Games & books
  • Rain gear
  • Walking shoes
  • First aid equipment
  • Family album

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180932 - 06/05/11 07:09 PM

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Click here to open map

Click on the shaded countries to view information.


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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180933 - 06/05/11 07:22 PM

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We would like to thank all of our sponsors who have helped us making this trip possible.

www.arctictrucks.no - Arctictrucks:
Have installed a vast amount of equipment including ARB diff locks. They also supply High-lift jacks and Tyre-pliers.

www.saferec.no - SafeRec:
Superwinch Husky with necessary snatch blocks, tree strops, shackles etc. (just in case!) and other equipment installations.

www.michelin.no - Michelin:
6 Michelin XZY tyres. Definitely the most recommended type of tyre for this kind of trip.

www.polaroid.no - Polaroid:
Polaroid film and cameras (so we can give pictures away while on the trip).

Engel Fridge/freezer. It'll be nice to have a cold drink (of water?) every now and then. Not to mention being able to have fresh food for a few more days…

www.landrover.no - LandRover:
Help with the car naturally...

Have made this fantastic website! They also have a great publishing tool called "Sync" that we will use to update our diary while travelling.

Hellanor supplies Recaro car seats:
Although the standard Land Rover seats are Ok, we are sure that the Recaro seats will be highly valued with its extra support and comfort.

Buskerud Blikk og Sveis AS:
They have helped us with metal work inside and outside the car. They also like to drive their Land Rover in hard to get places like north eastern Russia!

Offshore Trawl Supply AS:
Supplies synthetic rope in all sizes, up to 500,000+ kg for large ships. Our winch and extention ropes weigh next to nothing compared to wire, but are stronger than wire of the same diameter!

Knut Anderson Mek. Verksted:
Tel: +47 62 96 42 40 fax: +47 62 96 44 52 SOS Rescue Tool (the best multi tool I have ever seen. It's a shovel, crowbar, saw and more, standard issue in most Norwegian police cars and ambulances).

We would also like to send a special thanks to:
Gerrit Løberg
Cato Jonassen
Morten Corneliussen
Terje Narum
Inger Johanne D.
Gregard Heje
Morten Christian Mo

Below are links that we have found helpful in some way, people we know, or some that we simply find interesting.

Car and Equipment related sites:
http://www.granderg.com -supplies equipment for overland and desert travel. Our compressor is from them.
http://www.southdown4x4.co.uk -supplies protection plates for axles, diffs etc.
http://www.landroverweb.nl -Dutch website (in english) with info on Land Rover related stuff.
http://www.groveknutsen.no -supplies lots of things, amongst them , ZARGES aluminium cases.
http://www.bgnor.no -supplies lots of 4x4 equipment and also 12v-220v inverters from Victron Energy.
http://www.landrovernorway.com -great private Land Rover site, with forums and other info.
http://www.lroc.org.za -Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa.
http://www.nlrk.no - Norwegian Land Rover Club.
http://www.vianor.no -the largest tyre supplier in Scandinavia.
http://www.echo4x4.co.za/ -makes Echo rooftop tents.
http://www.otsas.no/ -supplier of synthetic winch rope. Stronger, yet lighter than wire of the same diameter.
http://www.clrc.org.za/ - Cape Town Land Rover Clubs website.
http://www.offroad.no/ - Norwegian offroad website with lots of info.
http://www.expeditionexchange.com/ - Supplies a large variety of offroad equipment, and has lots cool pictures of vehicle based adventures on their website. Well worth a visit!

http://www.pr-foto.no -Imports Lowepro camera bags and accessories. The best for protecting your gear.
http://www.adozu.com.na -Guided tours, safaris and self drive trips in Southern Africa.
http://www.interinst.no -a friend of ours who supplies medical instruments.
http://www.talcuk.org -they have a book called "Where there is no doctor". A very good book for our trip.
http://www.newafrica.com -general africa info.
http://www.scansign.no -makes signs and stickers in all shapes and sizes.
http://www.bbs-as.no -Buskerud Blikk & Sveis is helping us with some metal work on the car.
http://www.wildnetafrica.com -A portal to Wildlife, Safaris and Travel in Africa.
http://babel.altavista.com/ - A translation website. Very usefull!
http://belflowers.com/ - If you've bought roses, they might well have come from Marks farm in Uganda.
http://www.lyddemper.net/ - Hunting equipment: Rifles, Shotguns, Optics, Radios, Silencers, etc.

