Driving from Pitea in the very North of Sweden to Narvik, Norway is an incredible drive. Not only do you go through mountain ranges, such as the Abisko Mountains, you also drive through never ending forests which roll on as far as the eyes can see, lakes which seem to appear everywhere and rivers which form all different sizes and strength. The E10 is an adventure in itself to drive along. Although the drive takes about 8 hours it is like a road you would see in films or instagram pictures, something you would never imagine coming across your self. Also, the wildlife you see and you don’t even have to move from your car seat is amazing. Reindeer stood in mass around lakes and watering holes and eating wild flowers at the edge of the road. Moose also just crossed the road like it wasn’t there, being the shy animals that they are this is a very rare occasion. For me it was the first time I had actually ever seen a moose. So I casually sat there screaming and jumping up and down in excitement like a hyper child.
The road looked like it was from a fairy tale. Anyone who has watched or read a fairy tale knows that it always takes a turn for the worst at some point… The first point that it got worse was when we first came across the Abisko mountains we could see them in the distance and they looked magical. We stopped to take a few pictures and decided to venture down towards a lake we could see. Sounds amazing right? Well let me tell you this… the North of Sweden has the worst mosquito problem ever. They are massive and hunt you in packs. After about 5 minutes of going through the marsh land we were surrounded George had already bailed and I wasn’t letting the mosquito’s get the better of me. I kept going for the photo. Was it worth it? Yes and no I suppose although this time I managed to not actually get bitten and got the photos…
Mosquito gate wasn’t the only thing we were having to deal with. The road was getting worse and worse. Where the weather had been worse in the past the road had been ripped up by the rivers which must have ran over it. We were going across massive gravel pits. The van isn’t great in situations like this with low profile tyres and sitting lower than normal due to the weight of the kayaks and mountain bikes on the roof it was not fun. At all. We were rolling through each gravel pit at about 2mph and having to zig zag our way through to avoid the bigger rocks. After what felt like the 200th gravel pit we heard what no car or van owner wants to hear: a grinding noise from the wheel. At this moment in time we were in the middle of no where with no phone signal. All we could do was role at 2mph with the screeching noise making us cringe. An hour drive to the bottom of the Abisko mountain took us 3 hours instead of 1 and still the closest garage was still in Narvik a 2 hour drive away.
The next morning we started our rolling to the garage but luckily the noise had gone. It had only been a stone stuck between the breaks pad and the tyre… Just goes to show that our fairy tale does have a happy ending!