Raid Laponie Online Diary
Raid laponie online diary will be updated as we proceed.
We try to do the updates daily, but the GSM network in the Northern deserts can sometimes be limited.
During the trip, one can also send an email message to an individual raider or the whole group using the address:
Raid Laponie tosiaikainen päiväkirja jota päivitetään matkan edistyessä.
Päivitykset pyritään tekemään päivittäin, mutta lapin erämaissa GSM-verkko ei välttämättä kata koko reittiämme.
Matkan aikana voit lähettää Raidilaisille viestin, vaikka koko porukalle, osoitteella:
can also read the 2004 diary of the NL-teams in Dutch with lots of
See also http://www.2cv.nl/onderweg/team28/ by team 28 (Martijn and Joost).
more at: http://home.zonnet.nl/finsterwolde/
by Ton and Erwin with
Did you hear
my story of RaidLag? I had almost 3 car accidents on Monday : just not
used anymore that there are also other people and cars on the road...
The bad thing was also that it would have been my fault each time
As in each good book, there should always be an addendum. In this case it is because I forgot to add something. It is about when we were driving from Honningsvåg to Skarsvåg (Ferry arrival in Norway to our hotel which was the base camp to go to the Norh Cape). The road was very steep and as we were heavy loaded, we had to gear down to first gear and lost grip… There we stood, on a steep slope, in the middle of a snow storm, visibility of about 50 to 75m. In order to get going again, we opened our large “get away in difficult and slippery circumstances” box. Trick no 1 consists of driving the car backwards and parking it perpendicular to the side of the road. As such, when you start, you have 1 to 1.5m “horizontal” which can be enough to get going again. Frans was standing outside and giving directions so that I wouldn’t drive too far back and end in the snow wall. While we were “performing” our trick, the snow storm got worse and visibility was zero meters: I couldn’t even see the end of the motor hood. Frans shouted to get going again and there I went. I thought the trick worked and that I was going forward. I opened my door to ask (read : shout) Frans if it would be possible for him to jump in (our speed was just dead slow). And as I opened my door, Frans shouted to me to stop and put the car back perpendicular to the road, since I was going backwards with the spinning wheels. Very strange indeed. Anyway, since trick no 1 was not sufficient, we added trick no 2 which is bumper sitting. The combination of Frans on the bumper and the perpendicular start, was successful and Frans stayed up the bumper for a few hundred meters till the road was more or less horizontal again.
PS: If you are wondering about the visibility: it changed continuously: from very good to zero and back. Sometimes in a few seconds, sometimes in a few minutes. And each condition could last for a very short period of time, but could also last very long. Luckily, the zero visibility conditions were always very short.
Day 10: Hetta – Oulunsalo
And now, the end is near,… and is the end of not only the 10th Raid Laponie, but also of the last Raid Laponie. It hurts, but it has been a fabulous Raid.
Yesterday evening we had the SuperFinn Party. Nicole organized the last Raid Olympics Game and the overall winners were Karsten und Fritz. They won a cool 123 electronic ignition.
Also every participant received his or her SuperFinn Certificate and many received a big thanks and a small gift for their help and support to the organization. I can’t mention everybody who came onto the stage last night, but some are certainly worth mentioning like Serge Narcy as Raider of the Ages. He participated the most times to the Raid Laponie. Also 2 Raid babies were nominated (born exactly 9 months after the 9th Raid Laponie): the son of Manfred & Birgit and my own son Jonas.
At the end of the ceremonies, Gert-Jan and Serge (and others) organized a Hapansillaka (=Sörströming) meal/feast for Jukka and Henkka. They also gave Henkka, Jukka and Veikko a token for our gratefulness for the organization of the 10 Raids Laponie.
The party was a lot of fun and ended with the real die-hards in the sauna at around 04h30!
