Top Marks

I’m always anxious when I have to make a ferry. Any deadline will get me focused. I don’t want to miss boat, train or plane so I’ll give myself loads of time. What if you get a puncture on the way to the airport? A nightmare of stress sweat and cursing is what you’re gonna get. So avoid this if at all possible.

I’m on the 09:15 to Oslo from Frederikshavn. It’s 104km from Ø Hurup. Up a the crack of 5:30. Broad daylight here. As I’m in free digs with no one watching me I have spread out like a beached jellyfish. Wet gear here, keys there,  laundry bag and everything spread out everywhere.

The nice people in Stena Line have cabin reserved for me so I can sleep then shower snd shave. So I skip ablutions and have a humble muesli breakfast with an instant cappuccino. Next to gather up my things and go.

Put the key in the ignition and no lights on the dash. I noticed last evening I couldn’t get the neutral light on. The fairies didn’t come and fix it in the night either. The bike starts fine but I have no indicators, horn or rear break lights.

Off I head on the road to Frederikshavn and I have time to think and practice hand signals. No one on the road, the sun is shining the problem will be solved In Oslo. Pricey place to get something fixed. Sunday as well. Maybe they close in Monday too like the bike shops do here In Ireland. That could mean 4 days in the most expensive city on the planet.

Keep on rocking up the road. Bike going fine but I don’t want to be arrested by armed policemen for not having a rear light and waving frantically at other road users as I come to junctions.

I fill up with petrol and miss the junction for the ferry and do a u turn. Rather than leave the bike running while in the queue I hop off a push it to the check in office. The nice girl in Stena wants my booking reference and passport. I give her my phone and the system works.

Top of lane 5 in the sunshine. It must be a fuse that’s gone on the bike. How do I fix that. So I start with Google and search for XRV750 manual and there you go, I found one in the net. Find fuses and low and behold I now know where the fuse box is. Have I spare fuses? Don’t know. Anyway the issue is moving along.

Up arrive Anders & Johannes who are headed to Sweden to camp and fish for Perch and Pike with a fair amount of beer drinks too.

Anders & Johannes

I embark, take 2 travel tablets for insurance and find my cabin. The travel tables should help me sleep. A quick snap on the deck and I’m off to the land of nodd. I slept for four hours and wake for lunch. Ablutions done and changed from bike gear into regular clothes.

There is a buffet on board and I’m sure I’ll get value out of that. I still haven’t figured out the Kroner yet but I use N26 and I’m all set to eat a hearty lunch.

Bike strapped down for the crossing

Cold meat starter with rocket leaves

Fish course poached salmon, smoked salmon,  prawn salad, hard boiled egg and a couple of mussels

Mains roasted potatoes, baby boiled potatoes and portions of cod & hake in different cream sauce

Deserts chocolate cake and blackberry open tart.

Cheese, a bit of crumbly blue a bit of Bree and another medium soft cheese with crackers and grapes. I miss the glass of red wine with this part of the meal.

Soft whipped ice cream with chocolate sprinkles and hundreds and thousands.


Yes I have a healthy appetite so my mom always told me. A”gorb” in Monaghan parlance.

I had to vacate cabin by four, read my book and dozed for the last couple of hours.

Before disembarkation I found a quiet corner at the rear of the ship opposite the stairs on deck 5. A chap the same age as myself started to make conversation in Norwegian with me. Lots of smiling and nodding of heads. Then up comes the lift and 4 security guards man handle a skin head in torn jeans and another guy with a fashionable peaked baseball cap out of the lift. They are drunk and I think have been fighting. They are hugging one minute and then pulled apart by the guards. The skin head is now crying and wailing holding his shin and screaming in agony. You know the type of yobs you get every where. The old fella has something to do with the fracas too because the guards have raised their voices to him as well. This is what 9 hours of drinking can do to you. Hello Norway.

The bike starts and off I go with Mr TomTom to find a camp site. Waving my way through the traffic I arrive at a campsite in the hills overlooking Oslo.

Tent up. Now where is the fuse box. This is the overhaul of a nuclear reactor as far as I am concerned. I won’t go into detail. Suffice it to say I succeeded. Fan fuse ok so overheating is still an issue. Top marks for the fuse job.

Tent up fuse fixed. Top Marks
Oslo sunset
The Norwegians like to dress up in traditional costumes.

Schumi walks half ways across the camp site to look at my bike and tell me he rode an Africa Twin for 17 years.

Open The Powers Gold Label and we had a couple of drams. He is a police officer in Stuttgart. Was an officer in the armed forces and will retire at 62. I thought the services could retire at 55. Nope In Germany it was 60 but has been increased to 62 now.

Schumi and his dog Axel

3 thoughts on “Top Marks

  1. Now the scenery Becomes a trafficking hazard.
    Take time to smell the roses. Going good so far Michael Well done with the fuse problem.


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