Raid Laponie Online Diary

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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:

Do you want to read the diaries by Tante Rik from the previous raids of 2000 and 2002.

You can also read the 2004 diary of the NL-teams in Dutch with lots of
nice photos in "Foto Gallery":

See also by team 28 (Martijn and Joost).

And more at: by Ton and Erwin with
diary in Dutch and interesting photos.


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

Yeah, sometimes, one needs some luck... (veerle was with me in he car & couldn't laugh at all, what I can understand of course...)

Yesterady we went to a restaurant and they had a hearth (fire place). The smell was so good: I was just flashed back to Finland (Ski trip in Hetta, sauna in Vehu,...)

My first day at work was just horrible, now it is going better, but still... I keep on dreaming and that is just the best...

Tante Rik


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.

Tante Rik

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


Day 8: Skarsvåg-Hetta
Day 9: Hetta

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).
The scenery was very nice and changed several times: driving along the coast in Norway (no fjords, but very nice and steep mountains) then a road through a canyon and finally roads through the woods where there were huge amounts of snow on the trees. It was already dark when we were driving through these woods and with the big strong head lights, it had a very strange look, unnatural even, as in a very scary movie! In that last part, we also saw a lynx crossing the street and looking very anxious to us as we passed by (a lynx is a large cat with the very specific hairy ears). Also the polar light was very active in 2 dimensions: there was not only the known long stretched cloud like polar light, but it also had the vertical lines. My prediction at that time was that it could get active!

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 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.

Today, there 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.
A sauna, some beers and a delicious diner (reindeer & salmon) further, we are now ready for the SuperFinn Certificate Ceremony and SuperFinn party afterwards. As from then, I can sign with “Tante Rik ssssf” : for each participated Raid Laponie, one “s”.

How tonight will end, you can read tomorrow in the last update of this Raid.

Tante Rik


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).

Tante Rik

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 :

Didier & Stéphane (team n°29):
The conditions where so bad that we couldn’t see the car in front of us, because the visibity was horrible (1 meter !), and it is worse if they don’t have any fog red light on the back. Many of us made touch in snow walls, and we had to use the shovel and push 2cv to put them on the road, when it was possible to find it !!

Arrived on the North Cape was the final goal of the raid, and we were really excited to be there.
After a short stop, we had to return, and it was worse !!! The snow storm was incredible and very strong. There were so much snow falling in a short time, and no visibility, that Stephane had to run in front of the car to find the road, even if the snow plough has just passed. Thanks to him !
Now, all roads are closed and we are drinking beers in the Hotel, waiting for the end of the storm to return in the main land and continue the raid. We don’t know yet if it will be possible tomorrow….!

Some French words to our friends:
« Merci à nos amis qui nous ont permis d’arriver jusque là, et qui suivent nos aventures. Ici la neige est excellente !!! A Bientôt ! »

Mark & Tim (team n° 31):
Today was the worst and best days 2cv driving I have ever done. We almost didn’t make it on the North Cape road as they were checking for snow chains before they could go on the road. We had none but had to tell the snow plough driver we had 4 wheel drive two times before he would let us through. The way up was bad and a few cars got stuck and we had to help Alfred out of a snow wall. He did buy us some beers which was nice. We finally got to North Cape which was white. Image a sheet of A4 paper and that was it. The way back was just awful. I have driven four wheel drive in many places and this was the worst ever. The car in front had five rear lights and at one meter, I couldn’t see any of them. There were many stops and in the end
Stéphane (team 29) ran five kilometers in front of the last five cars, that were still on the road back from the North Cape, to show where the road actually was and to test the snow depth. A big thank you. The weather was so bad that the car park had to be dug out before we could park at the hotel. It took an hour. After getting the car parked and making sure there was enough room for the snow plough to get past we had the driver meeting and found out that there have been avalanches south of here so all the roads are closed… The worst news is that the hotel has run out of beer and I don’t want to spent another day here as it is my birthday tomorrow and I have to have a drink.

Karsten & Greg (team n° 9):
I am a very reasonable person so I decided not to play in the snow with my precious car. We could encounter a terrible snowstorm and end up destroying the 2CV. So I decided not to go to North Cape. I do not need to prove anything to anybody.

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.


Day 5: Tromsdalen – Honningsvåg
Day 6: Honningsvåg – Skarsvåg

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,…

As already 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).
During the trip, there weather could change in one minute from open and clear sky to a snow storm. Over here at Skarsvåg, this is even worse: a few seconds are enough, but more about that later.

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).
We couldn’t go to the Norh Cape today since we were rather late (delayed ferry arrival + it took a long time before all 2CV’s were disembarked (with this elevator thing)) and there is also a VW team over here. They were already on their way to the North Cape when we arrived and since only one team of cars can go at a time, we have to wait until tomorrow. This VW team copied the Raid idea from Jukka and Henkka. It means that the Raid Laponie is doing very well, otherwise it wouldn’t be copied!!!

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!!!