Today, it was hard to get out of bed and it took more than hour to really be awake. We did have did have to get out rather early since we had a long drive of more than 500km. We did some extra kilometers because we wanted to avoid the big roads as much as possible. We did find a small road, actually the second smallest on the map. It was printed as a small black line, if you want to go smaller, the road line on the map is dotted and the actual road wouldn’t be accessible since not cleared. After about 30 km, we were like wondering where we exactly were since there was a junction that was not on our map. We took another map and there this junction was printed, but another part of the road wasn’t. So we had to combine both maps in order to find our way. The scenery was very nice: everything was white: trees, roads,… The road was so small that there weren’t even guide poles at the side of the road. This made driving sometimes very difficult since it wasn’t always clear where to road was going. One time, we were really convinced that the road was going straight ahead, but in reality there was a bend. Frans noticed it just in time, otherwise we would still have been there digging out our 2CV (calling for help was impossible since we were out of reach of the mobile GSM network)!! This road was about 80km long and it took such a long time (we could only do between 20 and 45 km/h), that we were obliged to take the big road for the rest of the day. We finally arrived at the hotel at 22h00.
Another thing we, as a group, did several times, was giving interviews to the press: television, radio, newspapers (local and national),… The reporters were curious, not only because what the Raid is about also because the Scottish team participated with a 4X4 2CV, a rare model with a very impressive look. I don’t have to tell you that it received all attention.
This is the end of the diary, which at the same time closes the Raid Laponie. It has been great fun and we will certainly see each other again.
This may have been the last Raid Laponie, but a lot of friendships have been founded on and during one of the 10 Raids and they will go on!!
Many many many many thanks to the organizing team,
Tante Rik ssssf
We did get off the Norwegian Island, although it couldn’t go fast enough at a given time: the Norwegian Road Clearance Service was really pushing us. They cleared the road from Skarsvåg to Honningsvåg just for us. This was done in 2 stages: first with a big bulldozer with a big chopper machine mounted in front and then with a classic snow plough. The chopper bulldozer machine is bigger than I am and if such a machine can’t pass, then it is really hopeless. After the clearance by this machine, we could pass with a snow plough in front and one in the back of the 2CV convoy. It was very strange: at some places, there was no snow at all (all blown away) and at other places there was more than 1m (where there was none the day before). Driving back was not too hard, or maybe it just seemed easier since we got “used” to such conditions. Nevertheless, the wind and snow was not to be underestimated.
We haven’t seen much from the big storm, I think we were gone right in time. The skies were so gray and dark that that didn’t predict anything good. Afterwards we heard that around noon, they was a snow storm much more severe than when we where there (and that was already very extreme)
In the morning
we first had checked the road conditions on the main land, and all roads
were still closed, but accessible in convoy drives (this means snow plough
in front and behind a maximum number of cars). By the time we actually
got there, everything was clear again. In the afternoon, we even got nice
sunny weather with positive temperatures (+1°C). That was rather bad
cause when we wanted to get out of the car later on, all doors were frozen
to the car body and we couldn’t get them open anymore (temperatures
at that moment: down to -22°C again).
Later on we arrived in Hetta, a very nice village where there are no big tourist infrastructures as e.g. ski facilities. As such, it is still very calm and quiet here. We had an excellent diner (as we remembered from the previous raids) and then it happened as I predicted: as we came outside from the restaurant and were looking to the sky, the polar light became active. This means that the color of the polar light is continuously changing from the green as it is always visible to blue, red, orange and all other colors of the rainbow. At the moment the polar light gets active, polar light is coming from all directions (360°) and creates a crone in the top of the sky right above our heads. This crone is like the pit of a badly working gas fire: again all colors of the rainbow and continuously moving and changing. I know I’m failing in my description of this rare nature phenomena, but please check http://www.articacademy.fi for a good description and explanation. Anyway, the change from normal polar light to this active corona took only a few minutes and the crone effect was only there for maybe 30 seconds. This display is exceptional to see, certainly since you have to be in the right spot at the right moment… It was also a lot of fun: we sounded like the Japanese people: oh’s & ah’s everywhere. Only now it was justified!!
Anyway, this raid has been a real success what nature is concerned: we saw 2x the moose (first time it was even a group of 4 animals), lots of reindeer of course, a lynx, a very special and rare small bird (today, don’t ask me name, in Finnish it is really impossible the reproduce) and as top of the bill: the active polar light corona.
was a skiing trip on the agenda. The skiing trip brought us to a small
wooden cabin about 6km in the wood. There, a fine reindeer lunch was prepared.
Afterwards, there were sausages that we heated on a stick on a wood fire.
