The worst start to a road trip!

the worst start to a road trip

Rise and shine, today is the day! Our Norwegian road trip adventure is about to begin. But first, a couple things need taking care of… I drove my dad to town so he could pick up the rental truck they would use to transport all their furniture and belongings up north.

After we got back we loaded everything in the truck. Between the four of us it didn’t take long to get it all into the truck. Having played Tetris always helps in these kind of packing situations.

Since my parents were on a tight deadline to get to Lofoten, and drive the truck back down before the keys got handed over, they took off as soon as we had loaded up the last piece in the truck.

Megumi and I got our things and packed them in the car. Then I took a last walk through the house, memories of my childhood flooded back to me. Even though I haven’t actually lived in the house for almost a decade, it was still my home. And this would be the last time I would step foot in it.

But it was time to go… We had a long day ahead of us, as we wanted to cross Sognefjorden and find a place to camp somewhere north of Bergen. So we set off. Our plan was to drive south towards Førde, but just before take the road across Gaularfjellet and cross the fjord near Balestrand. This would mean we could drive through Voss and see some sights along the way.

However, as we were starting to drive up Utvikfjellet, only an hour or so after leaving the house; no power… lower gear, no.. no power. Check engine light lit up. The car struggled to ascend the mountain. 2nd gear with the hazards on, couldn’t even get to 40km/h. This trip could be over before it even started.

We pulled over, I couldn’t believe it. Deflated, I rang my mum, telling her what had happened. It had never done that before… I got the service book out and had a quick read through the troubleshooting section. It said to turn the car off, and back on again and see if the engine light goes out. Fingers crossed… I turned the key, the engine started, check engine light went off.

There was an Opel dealer in Førde, if we could make it there we could get them to check the code and figure out what the problem was. Further research through Google suggested the car had engaged a limp mode to reduce chances of any damage to the engine.

We made the decision to press on and at least check the code at the dealer in Førde.

Entering the valley from Byrkjelo.

The drive to Førde was a sombre one. Our mood was down, emotionally drained from having left my childhood home for the last time, and now driving a car which potentially couldn’t make it to Lofoten… I drove it gingerly to the dealer.

We arrived an hour later. The car had behaved fine since we started driving again, no issues. They took the car in and checked the code. It came back with a fault reading of the turbo pressure getting too high. Having spoken with my mum about the history of the car, this seemed strange. The dealer in Førde offered to call ahead to a dealer in Bergen after we explained our situation and what our plans were. They could book us in and try to sort it out there. But we decided that since the car was behaving perfectly fine now, we would just press on and make a decision as we got closer.

We didn’t know if this was a good decision or not, but it’s what we decided to do. So after stopping by Rema 1000 (large grocery store) for some snacks we set off for Gaularfjellet.

gaularfjellet
selfie on the mountain

Through all the emotions and things that had happened we had completely forgot to video our departure from Stryn. Woops!

The rest of the day was uneventful, we stopped by a lake to have some a late lunch before we continues towards Sognefjorden. As we got close we realised we are not going to make it across the fjord before it gets dark, so at a rest stop we started looking for camp grounds.

For our trip we relied on an app called ‘NorCamp – Camping in Scandinavia‘. While the design and usability of the app could be better, it has pretty much every camp ground in Norway covered. With ratings, pictures, contact details, it made our life a lot easier on this trip.

We settled on a campground which ended up being just a stones throw away from the ferry wharf, Veganeset Camping. We got our tent up, and started our dinner preparations. Our first night camping on our road trip.

Veganeset Camping
setting up camp

We were excited, even though we had some pretty major issues on our first day. Over dinner we discussed what would be the best course of action, and we decided to skip Bergen this time. If something was to go wrong with the car, we didn’t want to risk getting stuck in a busy street in the city.

almost time for bed

We took a quick little walk by the fjord, and got ready for bed. Tomorrow is another day, and it can only get better from here.

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