Tante Rik


G'Day to all Raid Laponie Raiders Australia Down Under calling I wish everybody the coldest temperature possible.
Here are two messages

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:

They were 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.
The animal was badly hurt and ran into the forest. In the beginning, it stayed not too far from the road and Danny and André could still see it, but then it rain far away in the forest. Anyway, another Swedish car stopped and this guy called the police who called the nearest breeder. This guy came over, but couldn’t locate the animal, so they fetched some snow scooter for an extended search. Finally, they found the animal deep in the forest, but it was so badly hurt (broken shoulder) that they had to kill it (it was already unconscious). They left it there for the night and were to pick it up the next day (otherwise it would be a loss of food). The car itself was not too badly damaged, considering that it could have been much much worse: the bonnet, a headlight and a wheel arch. Too bad however since the car was completely redone and better than new. Anyway, the breeder is insured for such accidents and this insurance would pay for all the damage…
Every year there are about 4200 reindeer killed in Lapland.

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…

Tante Rik

PS: The cars are all doing well, except the usual problems : broken driving shafts, alternators,…


Tervehdys 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 erityisterveiset! Tsemppiä!
Have a nice and happy journey to Nordcapp. I have visited it in Summer... maybe sometimes in Winter... Good Luck!!

t. Jussi


Kære Tim

Har prøvet 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
to normal/+12 degrees. And the 5th you slept in minus 10, we heard from Lina. Pjuw. What a deference. We follow your steps every evening, when possibly (please let us through).

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

Hello everybody,

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.

Anyway, after the market, Kenneth Alexanderson arranged a guide visit at an old hydro power plant station. The facility opened in 1910 and is has been completely preserved: turbines, generators, control room,… Some of the turbines and generators were opened to show the inside for easy understanding of how it works. Very, very nice. At this time, the facility is not in use anymore, except 2 turbines/generators: one for education/training of staff and the other for R&D (research and development). Thanks Kenneth : wonderful idea. After the power plant, we had still about 150km to drive, which made that we only arrived around 22h30 at Kiruna…

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…

More tomorrow,

Tante Rik


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

from Dick Roberts



raiders, we wish you all the best
andre masure;KAPPEN HE(in de rally van zweden zijn ze nu ook aan het kappen)'t zal wel weer niet koud genoeg zujn zeker?

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

les flandriens


Hallo Bikkels,
Alles goed daar. Ik probeer nogmaals een mailtje te sturen. Op dit tijdstip zal het hoop ik niet zo druk zijn.
Hopelijk gaat het bij jullie goed. Is het al koud of valt het mee. Hier wordt het weer slecht en er wordt dit weekend weer een zuidwesterstorm verwacht.

Nou maar hopen dat de schutting blijft staan.
Volgende week ben ik de hele week vrij. Kan ik op de "kindjes" passen. Ga dinsdag met Marielle en Paul mee naar Amsterdam en Almere.

Mijn moeder vond het sms-je heel leuk.
Ik hoop dat jullie het gezellig hebben. Was de sauna lekker!!!!!
Veel plezier nog en doe voorzichtig met overstekende rendieren want ik ben bang dat Oma dat niet aan kan.
Doet het fototoestel het trouwens goed.
Koen even voor jou: Mis je heel erg, hou van je en denk erom dat je thuis komt eten!!!!!!!
Heel veel groetjes en een dikke kus aan de andere 3 mannen.


Day 2:Vehu-Haparanta

Today, we left much too late : first of all because of 3h30 last night (morning) and because of the necessary money exchange since Sweden and Norway don’t have euros… Since we had to do 500km today, we mainly did the big roads.

A lot of other teams (that got away in time) did smaller roads and Henning decided that he had to do something special and parked his car in a ditch… Not his fault and nothing to worry about: no one got hurt and no damage to the car. Actually, it could have happened to everybody. It has been snowing today and on the smaller roads, one can only orientate on the poles on the side of the road (since they are not cleared immediately). These were badly placed and as such a faint curve in the road was not visible. Thus although he was exactly between the poles, he still ended with one front wheel in the ditch. Once there is one wheel in the ditch, there is nothing you can’t do anymore: the rest of the 2CV just follows. A nice Finn that accidentally passed by, called a tractor and he pulled Henning out (the start of the story is more exiting than the end, but I unfortunately can’t help it).

More interesting were the group of 4 moose (or elk) we saw today: really cool. I have really been waiting (3x Raid Laponie) to see them and then now 4 in one time…
Everybody has probably seen these animals already in a zoo, but in real life, real nature it is really impressive! Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop because of some trucks behind us, but still…

Today, we also wanted to do an official ice road over the sea (from the main land to an island), but it was too late. This is something we will do at the end of the Raid.

At this time we are already in Sweden, right behind the Finn-Swedish border. Tomorrow we will pass the Artic Circle and that promises lots of fun…

Some Dutch teams are also keeping an online log book. You can check it on + (Dutch only)

Tante Rik

PS: Private Raider messages :
Andi, Frizomat is doing ok beside the fact that about 75% of his brains were not available this moring, but I could compensate with the 25% which I got left from yesterday evening/night. Manfred…

Henning, Team 24: We are well aware and have a fantastic car that can port 1 ton of snow inside…

Veerle, Love you, Tante Rik

Frans: Ma, how is it with triko and duts and casper ???
Min temp. today – 12 My temp was 36° am I sic now?
Your not lonely man.


