Santa’s chilly breath.

Wednesday 19 September. At 06:30 the temperature was 2° and Santa’s village was wrapped in a chilling fog. I turned on the tap to make a cup of tea and, though I could hear the pump running, no water flowed. The bathroom tap and flush offered trickles, the shower nothing. The water pressure has been a little low of late but this had me stumped. Thankfully I found there was a motorhome place in Rovaniemi and headed there. The receptionist spoke English, the technicians didn’t. She explained the problem, they fixed it but she wasn’t around to explain what they did, and although they tried, I couldn’t understand how what they were trying to tell me tied into the resolution. Frustrating, as I don’t know what to do if the problem reoccurs.

Overnight, I’d thought about why I was so excited to be in Finland, and decided it’s the space, the scale, the sense of wilderness; the big outdoors I’d imagined when I was planning all this, with Norway’s fjords being the biggest attraction. Leaving the workshop to head north into the ‘wilderness’, through cold fog, now worrying about the fragility of all the on board systems, and all the things that could happen with the engine, I was filled with nagging insecurity. Not wishing to overplay this, if something goes TU it is only going to be a major PITA, that’s all, but it’s going to be a while until I’m going to close to another place big enough to have a motorhome dealership.

Anyway, an hour later the sun had burned of the mist and I’d already decided not to worry about anything until it happens. I pulled over by a large lake that barely had a ripple on it and had a short walk.

Continuing my journey I came across these fellows at three different locations.

So that was reindeer ticked off the list. I was now driving through an area of lakes and forest. The road was quiet but I’m sure half the vehicles I passed were motorhomes. There was much waving to each other. I’d also glimpsed motorhomes tucked in the woods or nestled by the water like strange, docile creatures.

So, where was I heading? Up until now I’ve mapped my own journey, but now I’m on a route to Nordkapp, and then heading along the one main road that follows the coast of Norway, there are few options. I’ve decided to pick up the route from a trip a couple did two years ago and blogged about. Why reinvent the wheel? They did the research, found the route and sites, so I’m using it as a template and I’ll adapt it as I go.

Today, I was heading to a pitch they’d stayed at, near what they thought was the last point to fill with water and empty wastes until Nordkapp. The site is a ski resort high on a bare hill,

but I didn’t fancy staying there. I walked into the town to stretch my legs, found the service point, returned to the van and drove it down. I parked in a corner of the car park, showered, did some hand washing, emptied the wastes and topped up with water. I should be good for five days or so.

I headed to the next stop on this couples itinerary, which was a pitch by a lake, only 45 minutes away.

Much better. It’s a bit of that wilderness, and I’m the only one here.

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