Delicious! I was to participate tot his ski trip on skis, but there were
no shoes anymore of my size (popular size apparently). Several people
of the group had rented a snow scooter and they organized a perfect taxi
service. Since it showed to be a very harsh trip (langlauf through deep
snow without any track), I was not really disappointed.
How tonight will end, you can read tomorrow in the last update of this Raid.
Day 7: Skarsvåg
Here we are again, we just got the ‘good’ news that we are probably stuck on this island. There is and has been a severe snow storm and all roads here and on the main land are blocked. Also there has been a very big avalanche (lumivyöry in Finnish) on the road to Finland. We have to be prepared tomorrow morning 09h00 to leave, but chances are small. Too bad that this happens in Norway where the beer is so expensive (5 EUR for 33cl) and not available any more at this time (we drank everything)…
Anyway, we’ll see what tomorrow brings… Let’s start again where we left yesterday evening: after the drivers meeting, we had a long and fantastic evening/night with a live performance of the Frozen Duck Orchestra (read “band”). They even got me on “stage” playing the guitar and singing some songs (first time in 10 years). Luckily it was quite late at that moment and most people were already to bed. But I was not the only one to do a guest performance: also Gert-Jan gave the best of himself!!!
This morning, there was not too much to do. Henning and co have been visiting the small fishing harbor and saw some giant starfish in the icy cold water. Then this afternoon, there was the trip to North Cape. Only 22 cars out of 40 managed to get there. These 22 cars all had snow chains on and could leave as a first group. The others were to follow later. As the first group had left for half an hour, a giant snow storm began. At certain moments, there was a snow fall of 1cm per minute. Of course, this is only during a few minutes, but it certainly counts. During such snow fall, visibility is less than 20 cm (one can’t even see the end of the motor hood at such time!!!).
Because of this snow storm, also the road to the hotel was closed and we (I was not in the sissy group that puts on snow chains to get somewhere) had to wait 4 hours for snow ploughs to come to clear the road for us. Driving back was also an adventure on itself: due to poor visibility, Frans parked the car in the snow wall on the side of the road during a snow storm, meaning hard labour to get it out again: digging with a shuffle, lying on my back to remove all the snow from under the car and then still no way to get away. Finally, we were pulled out by a truck driving at the end of our convoy. This was really hard, but it also was a lot of fun (more afterwards than at the moment itself). As from the moment we were free again, we had another problem: the road was almost completely blocked again by the storm. Then I knew why the Norwegian people that towed us out were so stressed and shouting and… To give you and idea, we were stuck for about 7 minutes: if it would have been taken 5 minutes more, the snow plough had to come back especially for us… This doesn’t mean that Frans is a poor driver, we had zero visibility (less than 20cm) during more than 30 seconds with a very harsh wind. Jukka has the “rescue operation” on tape (now and then there is a glance of us, the rest is only snow): if you could see this, you would agree that what I’m writing now is only a very poor description of reality!
From the 23 cars that actually left to the North Cape, Alain and Phil didn’t make it. Even with the snow chains it was very hard driving and after about 2km of the 12km, they twice ended in the snow wall (at that road up to 4 meters high) and the car was covered up to the windshield with snow. They barely could get out of the car. After 2 times digging out the car, they decided that it was much safer to turn back (also because they were cut off the rest of the group). A wise and most of all a brave decision. Also Frans and I, at that time still waiting to go on, discussed a lot whether we would go on. First of all, we decided that if we would go on, Frans would drive (if he would wreck his car, he would have had at least the fun and also, I wouldn’t have to pay for the damage). Secondly, we just postponed the decision since we were at that time already very doubtful about being allowed to go…
Anyway, I’m glad we couldn’t go since even with snow chains it was on the edge of reason (to be honest, I’m also glad we hadn’t any snow chains).
PS1: snow chains can be hard to put on. 27 drivers of 7 nationalities tried to put on the snow chains on Phils car: it them 3 hours of trying, shouting,… Finally, they start trying/learning to put the chains on the spare wheel and as that gave a positive result, they just also took the front wheels off to mount the chains… (Phil tries to gloss this by saying that the manual gave 3 different methods and none was good…)
PS2: here are the stories of those who actually arrived at North Cape :
Stéphane (team n°29):
the North Cape was the final goal of the raid, and we were really excited
to be there.
words to our friends:
Tim (team n° 31):
At breakfast, I explained this to my second hand driver Greg who explained to me he came all the way from Australia to see the NORTH CAPE or bust.
