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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Arctic Circle Return-2015

    Filipstad to Noppikoski, then on to Camping Galå Fjällgärd

    Oh what a day this has been!

    Set off this morning hoping that the ‘TinTent’ lights ‘problem’ had been resolved but within 5 miles the ‘Failure’ message was showing up again, but as before as all lights were functioning we carried on for a while, then we spotted this sign at the side of the road so it was a quick left turn….

    Oops! We learned later that it was the result of some young boys who were possibly intoxicated while driving to fast in the winter conditions as the accident ripped off the front wheel that is missing before the car flipped over…..

    Then we got to the Café, and what an interesting place it turned out to be with a rather nice view back over Filipstad….

    Time to get back on the road so it was back down to the main road…

    Passing some left over Snow on the way….

    Then a left turn and through a few villages….

    With the Snow becoming more widespread but we were going up higher in the terrain….

    As we were also seeing lakes that are still frozen over but you don’t go trying to walk on them now!!!

    Staple production item of Sweden…..WOOD.

    This place is a Museum but was closed so we carried on through….

    As we then come into the city of Mora…

    Found a large car park and after trying once again to resolve the ‘TinTent’ lamp ‘Failure’ message by replacing all the connectors and making some initially some progress, we decided to have a quick bite to eat and then a trip into the city centre…..

    I will let the pictures ‘speak’ for themselves….

    The Vasa Race Start Line….

    The Vasa Race Museum. Sorry that was also closed….

    Looking into the city across the railway line….

    With this old Loco from the ‘Steam Age’ I believe what would be called a 4-6-8 configuration due to the number of wheels it has….

    Back to the carpark and time to head off out of the city…..

    This was an old ‘Train Halt’ as the building on the right of the picture was a water tower with a large black water pipe coming out just above the vertical ‘Pink Door’ that was used to refill the Locomotives….

    This next little ‘Troll’ greeted us as we arrived in Noppikoski, only to then find that we could not stay as we hoped, so it was back on the road once again for another 90+ miles…..

    As we finally got to the ‘Forest Road’ to take us to the campsite that was listed as ‘Open All Year’….

    Arriving to find that in essence the place was closed but the owner has kindly let us stay for at least one night, so here we are feet down on a bed of Snow!
    We just hope it doesn’t MELT during the night!....

    As we got set up the ‘Light Failure’ problem is not only happening on the nearside so will have to once again re-check the offside lights tomorrow….

    Meanwhile being a bit desperate after our trip today I went to the ‘Little Room’ to ‘spend a penny’ and found that the ‘closure plate’ has fallen into the tank!
    Further investigation has found that a plastic pin in the centre of the plate has broken off! Arrrgh!

    I am now hoping that there is a caravan dealer nearby who carries spares!

    This has been one heck of a day, while it's fingers crossed that it gets better tomorrow!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Arctic Circle Return-2015

    Camping Galå Fjällgärd to Őstersund, then on to Järvsand

    Found on the Internet a Hobby Caravan Dealer near to Őstersund, but before we left we had to take a pictures of the house that the owners of Camping Galå Fjällgärd built which took them 5 years from 2009 but it looks very nice both outside and in…..

    Then after breakfast it was back down the ‘Piste’ road to see what we could get sorted out…

    As we head down towards the main road this is the view towards one of the many very large lakes in Sweden….

    As we pass another of the LARGE Bell Towers outside another Church….

    As we see large mounds of Snow/Ice on the far side of the lake. (The broad line going through the picture is part of the crash barrier as we were crossing a bridge)

    While then looking over to the side we have come from, we see some of the hills that still have a covering of snow on them…..

    Then as we climb a bit higher we see the floating ice….

    While out in the middle where the ice has melted is one of the Ferry Boats as it is sometimes quicker to take the ferry than drive all the way around…..

    Looks like this Ferry is still undergoing some winter maintenance….

    Őstersund ahead….

