You see those small blue levers? They are set right now, but when I tapped water for the first time from this tap, they were turned a quarter the other way. At first I thought there was no water coming out, until I heard someone scream very loud. A very angry man. Not only did I gave water to his flowers, but also the man himself. That Orange Gardena hose led to his mobile home with the flower patch.
Good thing the weather was good…
The neighbour on the camping was not amused, but I didn't feel like I did anything wrong, even though he stood there dripping wet. "Sorry, I don't understand Norwegian", I said. I haven't learned the words yet he was screaming out, and they won't be given much priority, even though it might be handy to know what names people call you in a different language.
In a calm manner I said to him that he could have avoided this situation could, but It would seem I was talking to a wall. Until his wife came out and saw what happened. When she understood the situation, she broke into a fit of laughter. I do think I understood the Norwegian that she spoke. Somewhere along the line of "did you forget to set it back?".
This made the man more mad as he returned into his mobile home.
Yes, life on a camping is not so bore after all.
This whole summer, I stood on a camping only twice before, which was when Remy was here. I did camp a lot, but it was always camping in the wild. Whenever possible, I like to avoid campings. There is not place I sleep worse then on a camping. Screaming children, people walking by your tent when going to the toilet, guests that keek talking till late a night, or snoring neighbours. There's always something that keeps me up at night, or wakes me up. And apart from the bad sleeping, there are other discomforts: That toilet buildings are always far from the tent-field and near those who can use the toilet from within their caravan. And then there are the showers where you have to very nimble to prevent your dry clothing from touching the wet and often dirty floor. And even then, you couldn't keep your last clean piece of underwear from the floor.
Yes, it's tough, camping life!
24 hours later:
I pitched my tent on a wonderful camping spot at a lake and just had a swim, because it was very warm that day. As I came out of the water, I saw to my dismay a camper coming. And standing still. An older couple came out. How did they manage to get here??, I thought. Well, probably the same as me: running into it by accident.
Lucky for me, I am well-practised in drying and changing myself discretely, But I was quite annoyed that my privacy and quiet was taken away from me.
“Ich spreche kein Norwegisch”, the man said to me.
“Og jeg snakker ikke Tysk”, and I don't speak German, I said in Norwegian.
A bit silly, but on one hand I was annoyed that he started in German (why do German tourists just assume the whole world speaks German?) on the other hand I was amused he thought that I was Norwegian. He looked at me in confusion. “But I do speak English”, I said quickly. I did not feel like speaking German, and I felt like having company even less.
How to chase them away, I wondered... Swimming naked? No, that probably won't work on them. Shall I say I'm standing here a couple of days now and that the spot they placed their picknick table was my toilet? For four whole days! Or that I have a morning ritual with screaming and grunting that reverberates nicely over the lake? NO, just imagine they'll say "great! We'll join you!"
I thought of some more options, but in the end I decided to accept the situation as it is.
After a while, the woman left with here Nordic walking sticks for a walk (which is my interpretation, maybe she had other plans with them). In the meantime, the man changed into a swimming clothes and went for a swim, but not before he told me all about the breakdown they had with their camper and that their water tank was broken.
"Luckily there is plenty of water here", I said to ease his mind. "You can drink it". No, they rather did not. I could have told them that I was here a couple of day earlier and that I drank this water and still lived, but I doubted it would help. He seemed steadfast.
A little later the woman came back and they decided to sit nicely at the lake in their camping chars near me. It's not so bad, is it? The nice evening sun.
"She said you can drink the water here", the man said to the woman.
"Really? I wouldn't do it!"
"She would know".
"Well, luckily we still have enough water. Did you ask her how far she cycled? And where she is heading?"
"No, you ask that".
"Not now, she's cooking".
Never in my life did I monitor a conversation so openly! Lucky for me, the questions never came.
Well, That night I had to walk some distance from my tent to the toilet, while they in their camper....
Apart from camping a lot, I also cycled a lot.
A couple of days ago I cycled over a road on which there was work done. I arrived at the road worker who was managing the traffic there. AS he saw me, he beckoned me to come. "Please come here and wait on the side. Once the car are moving, you can follow them from the rear. The cars are faster, so you'll have the road to yourself. The opposite side only start after last one - that is you - past. But you have to ride as quickly as you can, so they don't have to wait too long. Can you manage that?".
"No pressure...", I thought.
"How long is it?", I asked.
"About one and a half kilometres".
"Is it up or down?".
"Both, but not steep".
"I'll do my best!", I promised.
The man said over the Walkie Talkie that the row would be closed by a 'lady on a bicycle'.
On his signal the cars began to move and I followed the last car. At first I cycled down hill, which went very fast, as I could keep up with the cars, but not much after that, I indeed had the road to myself. I plunged on upwards. Just before, I filled my water sack and flasks with water from a pond, because I didn't know where I would end up camping and if there would be water there. 3 litres extra. I looked at the distance I rode on my phone: 2 kilometres. That's not one and a half sir. I moved on and finally, after three and a half kilometre, I arrived at the other side where there was a huge traffic jam of two cars! Not a very busy road apparently... The road worker that managed the traffic on the other side called to me "Du er rask!", You are fast! And a motorist opened a window and started applauding. Wow, I started felling I was a front-runner in a bicycle race.
In hindsight I could have been faster, because I there was water at the next camping spot.
Concerning my own 'road work'.
Last year I cycled from Oslo to Selånger with the intent to publish a guide for this as well.
Selånger is near the city Sundsvall at the Swedish east coast and is the starting point of The St. Olav's Way to Trondheim (which is cycled in July).
That the guide is still not out, is because I wasn't happy with the first hundred kilometres to the Swedish border.
And since I was travelling that way anyway, I took the opportunity to make adjustments to the route.
The way the route was leaving Oslo was the first thing I didn't like, but now there is - with special thanks to Øyvind Wold, with whom I cycled through Oslo for a day - a route I'm happy with.
But there was another part that went over a much too busy road.
For this one, I found a wonderful alternative and replace a 65 kilometre route by a 60 kilometre route. Apart from the quietness of the route, it is also prettier and has fewer ups and downs!
I am on a campsite again as I write this (on Wednesday, August, 24). A ghost campsite. There are all permanent pitches, but it seems to be deserted. There is also no reception desk. When I arrived, it took me a while before I saw someone I could speak to.
“No, there is no reception desk, the owner works on the field at the moment. But you can pitch your tent somewhere. The owner will come later. Do you have cash with you?”
"Yes, how much is it?"
“Hm… A caravan costs NOK 350 (± €35), but it will probably be a bit cheaper for a tent”.
Well, I hope so… There appears to be no shower, there is only an outdoor toilet and no Wi-Fi. I'll pitch my tent anyway. All the way in the back, at a swimming beach and next to a building where fish heads hang.
I have probably never had so much peace and privacy on a campsite.
Øyvind showed me a wonderful part a Oslo: The most densely populated area in the middle of an industrial area. And before you protest: there is nothing but green and silence...:
Photo’s of the 60 renewed kilometres near the Swedisch border:
Some other pictures: