Totnes to Oslo: last leg!
On Saturday we rejoin the Leaf on the mainland, after a restful stay at the Hankø Hotel.
We get a charge at Vestby, and at the nearby service station we enjoy a colourful plate of salad from a buffet that reminds me of Seeds2 in Totnes. There are Leafs everywhere, and Teslas. Throughout the trip we’ve had chargers pretty much to ourselves, but we now have to wait our turn.
It’s time to go to Baldron in the Woods, and we’re a little nervous. We park on the forest track and walk up to the cabin, to find our new colleagues having a clear-out of shoes. Over a welcome cold drink on the veranda we share stories and passions, and find we have much in common. Raphael is smiling, observant, thoughtful; Marianna vivacious, caring, determined. Both have researched extensively in many areas of health and education.
We’re joined by Alberto, a Mexican architect, and Iuuk, a Dutch photographer, both here to explore volunteering opportunities. After a tour of the steep garden with its pines, cabins, lilies of the valley and panoramic compost toilet, we look at two challenges: a possible greenhouse site, and a pump that isn’t sucking, though its motor works. Alberto comes up with ingenious ideas, and we stand by, ready to assist if needed. If this was a recruitment test we wouldn’t get interviews, but we’re relaxed about that, as this isn’t the job we came to do. Peter will have IT projects, and my first job will be refining the English on labels for herbal essences, and I’ll be carrying on my coaching practice via Skype.
The sun’s still hot when we turn in at nearly 10pm. Our cabin is full of spare mattresses and boxes of Baldron merchandise, and the roof is waiting to be repaired, but we’re comfortable, and we sleep well.
In the morning Raphael makes an excellent green smoothie with dandelions, seeds, and various foraged herbs before going off to an event. Marianna comes with us in the Leaf to the Oslo flat where we’ll live for the next three months. The more we talk, the more I enjoy her company.
We spend the rest of Sunday getting our room straight, and exploring the area. The clinic and flat are on the ground floor of a big old house in a quiet street. There are lilacs and fieldfares outside our window, a park at the end of the road, and a health food shop two streets away. Peter has spotted slow chargers that are free to use, but we’ll need to get a pass.
We’ve arrived: Peter navigating, researching charge points and finding places to stay; me driving, doing handwashing and finding inventive ways to dry it. The Leaf has been a joy to drive. Our Mk2 has an average range of 80 miles, but new EVs have a range of up to 250 miles, which would make a journey like this a doddle.
Total miles: 1662
Average speed: 35mph
Approximate cost: £95.49
Tomorrow we start work, and in three months we’ll think about the journey home…