    While we turn left to head to a place on the outskirts called…..

    As we see one of the Ski runs also still with snow on it….

    As we got to the Hobby Caravan Dealer it was immediately visible that they did not carry a lot of spares so I was not in luck for getting anything to repair the ‘Loo’ however the man in the workshop did allow me to hook up to another Hobby just to confirm that the brake & indicator lamp failure ‘problem’ was not being caused by the car, and after ‘testing’ we could confirm that it was in fact our ‘TinTent’ that was the culprit, but the dealer had no means of checking anything to try and find the fault, so it was off to an Auto Electrician whose details were provided by a lady who spoke excellent English and was having her hair done at the time in a hairdressers next door!!

    Next stop was 9 miles away, so off we go towards Sundsvall…..

    Passing this rather interesting church on the way….

    Then these ‘Ornaments’ on a traffic island on the main E45 Main road….

    Arriving at the Auto Electrical Company, the doors were immediately opened up to the workshop and in we went.
    Explained the problem with a demonstration of the ‘message’ then the Technician removed both rear light assemblies and also a large connector block behind the rear plastic skirt.
    I removed the bed mattress to gain access to the 13 core distribution box as there was no other way to get at it.

    I then went across the road to another Caravan/Camper Dealer and while I was not able to get a new part to replace the broken part in the Cassette Loo, I was able to buy the complete middle section, so at least we now have a fully functioning 'Loo'!

    Meanwhile back across the road.....

    As the Technician replaced a number of connectors in the large connector block a test was then run but the ‘problem’ remained.
    All the connectors in the 13 core distribution box looked clean so the lid was replaced and the mattress and bed put back.
    Further tests were conducted with other bits of test equipment but no fault could be identified however the ‘problem’ remained….

    Time for lunch, for all of us, after which I replaced the only 2 connectors which had not been changed, which were the 12v power for the Indicator & Brake Lamps, I then started the car and didn’t see the message on the dashboard while the indicators on both sides worked ‘normally’ but as everything had also ‘cooled down’ a decision was made to go no further with trying to identify the ‘problem’ but I would stay in touch to let the company know what happened as we travelled further north on a longer section, so with that we made our thanks known, paid the bill and set off North once again…..

    As we spotted a campsite with a sign outside that said ‘Oppett’ which is ‘Open’ so we pulled in only to see a notice on the door that then said ‘Stangt’ which is ‘Closed’ till 01/05/2015, so with that we got a picture of this rather large ‘Tent’ and hit the road again….

    As we then continued to Stromsund….

    From a catalogue we got we found an ‘All Year Open’ campsite a few miles North of Stromsund called ‘Camping i Järvsand’ so are now in place there and plan to spend a few days here with a visit to Stromsund tomorrow for a bit of exploring….

    Must admit having been for a shower this evening it was like being sprayed with a Karcher Pressure Washer the power was excellent and left you with a real tingling feeling!

    OK I saw that the temperatures back home are around 16C while over here we reached 11C and tomorrow is another 16C at home while here is 6C!
    BUT we do happen to be less than 3 days away from going over the Arctic Circle at Jokkmokk so come on give us a break if you expected HOT Sunny Days….

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Arctic Circle Return-2015

    A day around the campsite in Järvsand and the town of Stromsund

    Reception at the campsite is a building that has had no repairs since it was built of wood in 1803. It was the first school in the area and the schoolteacher used to teach the children in her living room.
    The small curved building in the picture to the right of Reception is an outside store room which was used previously for storing potatoes in as the temperature only varies by a couple of degrees all year…..

    Guest rooms & Facilities block…

    That building also included the ….

    As the next picture is of one of the 77 Siberian Huskies that are also here and used for Sledding in the winter months….

    While below is Preza’s last litter of 6 Boys & Girls who are now 6 weeks old…

    The next picture is of the other litter by another of the Female Huskies here….

    As we got invited to go with the staff for the Puppies breakfast time, as they get fed twice a day…..