Overland travel:
http://www.ihana.com - Tom and Barry are travelling around Latin America in a Land Rover for a few years.
http://www.go-overland.com - has info on both commercial and independant overlanding.
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com - a great overland forum with lots of good info.
http://www.crossing-africa.com - a Dutch man driving on a motorcycle from Holland to RSA.
http://www.africa-overland.net -also see under planning. A site with lots links to sites like ours.
http://www.sahara-overland.com -also see under planning. A great site with a forum and lots of info.
http://www.afrikatour.info -Pieter and Ida Kersten are driving from the Netherlands to South Africa.

Edited by ErikD (12/09/13 03:53 AM)

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180935 - 06/05/11 07:45 PM

Click here for the Discussion thread

Off-road Driving

On the 17th of May, which is Norway`s independence day, we decided to drive up to my mother in law and spend the long weekend there (holiday on both Friday and Monday). On our way up to Nord Odal, we took a detour to Sessvollmoen to do some off-road driving. We spent several hours there and had a great time in the sand and mud. Erik has done a lot of off-road driving before, I, on the other hand, am not that used to it! So I finally got to test the car and see what it really can do and I`m impressed.

After the winter there are always trees that have been blown down and sometimes ends up in the middle of the road or across rivers, which ruins many great fishing places. Erik jumped to the opportunity to winch them out of the .

Driving on Nord Odal Off Road Club course

We also met up with a friend, Anders Steinkjær, on the Nord Odal Off-road Klubb. A great place with a lot varied terrain.  Did some driving with our own car, but the car Anders has with his friends was more fun to both watch and ride in. Thank you very much Anders and Kenneth for a great ride!!

Driving at GP's

On our way home we took a detour, again, to Sessvollmoen to do some more off-road driving together with Erik`s cousin Christopher. With two cars we were on the safe side if someone should get stuck.

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180936 - 06/05/11 07:55 PM

Click here for the Discussion thread

Trip to Bergen

In the end of May, we went to Bergen to attend the wedding of some friends of ours. We drove to Bergen, of course, in our Land Rover. Leaving Oslo friday afternoon, we headed towards the mountains with our car stuffed with a mix of campingear and formalwear! Driving through Hallingdal (a long vally heading east/west) is rather boring, for us, since we drive there several times every year. From Hardangervidda, which is like tundra, and down to Bergen, the scenery changes and becomes more dramatic. It has been a long time since we took this route, so we became tourists again, taking our time. When we came to Voss, we took the wrong turn, and ended up in the wrong direction! As observant as I am (I was the only one who knew the way, Erik was excused since he had never been there before, so maybe I shouldn’t be so proud!!) I realised the mistake and managed to get us back on track. We finally arrived in Bergen at my parents late in the evening.

On the ferry crossing the fjord

On our way home, we took a longer scenic route with my parents through Hardanger. Hardanger is great at this time of year with all the apple trees in full bloom. Unfortunately we were a week too late, but we still got a nice drive through the small villages and crossing the fjords on the ferry in great weather.

A short stop on Hardangervidda

At Geilo we stopped to camp and got to try out all of our camping equipment. Going to bed when the temperature was at 2’ C and the snow still lying here and there was not a really comfortable situation, but with enough blankets we had a long, good night sleep. Unfortunately we woke up to rainstorm and that’s when we found out lots of things that we either needed or needed to change! It wasn’t pleasant for Erik to go the rest of the day with wet shoes! So we got all our stuff together and we were on our way home.

