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      September 2011 > Andalucia to Iceland part 14: On the Edge
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Andalucia to Iceland part 14: On the Edge

We’ve made it at last! Poised on the edge of Denmark, and ready to jump… Literally on the edge, as our campsite is perched on an open grassy bluff overlooking the waves and itself overlooked by a lighthouse. In fact, we later discover that the site has no exterior lighting as the rotating beam of the lighthouse provides it all – in an off-and-on way. A bracing wind is blasting off the Atlantic and all the campers are crouched on the landward side of their caravans, wearing anoraks. The lady in reception tells me that her regular clients always demand front-line pitches. So this is a Danish holiday ... it makes Scarborough look positively Caribbean.

But I know a good drying day when I see one, and decide to wash every article of clothing and bedding we have. I wander about with my lasso-length of clothes-line, but damn it! Not a tree in sight on this wind-blasted heath. I end up wrapping the line all around the van, so that, with washing flapping from it like bunting, it distinguishes itself even more than usual from the elegant modern motorhomes around us.

Caravan sculptureSo, we’ve managed 4,000-odd kilometres without my hitting anything. Well, there was that parked car in that supermarket in France … but it already had some scratches on it anyway. When we first had the van, not used to either its length or height, I hit things on a regular basis. In fact, it’s not just the van – there was that time in Morocco when I embedded the car in the side of a mosque ... and I wasn’t even in it ... but that’s another story.

Linda’s been great, as usual. Other people use a TomTom, but I have a LinLin. She’s brought us here along a lovely selection of back roads through every country, except for one autobahn section around Hell-Hole-Hamburg, which was like some nightmarish fairground ride.

It’s a five-thirty rise for the ferry in the morning. Yuck! And something’s going wrong with the washing – this Atlantic blast isn’t the quick-drying type, after all. I resort to the tumble dryer in the shower block, but run into a cash-flow problem. I need Danish 5-kroner coins, pretty silver things with a hole in the middle – but I haven’t got any and none of these campers have Danish currency. They look at my Danish coins curiously when I ask for change, as if they’ve never seen them before – even picking them out of my palm to have a good peer at them. They must all be German tourists (my language skills don’t help me distinguish), but what do they do for spending money? Perhaps you can use Euros in Denmark – but certainly not in the tumble dryer. Reception is closed and I feel foolishly powerless with our wet clothes flapping in the dark and a boat to catch in a few hours.

Someone suggests asking for change at a hotel up behind the lighthouse. I struggle up a steep hill, slipping on the wet grass in the half-dark. I get around the back of the lighthouse and bloody hell! What are they? Huge, ghostly, white, semi-human shapes are suddenly towering over me. I might never make it to Iceland after all – eaten alive by strange cliff-dwelling Danish monsters. These turn out to be the weirdest sculptures I’ve ever seen – some artist has decided to make plaster-of-Paris beastie sculptures erupting out of caravans – yes, caravans! And I thought that Dutch campsite was a bit weird…

I can’t find the hotel. I’m wishing I’d opted for travelling around Iceland in dirty clothes as I now trudge into town, clutching kroners of every denomination except the one I need. I peer into a few establishments and choose a dark den of a pub. Two men at the bar are behaving like men at a bar – peering morosely at their bottles of beer as if expecting a genie to pop out of them and solve their problems. A trio of two men and a woman sit at a table around an unbelievably large cluster of empty beer-bottles, twenty-one in all. Yes, I did count them, as I sipped my own beer – the situation seemed to demand it.

I get my change and spend the rest of the evening watching the tumble dryer go round, knowing it’s way past the bedtime of someone who has to be up at five-thirty.

Hirtshals port
Posted: 08/09/2011 23:05:00 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: Iceland, journey, nature


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