An Original Encounter …

We first met them on the parking lot of the Norwegian Arctic Polar Circle. This is the kind of vehicle you can not miss : a red german car with a satellite receiver, a couple of different antennas, a whole mess attached on the roof and dozens of home made stickers with the name of people that helped them, giving some money for the trip.

Marc and Izabelle left Grasse, France to reach Cape North and Laponia two weeks ago. Their car is filled with an infinity of unexpected things such as an english dictionary of chemical elements or a foam ball. It is a matter of seconds until I ask them “why the heck did you take all that stuff with you?”. “It’s to make some trade with Sami people” Marc answers. He explains to me that after reaching Cape North they expect to continue the trip through eastern Europe before driving back home. What a great expedition!

Two days after, while taking the boat to Lofoten, our paths meet again. We then decide to spend the evening together. Before setting up the camp on a parking lot, it is the moment to try to reach France on pirate radio-waves. The communication is difficult to establish but Marc manages to do it which is quite a performance considered how far north we are!

Rain is coming. We decide to quickly set up the huge yellow tent in which we will spend the night. Table, chairs, everything is there and every little thing has its own story. The yellow chairs, for instance, come from a camping garbage. Marc fixed them. As well as for the table. But how can we spend the night with so few light? Marc has the solution. He takes an old fairy light generously given by his hometown’s city hall, plugs it to the 150 meters extension cord and starts the generator over the car’s roof. Easy, isn’t it? ;)

We have a great moment altogether. As guests, we are delighted to eat with silver cutleries a great meal with fruits and vegetables (long time no see! :P). Marc tells us a couple of stories, each more incredible than the next. We learn with admiration :

– how their car got stuck in peat and how they managed to get it out of it

– how they found salmon, ham and other (almost) fresh food in the garbage of a supermarket

– how they had to change their car in Germany after another one felt from a truck on theirs

– how they set up in someone else’s garden, in Norway, … Before the police came to make them go

But the most incredible is without any doubt how they managed to bring back Marc’s mother corpse in the car when she died on the first trial of this expedition and how police thought at first they were the murderers. Crazy stuff!

After a good night of rest, it’s time to check what kind of interesting things are in this big trash can. Two carpets and an umbrella will be today’s reward. Now it’s time to clean the car … but Marc does not stay focused for a long time. There is something he really wants to show us, one of his passions : his kite. And here we are, trying to make it fly in the small cold breeze of Lofoten.

Needless to say that this car, this mess and a guy playing with a kite on a parking lot attract curious people. Marc does not speak a perfect English … I am not even sure he speaks English actually, but he has an incredible talent to be understood whatever language he speaks (mostly French though) ;) That’s how we start to discuss with Chinese, German and Norwegian people. While Marc is speaking, Izabelle distributes candies and toys to children. That’s the way they manage to get a few money to help them on this long and wonderful expedition.

It’s almost 12:00 when we leave them. We wish each other a safe and great trip until our paths meet again once more on Norwegian roads … and it does not takes long until we actually meet again, the day after in Sakrisøy, Lofoten :)

Marc and Izabelle, we wish you the best of luck for your expedition and thank you so much for this great moment spent together!

If you are interested, you can follow their trip on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/aubenas-laponie/257238317626134

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