Camping at Geilo

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180938 - 06/05/11 08:22 PM

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June has been a rather hectic month. It began with a boat trip for Erik together with AC's grandfather and a few other elderly gentlemen. It lasted 10 days down the coast of Norway to Kristiansand, cutting over to Denmark, and then over to Sweden before heading north again. A couple of days away from home, Erik managed to slip on a dock, and fall. He landed on the boat, cracking a few ribs and getting the bruise of the century. After arriving in Oslo a few days later he went to the hospital and was sent straight to a CT scan. The doctors were afraid that he might have ruptured his spleen and had internal damage. Luckily it was just the ribs and some torn muscle... As things like this seldom happen alone, he had a (planned) operation 3 days later. A small piece of bone had broken off some years ago in his ancle and was still stuck in between some ligamints. We decided a while ago that it would be a good idea to remove this problem as it had become a bit of a cronic pain. Of course, combining walking with crutches with cracked ribs isn't much fun, and hurts pretty bad, so he's had to lay in bed for a week... Therefore some of the preparations have been put on hold while he's been recovering.

Eirikur from Arctic Trucks installing a ARB diff lock.

That doesn't meen that nothing has happened though! Arctic Trucks had been working on the car while Erik was away and have now installed the extra 45 liter diesel tank (apparently it was quite a hassle... Thanks for being patient Eirikur!), our Recaro seats, a High-lift jack mount and numerous other things. Saferec has also worked on the car, making a system so that the ladder from the rooftent doesn't need to go down to the ground, which might be muddy or otherwise undesirable to stick our ladder into...

Eirikur having fun...

Land Rover Norway had asked long ago to borrow our car for the Oslo Fjordfestival. This lasted for 4 days and according to the people at the Land Rover stand, the amount of visiters that were intrested in the vehicle was tremendous.

We've also bought a few more aluminium "Zarges" cases to store things inside the car. Besides the bigger cases we also got 2 smaller cases to bolt onto the roof. After finding out that we need someplace to store clothes and shoes at night, the small boxes will hopefully be perfect.

In the end of June, Erik went back to Arctic Trucks. This time Jonsi, Eirikurs brother, installed an inverter that we bought from BGnor, this will enable us to recharge things that don't have a 12v charger. Jonsi also put in an instrument so we can check how the batteries in the car are doing.

Jonsi installing the 12v - 220v inverter.

Today, June 28th, we are leaving Oslo for the drive up to the North Cape through Sweden and a small part of Finland. We plan to be there in a few days, and then use the rest of next week down through Norway back to Oslo. It'll be interesting to see how our aluminium box system works on the trip. Hopefully we won't need to change much when we get back home!

Arctic Truck workshop

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180943 - 06/05/11 09:25 PM

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North Cape, 30.06.2002

Top of the world. Well, at least the North Cape...

Finally, our trip is begining. At 09:30 PM we reached the North Cape in the worst possible weather. The fog was so thick, we could only see about 15 meters and had no chance at seeing the Cape. Since it is quite expensive to get in to the North Cape centre, we decided to try our luck the next day and night - hopefully with better weather. So we parked the car about 1 km from the entrance to the Cape and just folded out the tent for the night - it was cold, foggy and wet. The only nice thing was that a flock of reindeer grazed right next to us when we woke up.

The next day, we decided to visit Honningsvåg - the closest small town since there was no point to head up to the plateau before nighttime (especially if you want to see the midnight sun from there) not to mention that the fog was still thick as mashed potatoes. So after having toured the town, doing our groceries shopping and seen the tourist attractions, we headed back up to the Cape, hoping it would have cleared up. And so it had. We arrived at the gates about 10.00 PM and since we got permission beforehand, we were lucky enough to park our car right next to the North Cape Hall so we could get a view of the globe on the plateau in the backround behind the car. The view and the nature is spectacular and it was a strange feeling to know that we now were on the most northern part of mainland Norway and Europe. We were also lucky to see the midnight sun from the Cape.