Terveisiä kaikille täältä Haaparandasta. Erityisesti 88 Eijalleni

de Matti team 19


Hyvää matkaa ja terveisiä tuttaville!



In Finland there is about 110 000 elgs. Every autumn has been hunted 80 000 away, but there still are 30 000 them walking in the woods. (In Sweden two times this sum)
And yes they are free :) And they really walk where they want to. Even in the streets. They have no traffic regulations. There are almost 3 000 crashes per year in Finland. When you meet an elg: pass it always from behind!
If you get in an accident with an elg:

- warn other traffic
- help people
- call: ambulance 112, call: police 10022

If the animal is injured badly, it must be finished. Police will do that. But if the elg runs to woods, LOOK which direction it goes. Local hunters go after it. Same rules with every other animal, but remember that somebody always owns a
reindeer, so contact at least local people - it is recommended always call police. Bears are sleeping at this time of year, but if you some reason hit one, do NOT in any
case go out of the car! Wolfes you do no see, they are so clever - they see you! I tell this because I have hit a deer two times with my 2cV; it really spoils your day :(
300-500 kg
60-70 kg
25-30 kg
Have a safety Raid!
Pia Könönen sssf


Please distribute this email to the Austrians and to the finnish organizers!

Hi all!
We are sitting here in Saigon and we need no Sauna to sweat! It is more than 30 degrees and humid. You can't exist here without a fan! We try to avoid the sun, but without success, we are already sunburned! It is incredible busy here, all people are moving. Mostly by Motorbike, and
there is only one Rule: don't stop! They drive left and right, schneiden die Kurven, take no notice of the traffic signs and so on... But it flows and I have not seen any traffic jam. For european pedestrians it seems to impossible
to cross a road, but it is possible! Close your eyes, move steadily across the street, they will ausweichen - wirklich!
The beer (Saigon-Beer) is fine here! We can't image at the monent, that people sleep in a tent in the snow...

Doris sf and Gerhard sssf

To Arne: Danke fuer die SMS!


Pels en Dré,
I wish you a very nice trip.Geef maar buzze
Gilbert KINDT


Nous souhaitons une excellente forme aussi bien à tous les  voyageurs qu’à toutes les  2CV !!! Merci aux organisateurs de nous permettre de suivre votre voyage Nous adressons tout particulièrement à Stéphane TRADIGO et à Didier GAMBERT  (Team 29) un petit souffle chaud de France pour les réchauffer. Peut-on vous adresser leur photo ainsi que celle de leur 2CV ? Merci aux organisateurs
M-Claude et Jacques, sponsors


Hoi Frank,
als we het goed begrepen hebben, heb je je eerste dag er op zitten. Is het meegevallen? Het lijkt me fantastisch mooi. Hoeveel uur licht heb je eigenlijk? enne...op de site van de raid werd beloofd dat er massa's sneeuw zouden zijn - kettingen al nodig gehad, of werken de spijkerbandjes naar behoren?
Veel plezier verder!!
Bertha en Olaf


Day 1: Helsinki – Vehu

Ok here we are: the first update on the 10th Raid Laponie.

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),…

Actually, 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…
Due to the strange temperature pattern of the latest weeks, there are 2 ice layers: one that is about 20 cm thick (and safe) and another that is only a centimeter or less thick (with a water layer in between). For one other reason (no comments please), this thin layer cracked and broke when I got on the lake : really disturbing as I didn’t know about the two layers and cracking ice is like the worst nightmare you can get, certainly, if at a certain moment, it just breaks and …. Luckily I just ended a layer lower (= about 10cm) Anyway, since I’m still writing this story, there is nothing to worry about.

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 I haven’t checked the site yet, but I hope there are some pictures on it.

Anyway, it is about 3h30 now and I’m going to bed,
See you all…
Tante Rik


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.

Jean-luc and Ivette


We wish you all a nice trip in Laponia, especially Kenneth and Carina from the middle of Europe -Vårgårda. Good
luck and take care.

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!!!!!!!


Andrej Borko,


Thanks very much for the info! Congratulations for the RAID organization, and the web site (what a good idea!)
Do you mind, if I cut some infos and pictures, and I make a one page briefing in our Club Magazine in Hungary? I'm sure it will interest our 2CV-fans in Hungary!
Thank you in advance, and I wish you GOOD LUCK and NICE WHEATHER, CLEAR SKY IN THE NIGHT!!!


- - -

Feel free to do so. You can find some high resolution images at the bottom of the RAID LAPONIE -page.



Hallo Laponie-Raiders 2004

while you 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
Raid-diary to be informed about your trip Have a lot of fun..

Andreas Belz ssmf/ Anke Thomasky ssmf

Souvenir 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.



We leave Sevilla Thursday night. We hope you don´t change anything from that day until the day we meet you in Helsinki.

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.

See you soon!,
Cheers, Batman (Car 9)


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!



Hi Jukka, 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



2CV loaded 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.

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