    Then we managed to catch one of them on their ‘Blue Eye’ side as the other eye is brown, but he wouldn’t keep his head still to see both eyes together!….

    While up away from the kennels is the first Reindeer we have seen on this trip whose name is Karhu and came from a Sami Reindeer Herder.

    As we then walked down to the lake which is 30 Miles long by 6 miles wide and is very rarely visited by any boats or fishermen!

    Then it was off to have a look around Stromsund…

    Small park very near the centre…

    One of the main roads through the town….

    Market Square but no market today….

    Making our way down to the river this very large building with a distinguishing roof is spotted….

    With the bridge on the E45 main road North – South….

    As we then walk alongside the river, while the river floes there are still patches of snow & ice at the sides….

    With some rather large but nice houses just set back from the road along the river….

    Pleasure boat in need of some ‘TLC’…..

    Spotted this wood yard where they make firewood, and already working on next years store….

    With this example hanging just outside the entrance….

    With one final nice residence…..

    We then made our way back to the campsite for a quiet afternoon and a bit of sunshine before we start getting ready for the next stage tomorrow…

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Arctic Circle Return-2015

    Järvsand to Vilhelmina

    As we got invited to see the Siberian Huskies getting their evening meal we went down to the kennels and before the meal came started playing with the little Blue Eyed female in the picture below who very nearly stole our heart strings as she was really friendly and kept coming back to play…..

    But it was time to move on and as we left the campsite and got back to the main road we saw these birds that look similar to Flamingos but are not pink in colour

    Then after a few miles it was decision time: Right or Left Turn?…..

    We took a Right turn that brought us very quickly to….

    Southern Lappland….

    Out of the town and under the railway bridge we see the Fisherman on one side and the Fish he has caught on the other side while the words are welcoming us to return….

    As a bit further along we cross the river with the railway bridge alongside…

    As we then arrive in Vilhelmina….

    Going along the main road through the town….

    With a Moose & little friend outside the Supermarket….

    While this impressive building is the Tourist Office….

    Directly opposite was the Konditori and as it was that time of day it made a nice break to go over and enjoy a couple of nice cakes and coffee, and going for the standard coffee you also can have a free refill which was good value….

    While looking out of the window as we took our cakes and coffee up to the first floor of the Konditori we see this statue across the road but as there was no plaque we were not sure if this was Vilhelmina or someone else….

    While outside on the upper entrance we got this view of the main road in both directions….

    Coming out of the Konditori we then went up the hill….

    Passing the Museum which unfortunately wasn’t open….

    To Vilhelmina Church which is still one of Sweden’s largest wooden churches….

    Then coming out of the church grounds we turned left towards….

    Which is the old wooden buildings from a Sami village….

    While all the larger buildings seem to be still in limited use the next one when looking through the window seems to be a Summer Café….

    One of the 2 social huts.
    You can see a small ‘hole’ at the back of the hut in the middle of the picture and this was to let air in for the fire and the smoke go up and out through the hole in the roof when the door was closed….

    Winter Food Storage Hut, raised off the ground to stop animals getting at the food….

    Another of the social huts but…..

    Notice the floor which has been covered with broken twigs to make it more comfortable for sitting down, while the fire place which is in the centre of the hut is on the right of the picture with the air vent hole behind ….

    Then making our way back to continue our journey we see this Outside Summer Loo which seems to be doing well in winter growing Heather….

    After a further short run we arrived at our next campsite to learn that due to much needed ‘repairs’ while they have electricity, there are no showers, or kitchen facilities, there is limited fresh water and no Internet, and still one heck of a lot of snow, so….

    We found a spot where we can just see out the rear window over the snow and got set up at least for tonight….

    I guess when you see the BIG Fishing Rod set up at the edge of the campsite on the river bank then it becomes clear that this is a campsite primarily for summer fishing and we are a bit early!

    While it looks like this fish is one of the ones that got away to live another day!