To put on the snow chains took us almost 1 hour. They were in my trunk for the last 6 years unused. I happened to run into them at our local grocery store years ago without knowing when to use them. We were the last team to go before the barrier closing the North Cape Road separated the heroes from the losers.
I glued my bonnet to the bumper of the four wheel drive 2CV car. The first kilometer or so we cruised nicely behind him. Why chains? You don´t need them. Before long, cars start sliding off the beaten path. While pulling them back to the road, the 4WD moved sidewards with all four wheels on the sheer ice of the road. Very interesting. Only eight more kilometers to go. Sunset is due in 20 minutes. The chains nicely pull us up every hill. Visibility gets worse. Suddenly, a sign appears: North Cape 185 NOK. Buses right lane, cars left 4 lanes. No buses today. The snow plough ploughed a sixth lane around the booths. Good boy.
North Cape. Whow! We are at the end of the world. This is it! Congratulations, cordial hugs, even a sip of champagne. We find the North Cape monument and take photos for the beloved ones. Call Australia to tell we are there. Everyone shall know it.
A phone call from Manfred reminds us of the rest of the team. Yes, we return soon, yes, the road will be cleared for those waiting 12 km south of the Cape. It starts snowing. Sunset is now. The convoy starts moving back. Peter Saalmink is behind me. His engine stalls. He hooks his car to mine with a rope. The road service truck who is supposed to drive behind us passes us. I glue our rig to his rear lights. Snow blows over the banks besides the road right onto our windows. Snow comes into the car through the closed windows. Greg has to remove snow from the windscreen every minute. The visibility is down to zero. The convoy stops. Our phone receives no signal. Nobody answers my CB calls. I try to walk and look what happens but I have to return to the car immediately. Within 30 seconds, I am soaking wet. I hate North Cape. I dream of Gran Canaria. How long does our fuel last? Where are our warm blankets? Do we have food? How long can you survive in a snow storm? Do the Norwegians know where we are?
It seemed like hours before finally the snow plough appears out of the storm. He turns and ploughs again. Ploughing for his life. It felt like weeks when the convoy finally reached the starting point again. In the darkness, we saw the road better than in daylight. 3 hours of excitement were over. We enjoyed every second of it.
5: Tromsdalen – Honningsvåg
This update includes 2 days, there was just too much fun on the ferry… and it was the first time that everybody was together for a longer period of time without being tired, stressed,… It was the moment to bring up the old stories, to get updated on all kind of home situations (as e.g. the number of kids,…)
I believe that yesterday, we had the toughest day of the last 4 raids: 1.5 km (between the camping in Tromsdalen and the ferry).
Getting on the ferry was not as I expected: there is no ramp or something alike as there is in other ports. The ferry just stops at the wharf and the ramp “comes out” of the ship. Its base is adjustable in height and behind this ramp, there is a huge (car) elevator. This assures that the ship can loaded and unloaded at every wharf independent of the local accommodations and independent of the tidal situation…
The ferry itself was smaller than I thought it would be, although it can accommodate a lot of people (a lot of cabins). These ships are also the mean transportation in this region. I can tell you exactly what the local shops of Hammerfest and Honningsvåg will have in stock as from today (fresh tomatoes, potatoes, green salad, eggs,…). But also a lot of other equipment is traveling along: gas explosion proof equipment (Stahl), Rittal enclosures, flowers, construction wood, airco ventilation pipes,…
said (written), it was really nice on the boat. The Frozen Duck Band has
been performing live all evening/night, we have been looking at pictures
and movies of this and previous raids, world meetings,… We have
been talking about I don’t know what (but certainly the most about
the lonely wives & kids at home whom we miss a lot).
There were several times that there was polar light, one time better than the other, but always very nice. On the ferry, there was also a group of Japanese people and there are very different to us: Oh & Ah in group orchestrated by a choirmaster that wasn’t there. Also they were taking pictures all the time (with flash!!). I would like to see there faces when the pictures are developed and there is just nothing to see.
