Thursday, October 4, 2012

Another 2,174 km! - PART THREE

After hiking around rainy Ålesund for a couple days and hanging out with the cool Czech guy it dawned on me that getting all the way up to Tromsø in time to be back in Stockholm by the 28th of September wasn't really realistic.  It was another 20 hours of straight driving north then many many hours back to Oslo and Tønsberg. To do this hitch hiking was going to take many days.  It was already quite cold where we were and the northern lights probably weren't going to be what I pictured during this time of year.  Plus, I really wanted to go dog sledding and it is still to early in the year for that as well.  In the morning I chatted with my travel companion and shared the bad news.  This now meant that we were going to turn back around, have less time to hang out and not finish the mission after all.  Ugh! I felt like an evil, evil being that morning. Luckily the news was taken quite well and we were off to hitchhike back towards Åndalsnes to catch a train back to Tønsberg in the morning.  It took us all day to get just a short distance out of town.  I think we caught four cars and we weren't even to Åndalsnes.  The good news is we had terrible places to wait for cars.

Here are a couple chronologically:

We had a competition to see who would get the car first.... neither of us did so we moved places. 
We weren't getting picked up by the gas station so we walked the open highway and picked up and dropped off just down the highway.... here.  I was pretty alright camping on that platform but we got a ride.... :/
The last spot was by a.... chicken ranch?  The sun was already going down. 

The last car wasn't just passing by Åndalsnes it was actually going all the way to Oslo.  So instead of getting to Åndalsnes and not having a place to sleep we rode with him all the way to Oslo and kept him awake.  Well.... okay.  I slept a bit in the end.  

We arrived in Oslo around 3 am and were supposed to crash at my buddy's friend's place.  The only problem is that his phone had died.  So.......... I guess we were off to find a place to charge his phone....?  In the US those are very easy to find.  Not so much in Oslo.

While studying the walls for outlets and being totally exhausted a sweet blonde girl who had just come from a concert offered us a place to sleep.  I mean... WHO DOES THAT?! Second time in a row!!! This time from a girl who was staying by herself that night.  We didn't chat much because we were so exhausted but I could just tell her personality by the decorations and belongings in her place and scent. She was someone TOTALLY worth getting to know.  She had a guestbook in the bathroom along with an organ, dainty lace curtains, an awesome CD collection.... just cool beyond belief.  I'm sad we didn't stay there for the weekend as she offered so I could become acquainted with her.  

This is a very terrible, dark picture of the place at 5 am.
In the morning we caught the remainder of our train to Tønsberg, relaxed, unpacked and slept like little babies. Going back "home" was slightly surreal but a nice feeling.  I mean, Tønsberg is now my third home. Kind of strange when you think of it.

The next day I slept in a bit and started repacking my things for Gothenburg.  The plan was to jump on a free (with voucher) ferry from Sandefjord to Strömstad then hitchhike from there to Gothenburg. After finally packing everything and enjoying one last coffee it was about 5 mins too late to get on the ferry.  It was poor planning on my part.  I should have looked up times the night before.....  This now meant I had to take a bus or train back to Oslo and from Oslo to Gothenburg.... and pay for it.  Sounds alright I guess..... except there was a 4 wait in Oslo for the next bus.  This also meant I wasn't going to arrive in Gothenburg until 3 am.  

I REALLY wanted to be able to meet up with my cousin and dance off all the built up emotions from the last month.  I was a bit down compared to when I left Sweden or the US.  It doesn't seem like that would be possible with so much beauty around, but it was true.  I think the weather and other vibes really influenced my state of mind. 

So 4 hours of waiting in my favorite bus terminal was in my future.  I decided to knit and do my best to be cool with the situation.  When I arrived in Gothenburg at 3 am I called my new host (who was expecting me) and got no answer.  It was then that I called my cousin.  GOOD NEWS! She as less than 5 minutes away from me!  So we met up, found someone to pawn Wally onto for a few hours and off to dance we were! The clubs often don't close until 5 or 6 am. The "A team" was back in action and our mission was  about to be accomplished!!!

We hung out until the early morning, grabbed Wally (the backpack) and waited for the next set of busses.  I'm sure I smelled horrendous but I was greeted "home" with big hugs and some scrumptious food of some sort... and OF COURSE the famous coffee! :) 

Ma-ma quickly scooped up all of my revolting clothes and washed them in a jiffy.  I'm not sure what she does but my laundry has never been as pristine as when she washes them.  Maybe she washes them with love? ... Like you "cook with love"?  I can't figure it out.  I took a much appreciated shower and finally slept.  We had a delish dinner the next night and I caught up with some peeps on the net then packed the next morning.

The note says "bread for Nicole" so I could make sandwiches and take them with me on my trip.  They saved my gluten free bread. Oh how I love them! They're so, so kind.

The plan was to hitchhike to Stockholm (even though I had a few days to get there) and meet up with another CSer who was on a trip to Germany.

It really should have been a brilliant spot!
By the time I got to my spot the sun was already going down.  I thought, I'm a girl this could work... but there were NO cars in this spot.  Bummer!  So, I hopped back on the bus and went to the closest stop with free wifi.  I didn't know what was going to happen this night but I knew it would work out.

It was then started looking for options on my phone.  I happened to find a group on CouchSurfing for Gothenburg Hitchhikers which had been created less than an hour before.  Maybe they were online?  If they're a hitchhiker maybe they'll understand the situation and let me come by...?  I got an almost immediate response... and BOOM I was in business!  I jumped on a train from central station about 20 minutes out of town and arrived at my new home.

My new host was pretty cool.

.... and so was my cozy room! :)
I think we watched a movie that night then passed out.  The next day my host ran out to do some errands and I was home doing ... something.  I guess it was something useless.  Haha! Oh well.  The following day we went up north so he could do paperwork for his new sailboat.  Déjà vu??? Yeah, kinda. 
I guess there is no pic of his boat.. but I did get some of the harbor.  Too bad this is only 1/8th of the boats there...

Baby starfish anyone?
..being bored towards the end, staring at fish and cloud reflections.. and me I guess...
After finishing the boat festivities we ate at this bar that has free food with purchase of one drink then met up with some friends.  It was a good day. :) 

The next day we went shopping.
.... and watched another cool movie.  In the morning it would be time for me to pack it up again and make a move on.

The plan was now to head to Germany via Copenhagen solo since my ride had to cancel last minute.  How?  I wasn't really sure!  Stay tuned! ;)

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