A.C. and the midnightsun.

Generally speaking though, the North Cape is a tourist trap. Many cruise ships come in to Honningsvåg and drive the tourists up to the Cape at about nine/ten o'clock PM and then return to the ship at about one AM. During this time period there were thousands of people there, all looking at the same thing at the same time. But since the Hall is open until 02:00 AM we waited until all the buses had left and then took a tour of what the building had to offer. This way we got to see it almost by ourselves! At closing time we headed back to our camping spot from the night before, only this time the sun was shining and the temperature was nice and warm. At 03:00 AM we were pretty worn out.

Erik at 02:00 in the morning.

Before leaving the next day, we headed back to the plateau to see it one more time - this time in the morning in the best weather. We consider us selves lucky to have been able to see it in such great weather as it makes it so much nicer.

The coast near Honningsvåg.

So it is time to move on and be on our way - now through Norway.

John aka NitroX

"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180945 - 06/05/11 09:41 PM

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Lofoten, 05.07.02

Some of the older carvings.

Leaving the North Cape in fantastic weather, we drove to Alta, which is a fairly large town. We had a stop there to visit the Alta Museum. This museum has a great outdoor attraction - rock carvings dating back to the year 4000 BC. You tour the surroundings by yourselves and it is a nice walk in addition to viewing the carvings (especially for us that spend so much time in the car). As time passes by quickly and you don't notice it is late because of the midnight sun, we suddenly realised that it was time to set camp. We found a beautiful place along the shore of a fjord and made dinner.

The morning after we headed straight to Melbu to get the ferry to Svolvær, a small town. It was time to see Lofoten - an archipelago off the Norweigian northwest coast. The ferry takes only about 40 minutes and the view is spectacular. Most people in Lofoten live from fishing. The peak season for cod fishing is from January to around March. In this period there is a lot of activity in all the small villages in Lofoten. Svolvær also host the world championship in cod fishing every year. In summertime in Lofoten there is no fishing activity since the fishing season is over, so the villages quiets down and get ready to welcome all the tourists. A very popular thing to do in Lofoten is to live in a "Rorbu" - an small fishing hut, to experience the way of the fishermans life in the old days. In all the towns and villages in Lofoten, they have a system of wooden racks that they hang the fish on. This is done during the spring to dry the fish and make what is known as Stockfish. Stockfish is used by many nations to make different fish dishes, for example Bacalao, and also a norwegian dish called Lutefisk, which is a traditional christmas dish.

Beach camp.

We found a nice place to camp in Svolvær - under these wooden racks! Since it had become rather late when we arrived in Svolvær, we decided to skip making dinner ourselves and went to a local fish restaurant to try out the lokal delicacies - Boknafisk and Bacalao - delicious!

Since we have a pretty tight time schedual, we carefully picked out the activities we wanted to do and see, and fishing was one of them. Trying to get out on a fisingboat in Svolvær, the wind was unfortunately too strong. We then decided to try our luck in Henningsvær. On our way to Henningsvær we stopped by the Arctic Aquarium in Kabelvåg. This was a huge disapointment, not worth the time or money..... In Henningsvær we signed up for a fishing trip later in the afternoon - hoping the wind would die out. In the meantime we drove to Åland Farm to see their variety in ecological farming products. They specialise in goat cheese and herbs. We bought some cheese and Erik was able to talk them into giving him some fresh goatmilk. According to him it was delicious! Some people think he has a rather odd taste in food! Returning to Henningsvær, the wind had calmed down and we finally got on our fishing trip. Going far out to sea we were hoping for lots of big fish. Anne Cathrine got 4 small codfish and Erik got none. Maybe it was the smelly goatmilk that scared the fish away? Anyway, we had a great time talking to the local skipper Tom who had a lot of local knowlege that he shared with us.
It was time to head off again and time to set camp. We took a side road and ended up on a beautiful white beach with the midnight sun in the background out at sea.

