Northcape we’re coming!
Tuesday, the longest day, was a big driving day, plan; we drive all the way from Strömsund to Bodø in Norway!
Many kilometers ahead of us, so we left on time. When on the way we realized it was the day we feared, Suströmming-day! At the first possible supermarket we stopped and were laughed at when we told what we needed… Encouraging words so to say…
The big moment came and a was the lucky one to open the can… Equipped with gloves and can opener I made the first incision or mistake, the can squirted the awful smelling fluid right into my face… (See video on Facebook) We made the first obligatory photo, put the can in some bags and in the back of the van. I tried to clean my face, ears and hands to get rid of the smell, unfortunately it didn’t go…
Now 200km with the can in the van, windows open and go!
We stopped at the mile to get rid of the can and drove on with the windows open
We crossed the border with Norway somewhere around 1pm, and further in the afternoon we crossed the Arctic Circle 🙂
We took some pics and headed on. Finally around 8pm we arrived at the campsite in Bodø, quick dinner and off to bed, alarm set at 4.30…
Early morning at Wednesday as we had to catch the 6am ferry to Moskenes. We made in time and sailed off at 5.50am, hoping the sea would be gentle to us. And actually it was, we were lucky in comparison to other teams who had rough seas 🙂 Destination for today; Hov, partybeach on the northside of the Lofoten. Very scenic route and we arrived at 2pm, put up our tents and even enjoyed the sun! We spoke to other teams about their journey and experiences, had a big BBQ together, and a massive campfire.
Thursday we planned on heading in the direction of Tromso, we left at 9am sharp.
First few hours we drove to the mainland, very scenic but very slow as well. We finally managed to drive up to Rotsund, past Tromso along the E6. We arrived as second team around 6pm, made our camp and had dinner. Other teams kept dropping in, driving the camping lady crazy, she had the best day of the season we guessed 😉 It was a lovely and quiet place and we slept great.
So, today is Friday and we are heading for the northern tip of Europe’s mainland, the North Cape.
Currently we past Alta and have about 175km to go!
- Keep on tracking us: SAC tracking site
We’re on the road!
On Saturday we started our trip around the Baltic Sea, as #1 we were the first ones to leave at 12.15. First goal, the ferry Puttgarden – Rodby, we had some trouble getting out of Hamburg, but the rest was smoothly. Unfortunately we had to wait quite some time to get on the ferry, together with a lot of other teams.
In Denmark we had to collect our sponsored XRay energy drinks. So it wasn’t an option to do the first road book mission near Ystad, instead we drove to Hubbestad. That means taking the short ferry between Helsingor and Helsinborg, while crossing the border we found a polite border patrol who signed our car for one of the picture challenged, eventually we arrived around 22hr in Hubbestad.
Our goal for Sunday was to get to Filipstad, but first get some gas in Jonkoping. That didn’t work out, as our LPG connection does not fit… The ride went smoothly and even managed to find a horse for the picture challenge ‘Horsepower’ 🙂
We stopped in Vadstena to find a big boulder, made a trick shot to made it even look bigger. Rest of the ride was quite smooth as well and we got in Filipstad at 18hr together with another team. Had a nice dinner and even made a campfire (to avoid the mosquitos)
Plan for Monday was to finish somewhere beyond Östersund, quite a drive!
We left a little late to drop off our passenger and get petrol (again)…
We did a lot of driving, without any major problems, the weather was good, had a nice lunch at a lake somewhere, so nothing to complain!
Finally we ended in Strömsund, together with a lot of other teams, helped one team of some beer they were afraid of bringing to Norway…
The effect of Midsommar is clearly, at 23.30 it is still as bright as during the rest of the day, very confusing…
June 18, 2016
The final countdown has started. Brutus has behaved wel during his last days of training, he’s fit and ready to go!
We encountered some trouble with the aligning of Brutus, but the workshop managed to fix him right on time, so Brutus can go straight again 🙂 A new roofwindow was fitted, which was a lot easier than expected, and it came with a musquito net, always convenient when travelling to Scandinavia!
The madatory stickering was done, to show all the generous sponsors that support us on our journey; Luminox, Moyee Coffee, PKF/Post, Drift Innovation, XRay Energy Drinks, Trust, Baltic Sea Spirit, OnePiece, Bad Norwegian. And honestly, doesn’t he look awesome?!
