Sunday, 6 August 2017

Sunday 6 August - Mandal and Kristiansand

Where's Bertie? He's in a large car park, with a good sea view, in Kristiansand, at a cost of 80NOK per day (exact location: 58.14519, 8.00968).

Rush hour occurred on the road next to which we were sleeping at 2.30 this morning. Mick slept through it, whilst I marvelled at how such a road could be busier than the M6 would be at the same hour of day. I concluded that an event (maybe the wedding for which we had seen the photos being taken earlier) had just finished somewhere up the road and thus the disturbance would be temporary. It was and within half an hour all was quiet again.

Against another dry weather forecast, we set off this morning in rain that became heavy as we progressed south along the E39 until finally, about five kilometres before our destination (the seaside town of Mandal), we drove out from under the cloud and into sunshine.

I'm sure the beach would have been much less attractive in the rain. As it was, this was the view we enjoyed from Bertie:

We took a stroll, including the best looking campsite we've seen on our entire Norwegians travels (but £31 per night - ouch!), then I went and ran the same route, adding a bit of repetition to increase the distance.

We could happily have hung around there for the rest of the day, but as we needed to be in Kristiansand tonight (ferry at 0645 tomorrow = painfully early check in) we moved on after lunch.

The SatNav wanted to take us along a footpath to our originally chosen car park (£11/day), so we tried one further out of town, at the start of some walking routes (free), which would have been fine if it hadn't been full. We ended up in this huge car park, housing just a few vehicles, at a cost of £8 per day. Unfortunately, it really is per day, so our ticket runs out at midnight whereafter we will be banking on no traffic wardens coming around to check tickets before we leave at 5am.

I can see this beach, although from a different angle, from where I'm sitting in Bertie. We did start out parked with an uninterrupted sea view, but it was so windy in that spot that we moved inland to be a bit more protected and two more motorhomes have since come and parked in between us and the water. We can still see the sea, but less of it.

After a walk along the seafront and around the town, we did something we failed to do anywhere else in Norway: we went out for a meal - although that is exaggerating the reality slightly.

Having 155NOK left in cash (about £15) that needed to be spent before we leave the county, and with that sum not stretching to a starter in most restaurants, we went to a very popular and well reviewed snack kiosk. There 141NOK bought a loaded beefburger and a fish burger in a bun (there were options on the latter for 'on mash' (more money) or 'in a serviette' (less money)).

Just burgers. We had no funds for side orders or drinks.

You know what it's like when someone is eating and a dog is watching their movements intently? We had that experience as we ate our food on a nearby bench, but with the groakers* being this flock of sparrows:

They're obviously used to being fed and are bold little things, happily taking Mick's left over corn (oddly, one of the toppings on Mick's burger was sweetcorn) from his finger.

The wind is still fair blowing as I type this, but both of the forecasts that I have checked ( and BBC) promise that first thing tomorrow morning is going to be calm for our ferry crossing. I do hope they are right.

(*To groak is a genuine word meaning to watch someone eating in the hope they will offer you some.)

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