There is still something else I wanted to mention, but what I forgot the last time. In Belgium, there is this crazy animal rights movement called Gaia (don’t ask me why, also not important). But the last weeks, it has been really cold in Belgium (a few degrees minus, nothing compared to what we have over here). These Gaia people were whining about the fact that the cows, horses and all other animals should have a barn in which they could stand, as if animals can’t withstand the cold anymore. Anyway, over here they would have a lot of work with these “poor” reindeer and moose outside at temperatures up to -50°C…
Anyway, the rapid weather changes make car driving really difficult over here. From Honningsvåg to Skarsvåg there is only about 15km, but 15km of hell. We started with blue sky, one moment later, you don’t see a thing because of fog, the next moment, there is a snow storm and the next moment skies are clear and blue again. This all combined with very steep slopes (9% and more), means that even following the poles at the side of the road is not simple. It is important that you always keep on driving since if you stop, there is not enough grip anymore to go on again. Of course (it should be abnormal of not), we had to stop a certain moment, and indeed, no way we could get on again. There was only one (proven) solution: one of us two had to go stand on the bumper (Veerle, my wife, did it also one time last year). Since Frans was much better dressed against the wind, he volunteered and it resulted in the best piece of video of this raid (inside announcement : héél, héél ruig : For Frans it was just too warm inside the car and therefore…). How I did this video, I can’t remember: combine the weather conditions of above with, if there was any visibility, Frans standing in the way (on the bumper) + steering with one hand, the camera in the other…
At one moment, visibility changed to zero in half a second, without any warning: even the poles at the side of the road along our car where not visible anymore. We knew that a bend was coming and that the road was going up again, since visibility was more than 5 km just before. At that moment, we had a velocity of about 50 km/h (this was a downhill situation and we had to get some speed in order to get on top of the next hill (slope=+9%). This was really bad. We slowed down as fast as we could, but that was actually more slipping and sliding, finally we stopped in the snow wall at the side of the road. To be honest, I just parked the car there so that we could wait for some better weather. Luckily, no damage to the car. Jukka and Henkka experienced the same, excepted that Henkka will have to visit a car body repair center… (not too bad, just minor scratches)
The 4 wheel
drive 2CV finally had her moment of glory today: finally it paid off.
They even pulled Alain and Phil up to Skarsvåg (and that only for
a couple of beers).
Also, Danny & André had a problem today. Their car stopped in the middle of nowhere, on a slope and in a snow storm because of some water in the petrol (tank). Since they are also good mechanics, they quickly solved the problem, but why has one to have such a problem at this location???
Another interesting fact is the snow plough time table system. Over here, it doesn’t need to snow in order to make the roads inaccessible for cars. The wind can move such big quantities of snow in such short periods of time that roads can be completely blocked, even if they were free of snow half an hour earlier. For that reason, the snow plough will clear the road every I don’t know how many minutes. In order for one to know at what time the snow plough will pass by and clear the road, there is a time table, more or less like the bus time table at home. This time table is printed on large boards at the side of the road where you can then also wait. Nice isn’t it? At least you know how long you have to wait…
More news about our trip to North Cape (14km from here) tomorrow!!!
all Raid Laponie Raiders Australia Down Under calling I wish everybody
the coldest temperature possible.
To Greg Batman Bracegirdle (if actually on the Raid with Karsten, I did not get the latest news about the not-going situation due to new baby delivery) : we would like to have your reaction regarding the Arctic Circle Baptism, in other words, what do you think about the surstroming ? Be careful, your words may be published in the ACE magazine....
To Erik and Aniek : thank you for the Happy duck family we received today. It is a nice attention, I hope it is not only because you like the name of our son. Please note his name is Eirik ! He will be able to play with it in no time.
Have a good time everybody and not too much enough drink please.
Lorraine Heurtebise ssf
Day 4: Kiruna – Tromsdalen
I have got more news about the accident: Danny and André were very lucky!!! Here is what happened:
just driving and a car was to pass from the opposite direction. As such,
their big lights were off. At the moment the car passes and they put on
their big lights again: a reindeer right in front of them, no way to escape
it… They hit the reindeer on the left front of the car which made
the car spin around several times. All this at a speed of 60 km/h, which
is a lot if you hit such an animal. Luckily, Danny has a lot of 2CV cross
experience, which made that he could keep the car on the road and made
that they didn’t end somewhere at the side of the road in the bushes.
