When the beautifully majestic bringer of heat, light, and all things good (aka The Sun) made an appearance we decided to take down the tent and start our huge ass drive through the mountains. Fuck up four impending.
This fuck up is more of an injury/accident type of affair and, yes, the onus was on me, again.
To cut a long story short, I nearly chopped off the top of my finger on one of the support rods for the tent. Yes, it was 6:30AM, I was freezing cold and could barely use my fingers as it was but, somehow, someway, the elasticated metal rod decided to ping back onto my poor old finger while I was taking it down.
This literally shattered my nail, bruised my finger tip like an out of date peach and, took a nice bit of flesh from the cuticle. Blood was flowing, I was laughing. KOS got out the first aid kit and we patched up my crippled finger then got back on the merry old road in attempt to find Odda.
We were driving for about an hour when fuck up five decided to come into play, it was nothing major, but still. For some unknown reason, while we were driving, I felt a need to pull the car over, on the side of a mountain, and chuck lumps (vomit) like there was no tomorrow.
After duly emptying the contents of my stomach I jumped back in the car, wiped my mouth, and continued with our drive.
Six hours, a breakfast buffet and numerous wrong turns later, we found ourselves at the base camp for the enigmatic Trolltunga. We’d done it! We’d made it to our destination without spiralling into a fiery decent down the side of a Norwegian mountain in our little black Mitsubishi.
Guess what now? Yes, you got it! Another fuck up! Again, it was a financial fuck up. This time it was to do with parking, bank cards and coins.
To park at the base camp for Trolltunga you have to pay 100NOK (£10), which we were happy to do, the only problem was you had to pay in coins or credit card. Between us we had about 17NOK in coins (the rest in notes and there wasn’t an open shop around for miles) and debit cards (without any money on them, as discussed in part one).
This meant we were, once again, asking random strangers to use their credit card and we’d give them the cash. After a bit of the usual laughing at our misfortune, we found a group of Polish people that were happy to help, paid them, and the machine decided it didn’t want to print our ticket anyway.
Shortly after phoning the parking company and battling with the almost non existent phone signal to find out that nobody was going to come and check the car park anyway, we were on our way. At this point I saw what we was meant to be climbing and, if I’m honest, I was bricking it like a bat at an Ozzy Osbourne gig.
For reasons still unknown to me, KOS decided that, instead of using the nature trail thingy, we should make our ascent up the mountain using what looked like an ancient disused mining cart track.
When I say this thing was falling apart, it was falling apart. I mean, I’ve stood on cardboard boxes that felt sturdier. Anyway, not being one to shy away from a life threatening challenge, I followed suit and started a treacherous climb up the ricketiest staircase/ladder I’ve ever seen.
About half way up and an hour later we reach a false horizon before a pretty much vertical climb. As if for a joke, this was the part where the bits of wood we were using as steps became ridiculously small and started creaking like a 90 year old’s hip. We battled through, KOS ahead and me bricking it behind.
A brief strip show (I needed to take off my thermals), a heavy panic attack and oceans of sweat later, we had arrived at the top of the deathly mine-cart track.
At this point I was met with a choice: hang around the side of the fence that was in front of me like I was in a Mission Impossible film, or, go through a tiny hole in the fence in front of me. I bundled through that fence like I was being chased by pack of ravenous lions.
Once I’d managed to gather my wits and smoked a spliff I was actually able to take in the magnitude of where we were. On top of a god damned Norwegian mountain! I’d never even seen a mountain before but there I was, stoned and tired yet still excited and ready to continue our trek along the beautiful mountain top.
While trekking along the mountain top, climbing huge boulders and jumping across waterfalls like a couple of wild mountain goats, we decided to stop for a quick cup of tea. This is when fuck up seven decides to make an appearance. KOS forgot to bring the gas!
Though I was gutted that I had to ‘make do’ with fresh water from a mountain spring, I can’t lie, I was somewhat thrilled that it wasn’t me who fucked up this time. As you’d probably expect after reading this far, we laughed and then continued on our mission to the mythical trolls tongue.
After roughly 5 hours of trekking across all sorts of unfriendly terrain we started to really feel the weather, the sun started dropping and the temperature with it. We decided to check the map to see how far we had left before we got to the trolls tongue and were faced with a literal life or death situation; continue our venture to the tongue with no food, no tent, soaked thermals and just a thin jacket each, or turn back.
We decided to continue with our ridiculous challenge, each passer-by seemingly increasingly more concerned with our safety and wellbeing, and going in the opposite direction themselves, right up until we could actually see how far the tongue actually was. It was literally miles away, and it wasn’t an easy stroll either, it was up more mountainous rock climbs, through more tiny rivers and it would genuinely have meant trying to get back down the mountain in the pitch black darkness of the night sky.
With my health considerably waning (I was exhausted to say the least) we both decided that it would probably be a good idea to turn back. Somewhat disappointed that we wasn’t going to make it to the tongue we turned around and started our long trek back to the car.
During the trek back, I started feeling like I was literally struggling to move my legs, it felt like I was an elephant using a toddlers lower limbs and was scarily close to just collapsing through exhaustion – I was so visibly battered a lovely couple stopped us and forced me to take a bar of chocolate from them, I was fucked to say the least.
The ironic thing was, I was in such a state I couldn’t even chew the chocolate, at this point it hit me, I had a few packets of sugar from the breakfast gaff in my pocket. I decided to put the sugar in some water which actually helped me to get a bit of energy.
None the less, about three quarters of the way back we stumbled on a little abandoned cabin and decided to take a break from the icy winds and gruelling hike inside it. At this point I lost the will to live and decided that I wanted to just sleep in there, KOS had none of it and explained that staying there would have meant certain death. It was freezing, we had no food or any other provisions.
After a short break in the dusty old cabin we continued our trek, every step seeming like I was dragging a two tonne iron pillar with me.
By the time the sun had decided to completely disappear we’d made our way to the nature trail down the mountain. Needless to say I didn’t walk much of it, I think I spent more time on my arse then I did on my legs. To quote KOS “every time I turned around you was on your arse, mukka”.
None the less, getting back to our little car was such a joy I can’t even begin to describe it. It was over, I was back on safe ground, the air was warmer and the car had heating!
But, this was not the end of our day’s challenges, we now had to find somewhere to stay, we’d both decided that camping was completely out of the question so we set about hunting for a bed and breakfast.
We were literally driving for over 2 hours looking for somewhere to stay, finding abandoned hotels, disused industrial estates and numerous national parks before finding some old fella who was running a B & B out of his house.
We asked how much and took the room. Alive, check, bed for the night, check, next on the list was food, we needed food like never before.
While hunting for the place to stay we remembered passing what looked like a town centre so we decided to drive back there and look for a takeaway. Once there we realised our choices were extremely limited – we had the choice of the dodgiest looking kebab gaff ever or a ridiculously expensive Chinese.
We opted Chinese.
So there we was, in a B & B in some old geezers house, eating what was honestly the absolute worst Chinese I have ever had, in the middle of Norway. This called for a spliff. Not being even remotely bothered to go look for somewhere to smoke we just decided to hotbox the car while in the carpark. Nice.
After the spliff we was both destroyed and both KO’d almost instantly.