Wednesday 5 July
Monday's cavalcade of cars to the docks did not quite go according to plan when one car failed to follow the others on the correct route, and those behind then followed him.
After a comfortable overnight ferry trip from Newcastle to Kristiansand in southern Norway, the crews have been making their own way to Honningsvag, the main town near Nordkapp. This is a distance of over 1500 miles (2400km). The Full Monty team changed their plans after Erik (the Viking) recommended an easterly route through Sweden, rather than travelling straight up through Norway. On Tuesday morning we left the ferry and drove east around Oslo, and on towards Stockholm in glorious sunshine, before turning north to backtrack our intended route. This has enabled us to do some 1800km of the 5500km route in reverse, and in addition to aiding us in finding the correct roads, has also enabled us to locate potential fuel stops as petrol stations are some distance apart and not always open at night in northern Sweden and Lapland.
We drove continuously and travelled through Lapland on Wednesday morning after crossing the Arctic Circle at about 06.00. By the time we reached Alta in northern Norway at lunchtime, the weather had changed, and the rest of the journey was completed in pouring rain across very bleak scenery (although one highlight was seeing the only other Montego on the trip - a Polish registered Monetego estate in BRG at a latitude of 70 degrees 10 minutes north).
We also saw some of our fellow competitors despite the enormity of Scandinavia and the variation in routes and speeds. For example one of the Volvos chose to fuel and eat at the same place as us near the town of Orebro in central Sweden.
We eventually arrived at Honningsvag mid-afternoon, the plan being to have a full day of rest before the Challenge starts on Friday morning. Hopefully the weather improves tomorrow so that we can do some sightseeing - there is snow on the mountains across the bay from my bedroom window and the view could be quite impressive.
John Dalton

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