Anyway, it was a long day again: 400km of driving between Kiruna (Sweden) and Tromsdalen (Norway). Today it is much less: only 2 km to the harbour so we can get on the ferry to Honningsvåg. I’m writing this update today since we were too tired yesterday…
We (Frans and I) drove together with the President (Gunther, the big boss of the Austrian 2CV Club) & Nicole and Arne & Slooten. Very nice. We saw a troop of at least 40 reindeer (along and crossing the road) and we also saw a moose again (really lucky this year).
Just in front of the Norwegian border we did some shopping. It is really amazing what they are selling around here in the petrol shops. It are more big supermarkets where you can find everything from clothing, spare parts for the car, fishing equipment, food,…. In that shop, they had this amazing cool high beam headlight : xenon bulbs, very powerful and very expensive : 524 EUR for 1 light. Since you need at least 2 pieces, these lights would then almost be as expensive as the 2CV itself… Too bad the price was so high, otherwise I would have bought a set (I should really get acquainted with somebody who works at Bosh). They also sell less expensive things such as good quality winter clothing. Much too warm for Belgium, probably even too warm for the Alps (during a ski trip). Anyway, a special, very heavy overall was only 120 EUR, but as already stated: we don’t have any use for it since it is too warm…
The last 50km to Tromsdalen were very hard: there fell about 10cm of snow in a couple of hours. Although it was not a snow storm at all (2 years ago coming back from Vardo was much worse), the visibility was really bad. As such the driving was very fatiguing, but we arrived well and we are now in very nice wooden cabins. Phil is talking about the raids he is organizing: Raid Island (in June of this year), Raid Alaska in 2006, Raid Alaska - Mexico in 2008 and who knows what is to follow afterwards…
PS: The cars are all doing well, except the usual problems : broken driving shafts, alternators,…
Mika Utriaisen kotikonnuilta täältä Vehmersalmelta. Mielenkiitoisia
kokemuksia teillä tuntuu olleen tähän mennessä. Täällä
on tällä hetkellä pakkasta paritkympit eli uunia on lämmitettävä
ihan kunnolla. Huomenna arkiseen aherrukseen eli työpäivähän
se on meillä "tavan taaplareilla". Käy vähän
kateeksi teitä. Silti kysyn: Miten sitikassa pärjää
talven tuiskuissa? Hengessä mukana teidän kanssanne. Mikalle
at sende siden fredag. Switch to english. When you was/were heading north,
we slept in the afternoon in +22 degrees on the lawn!! here in Bearn.
From 1st to 5th we enjoyed extremely good weather. Now we are back
Greeting from us and from Gary and Helena (were here from 1. to 5th.)
Love Ivar and Rie
Greetings to your friends we know.
Greetings to all the teams in the raid and I hopes it is realy nice cold so every body can have fun in the snow.
Team 25 - all the best and hope to see you when you are safe home.
Team 26 - hope to see you in jutland at Citræf this year - i am glad that Tina is well again.
Tante Rik - thanks for the big job keeping us all updatet.
Jukka - Veikko - Henkka - Nicole thanks for making this event possible, I will follow it close.
Best regards Jan Christiansen sf - Denmark
Day 3: Haparanta-Kiruna
In front of the computer sits a tired man : it was a beautiful day, but very tiring…
The day started very early: everybody had left Haparanta at 8h30 for a day total of 500km and a lot of visits. The first visit was to the market of Jokkmokk. A yearly town fair that was organised for the 399th time this year. Since it’s the 399th time, it is famous and, with bus loads, people are brought in for far away. It is a rather large classic fair as can be found everywhere, except that in Jokkmokk, a lot of Lap stuff is sold (we are after all in Lapland).
The visit to the market (as it is called) was nice, but oh so cold. Temperatures of -20°C are not too bad, but when you’re outside for a couple of hours, it is tough. This is also the main reason why we are so tired now.
