North Cape Adventure

Well it wasn’t meant to be quite such an adventure that it ended up being.

On Wednesday I went to North Cape to do a training session for one of our customers. Quite an ordinary deal, just going up on Wednesday and then back on Thursday

Flying up there on Wednesday morning was wonderful, clear sky all the way and nice snow in Honningsvåg. Training went good and I was hoping to be able to take a few good photos of the northern light. But in the afternoon the wind picked up and it started to snow a bit.

Still not to bad.

During the night the weather did a total 365, from cold, calm and clear to warm, windy and raining like crazy. When I got to the airport I had to wait for a while before we got the message that the flight was cancelled due to the bad weather.

Which wasn’t to surprising.

We were told to get on a bus that would take us to Alta which has better weather and a larger airport and we would fly from there, something that happens a lot at these small airports.

Then the adventure started.

Vis Bus accident. i et større kart

The roads were covered in thick ice, it was raining and we had very heavy gushes of wind.

Our bus had snow chains on two of the wheels, one for traction and one for steering.

Apparently it wasn’t good enough.

After about an hour a strong gush of wind took hold and literary just blew the bus straight off the road. We rushed down a 10 – 15 meter incline and came to a stop about 30m from the road and less than 10 meters from the sea. I guess the drivers reflexes saved the day.

If he hadn’t manage to turn the bus a little one the way down we would have gone into the sea. And if he had turned it to soon we would have tipped over. In any of those cases we would have had to abandon the bus and someone might have been injured.

Not to mention that I cannot imagine how it would be to be outside in the freezing rain for the hour it took to get help.

But we were lucky and the bus skidded to a halt on dry land and on its wheels. And with the engine still running the wait wasn’t to bad.

After an hour a minibus came to pick us up. Then it got messy, getting up the bank to the road was a real pain. The bank was made of round stones, frozen, with snow on top. One slip and you would just slide all the way back down. Which I did at least 4 times, and then when I finally got to the top and walked over the road the wind kept pushing me back and almost over the edge again.

But we got into the bus and got going. By now we were all wet which isn’t particularly nice. Especially when you know it’s still at least three hours by bus to Alta. And of course we would miss our flight again.

When we got past the worst part we transferred to a bigger bus and thought that we were home free.

But it wasn’t to be.

When we came to Olderfjord where the road starts over the mountain the driver found the road to be to slippery to get the buss over the pass. But a scheduled services bus was due i not to long and that bus was properly configured to get over the pass.

But I guess that this was the day when nothing went right. The weather was so bad that this bus had to stop and mount equip more snow chains.

This meant sitting another hour in the bus, even if the bus is warm it gets a bit chilly when you are wet.

Finally the buss arrived and we managed to get on to Alta without any more delays, except slow driving across the mountain, passing a snowplough who had hit the ditch to.

By now we were way past the last flight from Alta so we were lodged at Rica Hotel Alta for the night, and for me the trip went on back to Oslo on the first flight today.

Which was blissfully uneventful.

Except I ended up in the seat next to a “reindeer mechanic” or as the rest of us would say, a vet 🙂

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