Arctic Mountains

G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains, East Greenland

May 14 2004 - Leaving Norway

This was departure day. We met at Flesland airport Bergen for the 12:00PM flight to Copenhagen. We had been weighing equipmement for days. Under no circumstance should the total weight be above 180Kg (30Kg per person). In addition to personal equipment, each team member would need to carry approx. 4Kg of common equipment.

Everyone had met in due time, except Ståle. He arrived approx. 11:30AM, and looked like he had been outrunning the Devil. I assigned him the name "Uglyduck" for the time being.

We arrived Copenhagen and had only 20 minutes before the flight to Keflavik departed.

4 of us had entered the Keflavik flight. Petter and Ståle were missing. Ståle couldn't find his ticket. He insisted that Petter was carrying his ticket. Petter couldn't find the ticket, and this sort of state doesn't bring you to Iceland. After a desperate final search, Ståle found his ticket in his jacket. He was too stressed after arriving Flesland late to make a mental note of being given the tickets. I upgraded Ståle to "Uglyduck II" status.

We arrived Keflavik airport 15:30PM. Our flight from Reykjavik left at 16:30PM. Considering we would have to pick up all the luggage, take a taxi to Reykjavik (50Km!) and check in all the luggage, the outlook wasn't promising. The taxi driver eyeballed when he spotted the group coming his way. The taxi had been pre-ordered by the company we chartered the plane from, and he was in frequent communication with the flight company. It was clear we wouldn't reach our flight in time, but so far it looked like the plane would be waiting for us.

With all the heavy weight, the wheels have been converted to low-profile wheels. This taxi driver is clearly trying to get us to the airport as fast as possible. He's passing lots of cars. Which is great, except he needs 2Km to pass every car, and there's constantly cars coming towards us. This is scary.

The plane to Isafjordur waited 25 minutes for us, and none of the passengers looked happy when 6 Norwegians came crashing into the cabin. Once airborne, we could hear the captain explaining the delay in the local language. None of the passengers looked any happier after everything had been cleared up.

We checked into a guesthouse in Isafjordur. The owner of the house was overwhelmingly eager to give us the full history of the house while we still were hauling the equipment between the local taxi and the guesthouse. Apparently, this and the neighbour houses were gifts from the city of Bergen, Norway. Very interesting, but the hunger and the final beers had top priority. We had an excellent lamb dinner and tame beer on a local sports pub. We weren't quite prepared for the local currency, and got anxious when one round of beer amounted to thousands of Kroner. Petter went back and forth between the minibank and the pub. Good dinner, but they had no dessert - "efterrettur". We decided to put "ur" behind every Norwegian word, and assumed we were fluent in the Icelandic language.

We were in bed by 22:30PM. Very tense about tomorrow's weather. It was rainy and cloudy in Isafjordur. We would get a call from the flight company the next morning. We had two rooms at the guesthouse. Ståle, Jan-Frode and myself were sharing one room. It wasn't easy to get to sleep. The mind wandered about what was to come. Not to forget about the weather. The Tromsø team was stuck in Isafjordur for 5 days!! All we could do was to wait and hope for the best.

1. Arriving Isafjordur (168KB) 2. Checking into the local guesthouse (153KB)

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