We didn’t realise this morning that we would be so lone on this market, so we weren’t really prepared/dressed for the cold (not enough warm clothes…). Frans had such cold legs at a given moment that he bought himself a pair of long underpants which he immediately put on in the toilet of a supermarket. As from that moment, he was as a new born man (with warm legs).
Earlier on, everybody stopped at the Artic circle for the Raid Laponie Ceremony initiation of the first time participants, performed by MC Henkka (MC = Master of Ceremony). Basically, the ceremony is quite simple & easy: the first time participants just have to eat a small piece of fish (herring) on a toast with some vegetables. The herring is prepared in a special way, called Hapinsilakka : the fish is caught in spring time, cleaned and then put for about 24 hours in salt water. After these 24 hours, it is immediately canned. Once in the can, a fermentation process starts that is only ready as from the third Thursday of August (also only available as from that time). The cans are like wine: the longer you keep it, the better they get (with bottom & top complete domed). The fish is also better known as Sörströming : a national delicacy of Sweden. Because of the fermentation process, the fish has become very soft, also the bones are not what we are used to be. They also are soft and once you have a piece of this Hapansilakka in your mouth, you can’t make the distinction between “flesh” and “bone”. As you can imagine, the smell is horrible (the taste is even worse). As such, nice pictures have been taken today…
Oh, there is one other detail: in Finland, the Hapansilakka is only good as animal feed and is mainly given to the minks….
Getting back to more interesting stuff: the weather. It was really excellent today. Sun and blue skies, all day long. As a result, the temperatures dropped to -27°C. We (Frans & I) also noticed today, that all farms and country houses without exception, as well in Finland as in Sweden, are paint in a dark aboriginal earth-like red colour. Don’t ask me why, but certainly there will be a good reason.
I also heard this evening that there has been an accident with a reindeer: Danny and André couldn’t avoid the animal… I haven’t talked to Danny or André yet, but although the animal didn’t survive the accident, there should only be minor damage to the car. With Danny and André, everything is ok. If there is more to tell, I will do so the next update.
Since we have entered Lapland, one should always watch out for the reindeer. They are difficult to spot (well hidden in the bush) and cross the road very unexpectedly. They sometimes also just stand in the middle of the road and certainly behind a bend, this can be very dangerous…
Reindeer are no wild animals, they all belong to somebody. There ears are carved by the owners/breeders so that they can recognize their own animals. Thus, in case of an accident, you always have to warn the local police. They can then track the owner and the government will pay the breeder for the loss. If you can’t reach the police, you should cut off the ear with the markings and bring it to the nearest police station. Also, the blood should be taken out so that the meat is not spoiled and can still be sold afterwards. Don’t ask me how this should be done, calling the police is probably just the best solution…
Hallo jongelui, vanuit een zeer stormachtig Katwijk wensen wij jullie veel rijplezier. Ik heb van de diverse sites begrepen dat het erg koud is in Finland (- 25 C.) en dat de tocht behoorlijk zwaar is.Corrie en ik volgen jullie belevenissen op de voet en we leven met jullie mee.Veel succes in de komende dagen.
Hans & Corrie
Hello Jukka & Päivi
Congratulations on setting off on the 10th Raid Laponie. May we at 2CVTV wish you all a safe and enjoyable Journey. I have made a link from our 2004 News Menu so that our visitors (in the UK mainly) can follow your progress. Please let me know if it would be possible to copy a few pictures and words (fully acknowledged to you of course) so that we have a page with our menus that links to your diary, website, e-mail log and weather page.Best wishes
we wish you all the best
alain descamps;zorg dat uw baard niet afvriest,keep on ducking
tante rik; de groeten uit de vloanders
peter and sonja;greatings from marino greta and arno,i am sure that the road is not so bad like in the italian alps
Terveisiä kaikille täältä Haaparandasta. Erityisesti 88 Eijalleni
de Matti team 19
Hyvää matkaa ja terveisiä tuttaville!
this email to the Austrians and to the finnish organizers!
To Arne: Danke fuer die SMS!
