We set course for the city of Tromso and reached only by 2 in the morning. Luckily, we had already made reservations at a campsite. Unluckily, we were all tired but there were tents to be pitched before we could dream of sleep. While the day was incredibly sunny, the night wasn’t as comfortable. Temperatures suddenly dipped to three degrees as the team scrambled to set up camp. Our first time proper camping; not quite what I had in mind, but then again things rarely play out the way we expect.
By day, our campsite in Tromso was beautiful. We had pitched our tents by the river so I woke up to the gurgle of flowing water and a medley of birds chirping. The sun was already high in the sky and the weather was pleasant.
Once we got ready and packed up, someone from the local radio station came by to take an interview. We chatted awhile with the wonderful lady and when it was time to leave, she sang us a Norwegian lullaby as a parting gift while we gave her behind the scenes access to the making of our lunch- chole and rice. After this quick cultural exchange, we said our goodbyes and she took off.
Since we had the fuel filter with us, it was high time we changed it. We drove to the nearest Toyota service station in Tromso hoping for some assistance but when we asked them how much it would cost to switch out the filter, they made us an offer we had to refuse.
Dad was pretty confident that he could do it himself and so he got to work. He would have actually pulled it off had it not been for a small glitch with one of the screws. I guess the Toyota guys felt bad as they watched us struggle so they came to help us out free of cost. Thank god for humanity!
With the fuel filter replaced, we set out once more, south bound along the Norwegian coastline. The drive was breathtaking. We continued our ocean drive into the wee hours of the morning till we found ourselves sleepy and in the middle of nowhere. The sun would be up soon and there wasn’t a hotel in sight. Just another night in the car, I mused, nothing we haven’t done before.
When I woke up to sun streaming through the car window, I learned that we had spent the night in a place called Fauske. Once again, we continued our drive along the Norwegian coastline- south bound. The sun was brighter than ever and every one we came across was quick to point out the unusually good weather we seem to have brought along with us!
Norway is comprised of numerous tiny islands and so we found that major highways are connected by hourly ferry systems. This time, our ferry journey lasted an hour and what a treat the hour was. Bright sunshine caused the blue ocean to sparkle as the rays danced on the surface. About half an hour into the ferry ride, we passed a monument marking the arctic circle. We were back in the temperate zone but really speaking, it would be a couple of days before we really felt the difference.
For the first time, we managed to reach a place well before midnight. We pulled into Mo I Rana at about 6:45pm, identified a campsite, set up the tents and headed out for a pizza dinner and groceries- all before 11pm. A record, ladies and gentlemen! The tents were pitched on a large patch of green alongside a river. The temperature was finally comfortable. Not too hot and not too cold, perfect for a good nights’ sleep in the outdoors.