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Norway Expedition part 2

Part 2…

Chains on all four wheels, we drove through deep snow in darkness for 5 hours to reach Oppdall. It was a big shout whether to drive to our original destination or take what seemed like an easier route out of the mountains. However, this would have taken us way off track and would have resulted in another big driving day the next day. So we ploughed on, through the night.

We reached Oppdall in the middle of the night and parked up at a secluded spot in the woods to find some shelter from the battering ice-cold winds. Stopped stationary, safety. I opened the door to find thick snow and even thicker sheet ice. We popped the roof of the Landy up to give some more room to relax after a pretty sketchy day. Dinner on and a wee whisky poured – we needed that even though it was late. The pop-top was up for about an hour, and the wind was just way too strong; I was sure even with the chains on, the Land Rover slid a few inches at one point. It had to come down. Luckily, though, we have the pull-out bed that’s more than big enough for two downstairs. Super cosy, tucked up with the diesel heater on, we finally got some kip. Minus 25 degrees Celsius outside, but at this point, it was like a small Scandinavian sauna inside. Perfection.

Watch our full Norway video over on our Youtube Channel

Morning broke, and the weather was still seriously wild. Hunkering down in the “downstairs bedroom” still meant we had worktop space for the Cadac stove for morning coffee and porridge, even when the bed was fully out. Just making that morning process in a small space that little bit easier. We had planned to take the skis on a tour, but it was pretty obvious that wasn’t happening. Also, judging by the road conditions, the drive later on in the day we had planned was going to take an awful lot longer than anticipated. Again – in Norway, don’t trust anything Google Maps tells you!

We decided to have a leisurely morning and completely check the vehicle over mechanically after the day before. Everything was sound – a testament to an almighty bit of engineering from the British legends at Land Rover. We also repacked all the tools and spare boxes as basically everything had been turned upside down the day before.

When in extreme environments like this, it's so important to know where everything is. Wasting time searching for important tools or gear in freezing conditions is completely impractical. Plus, you only NEED something when you NEED something; everything has its place.

Everything back in place, it’s time to head off to our next location – the stunning Atlantic Ocean Road.

Norway, just like Scotland, has a right to roam. Utilising an app called Park4Night, Emma the co-pilot could spend a good amount of time en route researching the best spots right where we wanted to be. Park4Night is also a really good resource around the continent and in Scotland.

Driving shift done, accident and snowdrift-free, we arrived as darkness was falling at the East end of the twisting island connecting road. The weather was calm, and the severe snow had subsided as we journeyed closer to the coast. A perfect spot right by the water. Pop-top up, dinner on, and a wee beer from the Yeti cooler. Today had been a lot less stressful than the day before.

Darkness fell, and the Aurora Watch app buzzed on my phone. No way, yassssss. Neither of us had seen it before, so we had no idea what to expect really. We saw a lightish-colored haze on the horizon, and then it all began to kick off.

A good snooze in the pop-top was had that evening; the temperature was a lot milder by the coast too, so at a balmy minus 6, we didn’t even have the heater on.

Alarms went off, and up around 5 am before sunrise. Time to drive this road! Conditions couldn’t have been better. I mean, the photos tell the story!

A ten-hour drive later, we landed in Odda, Hardangerfjord. We’d planned a winter expedition up through the mountains to Trolltunga. We’re pretty used to the cold by now, but the day hike got us pretty warm! Twisting through the mountains between hiking boots and snowshoes, we finally arrived at our spot for the night. A tent perched at the top of a cliff a 15-minute walk from the rock formation of Trolltunga. We watched the sun go down over the fjord below with another early start to come. Four-season sleeping bags all zipped up, we hunkered down for the night. Cold. Very.

Views in the morning were unforgettable. The rock formation of Trolltunga was simply stunning. Actually jaw-dropping. Being a winter hike as well, we were the only ones on the mountain; in the summer months, this place can be hoaching. Even a queue to see the main rocks, but today, in minus 15, we were completely alone.

Almost ten hours later, we were back at the Landy. Knackered, packed up, and ready for a wee treat. A night in a treehouse on the opposite side of the valley. @woodnest have knocked it out the park with these things. Stunning. We definitely felt like we’d earned a bit of respite!

Morning broke with more stunning views, but it was time to hit the road again. Road conditions checked, no chains required, we could push on south through the fjords.

The final hike to end the trip was a shorter one, Pulpit Rock, Prekestolen, a 600-meter-high cliff platform above Lysefjorden. Just an hour and a half’s early morning trudge up an icy trail, it seemed like super quick progress compared to the previous. Again, timing was primo, early morning winter at a busy tourist spot like this worked spot on, almost all to ourselves barring a couple of French dudes.

It was time to start heading home; I was missing the workshop, the smell of freshly CNC’d panels, and the farm. As we bid farewell to Norway and found on the ferry back to Denmark, we couldn't help but reflect on the incredible journey we had undertaken. From the exhilarating highs to the challenging lows, every moment had been an adventure in its own right. Also, the buffet on the ferry was … ooofty, lovely stuff.

What a trip, highs, lows, cold nights, epic adventures. This is what the vehicles we build give you, and this is exactly why we design and build the conversions we do. To enable you to do more of the things you love. So, you may have to wait a wee while at the moment as we’re super busy (sorry!), but get planning adventures, scheming of long trips, sporadic short getaways. Local trips, long-haul travels, escapes from work. Climbing trips, hiking tours, biking weekends. Build it, love it, and most importantly, use it.

Wake up to adventure.

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