Of course a very big thank you to all the people who donated to Tomoka Support and DeepWave, you brought together a total of more than €1200 for both charities! this is the reason we have been so busy the pat months to, collect money for charity
In the mean time we also found some time to get our story in a few local newspapers, hopefully that will create some more donations, because you can still make your donation, just go to:
And now back to the actual rally:
Starting Line Event Details and Running Order:
Datum: 18th Juni 2016
Adress: Beachclub Strandpauli & Gelände Fischmarkt, Hafenstrasse 89, St.Pauli, Hamburg
10:00 – 11:00 am: Welcome to the Rally Teams & Accreditation
From 11:00 am: Meet & Greet with the Teams
11:30 pm: Official Baltic Rally Kick Off
12:00 – 14:00 pm: Starting Line-Up, the teams leaving Hamburg
From 14:00 pm: Drinks and adventure talk in Beach Club Strandpauli (we are far gone by then)
We’re startnumber #1, so we’re gone first, so if you want to cheer us out, be there early!
Hope to see you in Hamburg!
You can follow us on our trip by checking out this site, top section is a live tracker ‘PolarSteps’ or check out the SAC-Track app here you can see all the participating teams (we are the first one)
And for now, we will be humming this until Saturday morning, start the tune:
Only a few weeks left, and we’re not done yet…
The past few weeks a lot of work has been done on Brutus, and his shape is getting better and better, but it needs get even better.
Brutus has to be in perfect condition to be able to complete such a monstrous roadtrip 🙂
What have we done;
- Fitted new locks on the doors (and left the key inside…)
- Fitted new door rubbers, we’re leak free
- Fixed a braking problem
- Fixed the high beam and claxon; toot-toot
- Installed two new radio’s, FM and CB (let’s talk!)
- Installed a back-up camera, for easily backing up our Brutus
- Installed new 12V power outlets
- Installed new window wipers, we now can drive in the rain
We did a lot, but there are still some things to be taken care of before heading to Hamburg on the 17th of June…
- Brutus needs to be aligned
- A new roof window has to be placed which actually can be opened…
- All the stickers have to be placed
And maybe get some spare parts for on the go…
So, let’s get on with it! 🙂
IF YOU SPENT MONEY TO CHARITY YOU WANT IT TO BE WELL SPENT, ISN’T IT?
A while ago we told you about the first charity we support, now it’s time for our second;
DEEPWAVE THE ORGANISATION FOR MARINE CONSERVATION
Our Earth is a planet of water: 60 percent of the surface belongs to the high- and deepsea. This ecosystem is the largest realm on earth for millions of plants and animals, a major force in global climate dynamics. It is also a rich area for food production and a resource for the growing demands of the increasing world population.
However, the oceans are under strong attack: daily, pollution and mismanagement of resources threaten the fragile balance of this unique biotope. Only with united conservation efforts on a national and international level can this environmental degradation of the high seas be stopped.
For these reasons, the initiative DEEPWAVE was founded in the spring of 2003 in order to develop and enforce environmental means to protect the ecosystem of the high- and deep-sea.
DEEPWAVE is dedicated to the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems and the species they sustain, through the development of innovative technologies, and conservation action based on scientific developments.DEEPWAVE wishes to
- Enhance awareness for marine environmental threats
- Exert pressure on political parties in order to develop further solutions.
- Spread the scientific results of environmental research.
- Give an organisational framework & platform for information & opinion on marine conservational issues.
- Promotes scientific studies.
- Manages public relations and transfer of information.
- Cooperates with other non-governmental organisations.
Now go on and check out their website and see what more Deepwave is doing to make sure our oceans are clean and safe for everyone; Deepwave
You are looking for a suitable liqueur, vodka or maybe a rum or gin from the Scandinavian or Baltic countries? Did you learn to know and love a special, delicious mulled wine on your holiday and now also at home cannot do without it?
We had the same feeling. We’ve been north before and know the “good life” and were in the mood for something good and nostalic. For this we have found our excellent partner Baltic Sea Spirit. Baltic Sea Spirit is kind enough to sponsor us with some real beer and sweets for on the road! We are now sure that we won’t get thristy or hungry! Don’t drink or drive though!
In Baltic Sea Spirit’s extensive online shore you can find a wide range of products from over 8 nations. Whether you crave something from Denmark, Iceland (ok, we won’t drive there), Finland or Estonia, from any country they will have something suitable for you. Experience exotics such as Höögvein Riina, a Glögg from Estonia or one of three fruity liqueurs Pople from Finland. You will find the most popular and best-selling Swedish and Finnish vodkas, Absolut Vodka and Finlandia Vodka, pure and palatable with a long finish. Experience different flavors of vodka: mild, spicy, nutty or rather creamy!