    The ‘Bulb failure on Trailer’ message returned today after we had covered around 60 miles so while we were in Vilhelmina I also got another new 13 pin Plug which was fitted this afternoon to see if that cures the ‘problem’….

    Back on the road tomorrow while we hope there is no snow forecast and the ‘problem’ disappears.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Arctic Circle Return-2015

    Vilhelmina to Blattnicksele

    Off to the next place we wave the BIG Fish goodbye and head off up the E45 road once more…..

    Winter isn’t quite over but the road repairs are already taking place over here….

    Next town along the road is….

    While this guy keeps a look out for any ‘trouble’!

    Then just north of the town are some major road repairs, where they are replacing a metal tunnel to allow the river to pass under the road.…

    Interestingly there are no traffic lights controlling traffic from each way, it is left to the common sense of the drivers to make sure they are clear to proceed…

    Very soon we are at Sandsjögården Camping and having checked in and got set up we take a short walk around the place and find this Dog Power ‘Snow Plough’….

    With 3 other sledges which are used for trips out….

    Then we meet a few of the Malamut Huskies who pull them….

    Around the corner was this Charcoal fired ‘Campsite BBQ’, and trying to lift one of the flap openings by the ‘Antler’ handles you find that the metal flap is extremely heavy….

    Walking down towards the edge of the lake we see a large depression in the ground that has quite a bit of snow in it with this information sign nailed to a tree alongside….

    Unfortunately you don’t get to see the depth from the picture but at a guess it was at least 2.5feet deep in the middle….

    Some of the huts you can also rent on the campsite….

    A beached pontoon at the side of the lake….

    As we look out across the lake this dark spec appears which is a person walking across the frozen lake!….

    Making our way back we then spot this other sign about another breed of dog that is also here, and one that we have never seen before….

    The brown colour of these two was very striking….

    After some lunch we set off for a short walk as some of the overhead clouds looked quite threatening and it wasn’t long before we had a snow shower as we made our way to a bridge that was crossing an outlet from the lake….

    While the downstream view looked rather nice….

    As the clouds built up over the lake….

    Then as we made our way back to the campsite we saw a notice board about fishing in the lake with a picture of the lake and the depths that it goes down to which is 31meters in the dark blue areas….

    A house with a nice view over the lake and more dog kennels alongside…..

    Looking forward to a relaxing lazy day tomorrow before we are once again back on the road while the weather forecast is telling us it will be Snowing!

    As I do the update for today the snowflakes have just started falling again, and we only brought a small collapsible shovel with us!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Calgary Alberta


    Interesting trip! From hot dry barren lands to frozen northern landscapes.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Quote Originally Posted by Forkster View Post

    Interesting trip! From hot dry barren lands to frozen northern landscapes.

    Yep your quite correct, while some friends have made the comment that 'You two must be NUTS!'

    While I am still pondering the response to that we are really enjoying seeing the land in a different format and seeing how people cope and what they do at this time of year which is making it interesting to say the least.

    So we ain't coming home yet!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Arctic Circle Return-2015

    A day in Storuman & Sandsjőgården

    After breakfast we took off to the closest town which Storuman & was the one we passed through on the way to Sandsjőgården….

    So after the run back down the E45 and 22 Miles we arrive at the Railway Station which is all wood in Storuman and looks quite impressive…..

    While the sign on the Station front tells you that it is 898 Km from Stockholm and is at a height of 356 Meters above Sea Level.
    (No wonder the Barometer has packed up working!)

    While on the tracks is this rather brightly coloured Diesel Engine hauling some empty Log carriages, and there might have been around 100 of them hooked up….

    While at the side of the Diesel Engine is the “Inlandsbanan” (Inland Railway) Office where the Engine Drivers take a break…..

    Then just outside the Station on the other side of the road is another wooden building in excellent condition which is the Bibliotek (Library)
    While the Chimney is actually in Brick, and goes down to the ground floor!