A.C. and her huge fish.

The next day we took a detour to Nusfjord - another small fishing village. Here they were packing and storaging the stockfish, ready to be exported to Spain and Italy. They also had a lot of fishheads hanging out to dry. These are rather more smelly then the regular dry stockfish and it doesn't look quite as tasty! The heads are exported to Nigeria, where this is a local delicacy with chili and spices.

Mmm, yummy!!

Our next stop was to visit the Blacksmith in Sund. He is famous for his iron birds which he forges out of metal. A very interesting place that also had a museum which showed virtually everything the local fishers and whalers used both at sea and at home in the old days.

Our final stop was in Å at the southern tip of Lofoten. This is where the road stops. We stopped by the Stockfish Museum and had a tour of how they make the stockfish and its many uses. Lofoten has virtually a world monopoly on Stockfish production as it is the only place where the temperature and weather is right to make the best quality. Å is our last stop in Lofoten, and we are sad to leave this wonderful place. We definitely will be back to spend some more time here.

For the last part of our trip through Norway, we took the ferry to Bodø, which is on the mainland, for the drive back to Oslo. While on the ferry, Erik had a couple of sausages that turned out to be bad. After getting off the ferry at around midnight, we drove for an hour before setting up the tent for the night. During the night, Erik was up several times to throw up and was sick for the next few days while driving back to Oslo. Thus the rest of the trip was rather uneventful.

Now that we are back in Oslo, we plan to use the rest of the time before departing Norway to complete the few things left with the car and other formalities that have to be done.

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180947 - 06/05/11 09:56 PM

Click here for the Discussion thread


Sondre, the Land Rover genius!

This final month before our departure from Norway has been used to complete some unfinished things with the car and our life in general. We have been quite a lot at Land Rover Høvik to, amongst other things install extra "helper springs" that go inside the standard heavy duty ones to make them even stiffer. It'll help a lot when the car is fully packed, and weighs as much as it unfortunatly does. While the car has been there, Erik has also had helpful instuctions from Sondre Mollestad, their Defender expert, regarding general maintanance and other things that are essential to know about the car. Sondre is a Land Rover fanatic and there is nothing he doesn't know about them!

Henrik, the tinman who has a heart.

We have also fitted locking "doors" for the space between the tent and roof rack with Henrik from Buskerud Blikk & Sveis and a box in the rear wheelarch. This is a good spot to put spares and other things not needed daily.

Our doctor friend Jørgen Utvoll, has been a great help with giving us extensive first aid instructions. Hopefully, we won't need the knowledge he has given us, but it is better to be on the safe side and know as much as possible just in case.

Dr. Jorgen, teaching us stuff we hope not to need!

A few days before leaving, we drove out to both Saferec and Arctic Trucks to say goodbye and thank them for their help. We are very greatful for all the assistance we have had from them both.

Learning to fix tyres.

One of the last things we did, was to have a course in tyre repair at Vianor. With our Tyre Pliers from Arctic Trucks to get them off the rim and and lots of plugs and patches, we should be ready for almost anything. Mounting the tyre onto the rim is of course the hardest part. We used lighter fluid, which we sprayed in through the valve and a burning piece of paper to ignite the gas. This popped the tyre into place with a loud bang. It looks and sounds a bit scary, but worked really well.

In the end, we were delayed a few days, as we had to wait for some spare parts. So we left Norway on the 9th instead of the 3rd. At the moment we are on our way through Europe, and will update shortly with info about what is happening now.

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180948 - 06/05/11 10:06 PM

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The courtyard at Chateau de Viennet.