Pels en Dré,
Day 1: Helsinki – Vehu
First of all : to all the lonely wives & kids at home : we are doing well, everything is going according plan and don’t worry, we won’t do anything that you wouldn’t do…
I don’t have to tell you that the weather is acting strange again this year : +17°C in Brussels today, positive temperatures in Helsinki (even rain?!), but luckily -7 here in Vehu. The coming days it should go lower since a strong northern wind has been predicted. Of course, there exist 2 different departments: one that predicts the weather and one that actually creates it and, as in a good bureaucracy, they don’t really talk to each other. Rather curious what that’s going give… Despite of these rather high temperatures, the roads are not too slippery. And the spike tires do the rest : no problem at all. Today, there are even spike sets for shoes: Alain Descamps gave me a set tonight and I can certainly use them : I had at least 5 nearly miss “unfriendly encounters” with Mother Earth” (others were less lucky…) Everybody did arrive well today, although there were of course the first day child diseases as e.g. flat tires (Phil & Alain : 2 in one day),...
Frans and I took the scenery road today: the smaller the road, the more we liked it. Of course, it takes more time, but then there is much more to see and it is much less tiresome that the highways. Also for the second hand driver it is much more interesting: planning the route and so.
Vehu is really heaven on earth: a marvelous meal (with fresh smoked salmon, (locally caught) elk stew,…), the best sauna on earth (lake and everything included),…
there are two saunas: one in front of the school where we are sleeping
and one 3km further at the lake. This sauna is in a block hut (with a
very cool chill out room) at about 10 meters from the lake. The sauna
is just the best…
Afterwards there was a real “human” soup: in front of the school, a huge hot bath tub has been installed. The diameter is about 2 meters, 1 meter high. In the water there is a wood stove that heats the water up. It more or less like a spa… since it was outside, it was very cosy: people in the tub and people around the tub, all drinking a beer and telling stories, updating each other about all that happened since the last Raid Laponie… More information about this bath tub should be available on www.amhpuu.fi. I haven’t checked the site yet, but I hope there are some pictures on it.
Hallo Andre & C°
Received your letter today. Have a nice trip in Laponia. We will try to follow you on the way up north. The website is nice and easy. Goodluck and have fun and take care.
We wish you
all a nice trip in Laponia, especially Kenneth and Carina from the middle
of Europe -Vårgårda. Good
Annette & Lorentz
I wish to all 2CV teams on Raid Laponie 2004 good start tomorrow, especially to Sonja and Peter from Maribor, Slovenia with one photo from our ski trails!
P.S.: I follow all of you on raid's home page!!!!!!!
much for the info! Congratulations for the RAID organization, and the
web site (what a good idea!)
- - -
to do so. You can find some high resolution images at the bottom of the
RAID LAPONIE -page.
Hallo Laponie-Raiders 2004
start "RAID WHITE DUST" soon, we are preparing ourselves for
"RAID RED DUST", which will happen March and April in Australia
..., and because we go downunder mid of February, this time we can't go
for our third "s"... Wish you a really cold trip (hey Greg,
you'll like that ...), excellent batteries, well working starter-motors,
proof oil-cylinders (hello Andre ...), less reindeers on the road but
big portions of them on your plate ... We'll have a daily look on the
ssmf/ Anke Thomasky ssmf
1998 !!! -44.6°C, Frederic Taburiaux sf
A lot of snow has fallen everywhere in Finland and more will come almost daily this week before the start. We hope it will also get colder with sime clear skies when the fun starts.
My raid-2CV in Vaasa 1.2. - ready to go. The second one which will be borrowed by Manfred is in the garage. Just found a leaking oil pressure light plug in the engine room.
Thanks Team 27 Lance Larson & Antonio Suarez
Hi again, Jukka, I depart Perth on Wed 28th Jan for Riga, and Karsten will pick me up in Riga for the drive up to Tallin on the 3rd Feb.
Not a big change really, but I changed my second-hand driver again! My father in law was to busy to come, so I asked Loek Bartelings sf. And he agreed to be my second-hand driver!
Is it too late to organise snow scooter hire? I have damaged a ligament
on my right knee and I will be useless at skiing now. If possible, I will
hire one of those noisy scooters!!
Cheers, Greg, Australia team 9
today and tomorrow it's off to Germany.
See you soon, Mark Lewis, team 31
Raidlaponie Online diary is open! / Raid Laponie Online päiväkirja on avattu!
Today -33C on the top of Finland.