Monday, September 1, 2014

Crashing into eachother

Waking up in 'our' Hytte, we had no idea about the conditions outside. The roof of our Hytte was covered with grass, which means you don't hear the rain hitting the roof. The walls are properly insulated and triple glazing completed a cabin that is completely sound and temperature proof. Opening the door and walking outside woke me up, properly. The wind was howling, it was raining and properly damn cold! Time to get the Rukka long-johns out and the first time I felt the need to wear a Rukka jumper under my jacket. I wondered if this would be enough, or if it would be a good idea to fit the thermal liner in the jackets and pants too. I didn't as I wanted to know how good these suits were in seriously cold stuff.

Just half an hour later, having descended again from the high plains, I had my answer. The suit had been warm and windproof, even without the thermal liner, and even in these conditions. Now that we were back in the valley again it was time to get out of the long johns and jumper. At the same time the weather cleared and gave way to glorious sunshine. We had a great day ahead of us and we all enjoyed it tremendously. 

This is how people take their
holiday video-snaps these days.
Imagine the camera waving
around like a drunken dung beetle.
We stopped for lots of photographs, riding shots and video. Progress was slow as the roads and landscapes were beyond belief. I have been here a couple of times but had forgotten just how amazing this country is. There are simply no words for it. We saw a whole series of glaciers, rode along amazing fjords, over narrow and steep mountain roads and enjoyed every minute of it.

Despite not having done much in terms of kilometres covered, we were all getting pretty tired by the end of the day. The aim had been to get to a campsite some 100 km further when Mike had to hit the brakes for an 'excuse my french' stupid tourist that just slammed on the brakes in front of him for no apparent reason. Jeanette was looking at the scenery and by the time she looked forward it was too late. She must have hit him still going 50 km/hr, slammed into his left hand pannier and fell. For some reason Mike managed to stay upright, which considering the shunt he had just been given is nothing short of amazing, but the pannier and rack suffered badly. Jeanette fell sideways into the grass, which gave her some damping I supposed but the poor Bonnie hit the deck again… The culprit of all the mayhem just drove on… the people behind us didn't lift a finger to help either. I cursed myself for not charging our UClear helmet comms the night before, which resulted in no helmet communication… otherwise I could have warned her and prevented all this…!

Great camping spot!
We picked the bike up and rode it to a parking area to assess the damage. Mike's brand new pannier was almost ripped from the frame and the frame was seriously bend. The Barkbusters on the Bonneville had done their job. No broken levers, no broken mirror in fact nothing bend or broken at all except the aluminium beam of the Barkbuster (which was easy enough to bend back into shape). We strapped the pannier to the frame and rode to the nearest campground, borrowed a jack and practised my non existent panel beating skills using the only tools available: a rock and a hammer. All in all it took about two hours but everything looks like new again, except for a scratched Barkbuster and more damage to the right hand side pannier, the same one that had taken a beating in Nicaragua. Two crashes, both on the same side and still the pannier doesn't leak…!