Leaving Norway was quite hectic. The last few days zoomed by while we were busy getting all the small things that we hadn't gotten already. Of course a final packing of the car was in order and was not as quick and easy as it first seemed. It ended up with us packing the car until 05:00 am and only having a couple of hours of sleep before getting up to fetch two innertubes that we hadn't had time to get before.

A few hours later, we drove to the ferry terminal to catch the ferry to Kiel, Germany. A large part of our family had showed up to see us off. After a sad goodbye to them and especially our dog, Tiko, we boarded the ferry. Finally we were able to get a good nights sleep, which we hadn't had for several days. The ferry trip from Oslo to Kiel is rather boring with not much to do except watching the movies in the tiny cinema!

Gustav and wine barrels.

Arriving in Kiel, we drove straight to the highway and headed south. We ended up camping 250 km north of the Swiss border. The day was rather uneventful. The next day we passed through Switzerland and into France. We were hoping to make it to Bèzier before dark, but unfortunatly we weren't fast enough. In Bèzier we have family that we wanted to visit and although we didn't give them much notice beforehand, we were welcomed with open arms. They have a beautiful home at The Chateau de Raissac, which is a vinyard and also the workplace of Christine Viennet (AC's aunt) who is a ceramic artist. We had the best time while we stayed there for 3 days and had a great deal of fun with Christine and Jean. Their son Gustav also showed us the process of winemaking which was very interesting. We of course took the oppertunity to stuff ourselves with winegrapes and other fruits that grew in and near their garden. Jeans lunches are simply increadable and returning to our dull, everyday lunch will naturally be a let down!

Christines birthday lunch.

Lots of yummy grapes.

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180949 - 06/05/11 10:15 PM

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France and Spain

In the Chateau de Peyrepertuse.

On Jean and Christines advice we went to see the abby at Fontfroid and the Chateau de Peyrepertuse and Chateau de Quèribus. All 3 site were very interesting and definatly worth visiting. The castles were used as a defence to the south and are a good hike up to the top. While we were exploring Peyrepertuse, we came over what must have been a toilet from ancient times. A.C. of course had to demonstrate how it worked and upon closer inspection afterwards, we saw that somebody had actually used it recently! YUK!!!

Antique toilet...

The road to Chateau de Queribus.

On our last day together, we went out on their boat for a trip to Sète. The weather was great and we enjoyed being on the water for a few hours. On the way home, there was a bit of a problem as the car alarm kept going off spontaneously every few minutes!!! This was a little embarrassing when we stoppet in town to buy oysters for dinner. After laughing all the way home, we settled down for a delicius meal. It was also Christines birthday, and thus, extra special.

It was time to get moving again and in the morning, after saying goodbye, we headed south for Spain. That evening, we stopped at a camping spot on the beach near Tarragona. After setting up camp, we had a refreshing swim in the Mediterranean. Unfortunatly, the water made Erik itch like crazy all over, for an hour afterwards!!! In the morning we had planned to stop at an internet cafe to update the website. Fat chance!!! It seems to be that every shop in Spain and also some of France, have differant opening hours then they post on the door... If it says that it'll be opened from 1000- 1400, you can be sure that it isn't!!! We walked and drove for seemingly endless hours without luck. Place after place was closed, even though it was supposed to be open. It looks like they open whenever it fancies them.

Heading on, we continued south and ended up camping near Benidorm. Hopefully, our internet cafe search will be more fruitful tomorrow!

.... Well, it wasn´t. But finally, after arriving near Marbella, we have finally found one that is open and works. It´s run by englishmen!?!?! Maybe thats why it´s open...

Today, we are going to take the ferry over to Ceuta and will finally be on the African continent!

Go to Part 2

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Re: Dunia - Two Norwegians African Odyssey [Re: NitroX]
      #180950 - 06/05/11 10:16 PM

Next Erik and AC arrive in Morocco and Africa and the start of a long adventure. But you will have to wait until tomorrow for that.

John aka NitroX

"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"

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