    After those interesting bits of Storuman there wasn’t anything else as we had seen the BIG Man looking out for any trouble as we came through yesterday so we headed back to the campsite and as we travelled along the road we spot the first small herd of Reindeer!

    After a nice somewhat lazy afternoon, in view of the weather conditions that we have encountered in the last few days, time was spent re-routing and planning the rest of our way 'Up North' to reach the top of Finnmark….

    Then at 18:00hrs we went for dinner in the campsite restaurant, and spot this Beaver skin on the wall but he was not on the menu….

    While just to the left was this very large set of Moose Antlers as they are hunted in this area during a specific period to very strict rules of how many can be taken….

    Starter for Dinner was a local vegetable salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing & Maple Syrup glazed Smoked Salmon pieces…

    The main course was Ground Moose Meat rolled in Bacon and slow cooked along with Cloudberry’s, local Potatoes mashed, Wild Mushrooms and a Local Cheese & Potato Bake and Cloudberry Sauce….

    The only word that can describe the meal was delicious, and it was really a shame to drink the coffee and lose the taste!....

    While sunset over the frozen lake which we understand is still around 40cm thick was quite nice…..

    Back on the road tomorrow to a campsite in Arvidsjaur and there will more than likely be more Snow flurries as we make our way there….
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 04-25-2015 at 09:51 AM.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Arctic Circle Return-2015

    Sandsjőgården to Arvidsjaur

    With a very overcast sky this morning and a couple of short Snow Showers this morning while we were having breakfast we set off to get to Arvidsjaur…..

    As we then came into the small town of Sorsele…

    Then just a bit further along the road I spot a Ski-doo parked but no sign of anyone while down in a small valley behind a fence were these Reindeer, while we could also make out a larger group much further away we think the Ski-doo rider was over with the others making sure they had enough food.…

    A bit further and we are into the next commune….

    With banked snow on each side and an outside temperature of -1C, while the road was wet but not frozen….

    Then we are nearly there….

    As we pass this frozen lake where all the small boats have been taken out to stop them being crushed by the ice….

    Along another stretch of wet but thankfully not frozen road, with an interesting skyline as the cloud layer seems to have an end point but not for us…

    As we reach the city sign….

    Down the hill....

    Around the bend and we are at the next campsite reception, while inside the building they have a complete fitness gym and sports hall, but that comes extra to the campsite price….

    Then I take a look at some of the ‘regulations’ and wonder where you put the Broom Sticks in case of fire…..

    One way to be able to sit outside on a cold day….

    With a few more pictures from around the campsite, there were quite a few ‘TinTents’ that were in use…

    While this Merc/Fiat (His & Hers) were from Luxembourg and are the only other ‘Tourists’ here.

    As I went back to our ‘TinTent’ I couldn’t help but notice the Icicles hanging from the chassis…..

    Then we met this fella just outside who explained that he had been left by his friends when it started snowing, then it got colder and a couple of his ‘bits’ fell off (Plink Plink) and now he cannot find them, while his voice has gone up several octaves!

    Hey Ho! While the wonderful news for us is that the ‘Trailer Lamp Failure’ message has gone.
    It seems that the 13Pin Caravan Plug that was renewed less than 3 months ago was the ‘problem’ as the new one that was made in Finland and literally locks into place has not caused any fault messages to appear!.....

    While Dinner tonight was a partly typical Swedish dish called Pytt y panna, with a UK Pork Chop thrown in for good measure!

    If anyone wants to try it, here is a link to a well known English Chef and his recipe…

    Good luck and enjoy!
    Ours was much simpler but we still did….

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Calgary, Alberta


    Thanks for the interesting pictures.

    I think a bit to much snow for for my taste for a vacation. I live through what you are now getting every winter so I would chase warm weather. Seems to me though that your last trip north was not quite as bad for snow. Late winter up there or earlier trip this year than last?

    Good that you have gotten the light issue fixed.

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