We happy to announce that X.Ray energy drinks (part of the large Danish Harboe Group) is joining Team MidsummerMadness!
During those long Nordic days, with the sun up in the sky and the long and winding roads, we need to stay awake not to drive south, hit any animals or miss exciting sights. Here X.Ray will support us with the needed energy (and one of their magic 6 vitamins!), so we can keep going. We would like to thank X.Ray very much for their support and we will think of you at each needed small-boys pittstop and when we miraculously swirve around a potthole!
If you spent money to charity you want it to be well spent, isn’t it?
So, let us tell you where your funds are going. We choose two different charities as fundraising goals, Tomoka Support and DeepWave.
First let us tell about Tomoka Support and what they have done in the last 5 years (and the first 5 years of their existence).
In the past years thee main projects have taken place in Avégamé (Togo); wells for safe drinking water have been build, new latrines have been build, the school builing has been renovated.
The major problem in our target Area is the total lack of water. In the rainy season, people drink turbid unsafe water, which collects in pools. In the dry season, women walk a distance of 5 (!) kilometers and more in search of water from a small river.
Thanks to fundraising by Tomoka Support the financing for the construction of wells has been realised. The community can now boost of 3 water wells. This has greatly reduced the suffering of women and children who do not have to walk very long distances before having water. Since the construction of the wells equipped with rope pumps, the local community has informed us that their children have less diarrhea related incidents. The community thanks Tomoka Support for its assistance which helps us achieve our goals. They pray that STS will assist us to progressively increase that number of water wells and reduce further the walking distance to access of potable water.
The local population of Avégamé and the Kpékpéta Zone, had no latrine before the beginning the Tomoka project activities in the area. Improper disposal of feaces leads to diseases, especially during the rainy season. Hence the importance of latrines. In order to reduce diseases, water and latrines should go hand i.e. proper hygiene and sanitation
significantly reduces the number of diseases. With Tomoka Supports funding, the community built the first community Latrine in Avégamé. Even before the commissioning of the latrine, Tomoka received numerous requests from the local population in and around Avégamé requesting for more latrines in the area. We hope this is the beginning of a beautiful journey, of latrine construction in our target area.
Before the Tomoka Support intervention, the Avégamé hamlet had a Primary School built by local initiative (EDIL in French), totally unknown to the National authorities of Education.
The school did not even have all the 6 Primary School levels required of a Primary School. It had only one teacher, who was hardly ever paid a salary. The School lacked teaching materials. In short, the school existed only in name.
In the past 5 years of Tomoka Support donations to Tomoka’s intervention of Improving Primary Education, the Primary School in Avégamé ( EDIL Avégamé), has made remarkable progress.
- From a single teacher, the School now boosts of 3 teachers. Each teaches two of the six class levels. Tomoka intends to have 6 teachers-one per class level as is required by the Ministry of Education.
- A salary supplement to the three teachers at the end of each month. This has led to teacher retention at the school.
- Donations of books and reading materials to enhance pupil vocabulary
- Maintaining existing new functioning levels with the help of Lesson Plan Aids, Teaching Aids & Learning Materials for Pupils
- Improvement of education equipment with solar lamps for evening lesson revision by pupils and lesson preparation by teachers
- The official recognition of the EDIL Avégamé School by the National Authorities of Education, and its eligibility to receive government subventions like a qualified teacher as School Director, whose salary is paid by the government.
- Incorporation of relevant rural competences into the curriculum with the fruit trees and school garden
In short the money you donate is well spent, and a lot of people and childern will benefit by your donation to Tomoka Support!
Please do check the website of Tomoka Support and stay informed by liking their Facebook site
, time passes and Brutus is awaiting his final major check-up at the workshop; time to give you a small update on our preperations.
On the 16th Brutus is coming to town for the finishing touches, we still have quite a list of important things we need to take care of before we (are able to) leave.
We’ve got new locks to install, door-rubbers to place, fix a door, fix some brakes. For practical reason we’re installing a rear-view camera as well, Brutus is pretty big in the behind…
Today we reveived our new CB-radio and antenna, so we can talk with our competitors. Maybe we have to start with a crash course on CB-slang
We might have to start looking for a new (working)radio with USB, as well, so we don’t have to listen to all the CB talk all day 😉
As we speak we’re talking to some sponsors to get us around the Baltic with their support.
We’ll keep you guys posted!