Saturday 10th June
Time to head West towards Stavanger! We said our goodbyes to Marius and his family, who were amazing hosts and even sent us off with a few more beers for the road, plus a replacement fuel cap!
That morning we travelled the whole South coast of the country, stopping at Kristiansand to eat our pack lunch and paddle at the beach, before continuing along the coast.
FYI, today is officially Lex’s 14th birthday! We gave him more treats and hugs than normal, but he’s already very spoilt anyway. He also found a pork chop on the beach, so that instantly made his day.
So, here are two nuggets of info:
– In Norway, unlike most countries, you have the right to pitch a tent and sleep almost anywhere, even on private land (if it’s unfenced, uncultivated, not too close to houses, plus a few other caveats).
– We’d so far been paying around £20-28 a night for campsites full of facilities we weren’t using, while we generally have all the food, water and equipment that we need to actually camp in the middle of nowhere.
And judging by the puny tent to motorhome ratio at campsites we’ve stayed at (maybe 2 tents max, amidst a sea of motorhomes), it started to seem obvious we weren’t quite doing it right.
So we made some adjustments to our camping style! Every couple of days, we’d need to stock up on water (we can carry up to 22ltr with us in the car), and perhaps have a shower… if we aren’t feeling too feral. So we’d only aim for campsites when we needed those things. The rest of the time we’d try to find a suitable spot to make our own camp, and of course, leave no trace of our stay in the wild. But we still have lots of learning & experimenting to do on the practice of wild-camping. Finding the right spot is not as easy as it sounds!
Tonight was the first night we wild-camped officially. Here’s how it went:
We’d spent all day driving, and reached Flekkefjord by the time we were ready to turn in. We’d heard about a great hike in the area, and we didn’t want to drive far away from it so we could do that in the morning.
We ended up at Ana-Sira (a tiny village) because it was a 2 minute drive from the hike, and there appeared to be a perfect-looking spot on google maps, at the end of a winding road that lead to nowhere. But when we arrived, the road was fenced off, and the perfect-looking spot appeared to be solid rock anyway. Note to self: Moss looks like grass on google maps. So we scouted out a few other spots on foot, and eventually, an hour or two later, we stumbled upon a secluded clearing (half of which seemed to be used for dumping old boats) on the opposite end of the village. We brought the car around and made camp for the evening. Lovely.
Unfortunately, it became clear fairly soon that our lovely camp was again, midge-infested. We can’t really pin down a reason why, except that there was a small river within audible range. So, it’s not only standing-water that the little bastards like (as the internet would have had us believe), and apparently you don’t need to be very close to it either! The other explanation is just that midges are the true rulers of Norway and do whatever the hell they want, wherever they want.
Fortunately however, I had a bright idea. We had these big black net things designed to pull over the car doors to give Lex shade while having the window open. I chucked one over my head, tucked it in at all edges, and… voila! I was midge-proof! Plus, they were even baggy enough to eat our dinner from within the safety of our armour. 🙂
Midge defence systems upgraded!
The only problem was, I couldn’t see well enough through the net to notice they were still nibbling at my legs. Next time, must upgrade the shorts too.
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