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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Feeling Hopeless...

NORWAY | Thursday, 6 December 2018 | Views [201] | Comments [1]

I may not see the aurora...

I may not see the aurora...

When the clouds firmly cover the sky and the weather is foul, you can’t stay in one place when searching for the aurora. Today I made a move from Gibostad, on the island of Senja, to Narvik, 2 1/2 hours south. Two nights gone and two nights of no aurora sightings. Last night I went out refreshed with all my equipment and a pen in hand for, respectively, aurora photographing and geocaching. Snow covered nearly everywhere and I nearly lost my beanie as I signed a geocache. For more than two hours I wandered round outside and my final score: geocaches 2, aurora 0. Last night I started feeling a bit depressed, and Jim, my CS host in Narvik, originally said he could only host me for one night. I asked him politely if I could stay for two so I could go to Abisko, Sweden for the day. Since I couldn’t find a host in Abisko, staying in Narvik only one night would necessitate bringing all of my gear to Abisko and then hitchhiking in the wee hours back to Gibostad. As always, getting to my destination would be an adventure. In Finnsnes I ended up a bit out of town where snow covered the ground and it was -4. Staale let me borrow a reflective vest which people wear for safety during the polar night. A gorgeous lady named Monica would pick me up and then get me to the main road; she initially thought I was a road worker. From there I could watch the snow hit the windscreen.

Looks cool, eh?

Though it was pitch black, it was a bit before 5 PM when a family from Chechnya picked me up and then dropped me in Setermeon. What an adventure this has become! I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Before setting out today I made sure to fill my flask with coffee so I wouldn’t have to spend 27 kroner for a coffee at the petrol station. The general rule in Norway is that petrol stations are substantially more expensive than supermarkets. One final lift by a guy driving to Narvik to be an ambulance driver would place me there. Jimmy is my CS host in Narvik. He has more than 400 references and has travelled to 154 countries, which is evident by his impressive collection of souvenirs from places like Central African Republic, Tonga, El Salvador, and so forth. When I said I wanted to go to the supermarket to grab something to eat, he popped a frozen pizza in the oven. Even Norwegians poke fun at their cuisine (or lack thereof) and often joke about how a particular brand of frozen pizza is their national dish. Anything with a service involved in Norway is going to be horrifically expensive by world standards.

After Jimmy and I chatted for a bit, it was time to grab my camera and tripod for my third chance at the majestic aurora borealis. After collecting a few geocaches, I positioned myself by the marina, facing north. At midnight I could see some light, but what is the aurora? Or was it clouds and light pollution like before? It got a bit brighter and I set my camera to manual with a 30 second setting. It turned out, it is the aurora!

Snapping away, I got one or two decent photos and then the rest either came out blurry or it was too cloudy. The Northern Lights would eventually fade away. I was partially content, but depressed and discontent. I felt I could do better. Much better. This isn’t how Chris Farrell does things. When Chris Farrell has a dream, he not only pulls it off but does well at it at the same time. He doesn’t travel to the north of Norway in December only to see clouds and light pollution and shoot disappointing photos of the aurora. Therefore I’m asking myself, where is my magic touch when I need it?

Here in Norway I haven’t been drinking but Staale gave me a bottle of wine earlier. That would help me think more positive as think toward Abisko. It gets colder the further inland you go, but I don’t give a damn how cold it gets. I came here for the aurora, and I’m seeing the aurora whether mother nature likes it or not!



Hi Chris. I am the Chris who picked you up in the truck from Gympie when you were heading to the airport. I hope you made it there ok. Reading about your travels and yourself has made me feel quite happy to have been if only in a small way part of your journey. Good luck for the future and safe travels. If you are ever stuck you have my email now do not hesitate.

  Chris Quader Jan 24, 2019 3:07 AM

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