recovering…

Location: Rovaniemi / Finland
Odo: 285610

Sick days as usual. Fever came, fever went. Reading, internet, sleeping. I drove away from the playground and found a nice place on a dam.

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After about 30 hours an employee of a power company came by. At first I was a little scared because he looked exactly like Jack Bauer and I was not really in the condition the safe the world. He told me that I was on private ground which is not for camping and that he would appreciate me leaving within three hours. The second time I was sent away on this trip. And in a really nice way to say the least. I should have taken a picture of him…

The last two nights I stayed at a parking lot near SantaSport (Spa + Sports Hotel) and tomorrow I’ll cross the polar circle and pay a short visit to the biggest tourist trap around: Santa’s own village. I was told that local tourism students have to serve there as elves for one week as a practical experience. I somehow got the hunch that this may mean that elves are not real which would lead to suspicion if Santa maybe is a lie. I guess I’ve to investigate further. Maybe I can shed some light into this conspiracy…

Another waterfront, another weird encounter

Odo: 283860
Location: Bamböle, Aland Islands, Finland

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The Aland Islands seem to be mostly private owned. I didn’t find a decent spot at the coast at all at was sent away for the first time on this trip. I just stopped to have a look at the map, engine still running. A woman pulled up behind me and told me that I was on the property of some fancy resort. At least she was friendly enough to tell me where the property ends. I forgot to suggest that they maybe should post a sign at the crossroads saying “private property” or something similar… So I stayed at the parking lot of one of the two public beaches in the area.

Around 01:30 I was lying in bed reading when a car stopped. Loud music, drunken youngguns throwing their empty beer cans on the parking lot after getting out. I wasn’t actually tempted to get in touch so I read on. Later the music died and was replaced by some click click click noise. It started, stopped, started again, quite arhytmic. Ahh, it’s the starter of the car not turning due to a dead battery… While I was getting up I heard them pushing the car around. After the usual drunkard communication like “Hey, I know some german, …” I gave them a jump start, watched them driving off and put their trash away. They seemed quite thankful at least. And it was the first time in sweden I actually got a broken car running again.

Don’t try to push start a car with automatic transmission. It doesn’t work. But it’s possible to pull start them with another car.

Swedish Healthcare

I was hoping not to try out any healthcare institute. Now my friend suddenly got an infection of the bladder. Luckily we were already in the suburbs of stockholm. We arrived at the first hospital around 23:30 and it was closed. 20 mins later we arrived at karolinka, a quite large hospital. While I was parking the paperwork was done and they said it would take 15min until somebody will take a look at my friend. Actually it took a little longer but maybe there was an emergency. They ran blood & urine tests, waited for the results and made a prescription for the matching meds. From my point of view they did a good job but I have to admit that I was only sitting in the waiting room / napping in the van and that I’ve no clue of healthcare whatsoever.

After driving to a 24h pharmacy the first hotel was booked out but the second had vacancy. Around five in the morning we could check in, the price was reasonable (Ibis Style, 65€ / double) and the night clerk was just preparing the early breakfast so we could make some sandwiches and sleep through breakfast. I dropped my friend at the train station at 11:30, searched a parking spot, bought a wrong ticket and went to sleep again. Luckily I wasn’t fined.

Water pump repair sucess!

The first fix on the trip. After painfully emptying the tank cup by cup until I could reach into it without spilling water the fix was really easy. One hose inside the tank got disconnected. The only difficulty is that you can’t see what you are doing. But luckily I’m very good in seeing with my fingers. Not truly a water dancer but enough to do fix a water pump blindfolded or to open up a bra one-handed without looking :-)

Day #1, Sweden

My progress was faster than expected. Due to the broken water pump I have to fetch a coffee and take a dump elsewhere.

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Stockholm finally!

At the first glance sweden resembles germany, only that the inhabitants are more friendly. But maybe ikea isn’t the real sweden… We’ll see….

Packing my bags

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Having a supermarket next door and an elevator in the building makes loading a car quite comfortable…

Is this representing me? It’s not everything I’m packing but it’s a weird combination of stuff. We have got (from left to right):

  • inner tubes for my bicycle
  • traction chains for the van
  • rock climbing gear
  • snorkel gear
  • camera tripod
  • power drill
  • gas for a soldering iron and a small blowtorch
  • travel hammock
  • slackline
  • eight boxes of misc stuff for having fun with microcontrollers & circuits (mostly arduino/android/raspi related). actually 1/3 of the cart.
  • binos
  • small wood saw
  • low pass filter for a subwoofer