This is the day we left, and the first thing that went wrong was that we had a puncture on the way to the airport. Was this going to be a bad omen? Let's see?
In London Heathrow we decided to split. That is because I wanted to have lunch with Joe and Jim didn't. All he wanted to do was to get to Stanstead Airport and sit there for the rest of the morning and half the afternoon. That is why he took the bus direct to Stanstead at £20 a piece, and he did me a favour by taking along my rucksack so that I could be unhindered going through London. My ticket was also to Stanstead by tube and train and cost £17.
Took the tube to Holborn, phoned Joe and he came down to the station. For those not in the know, Joe was one of my fellow trusted commissioning engineers in Sue Pan. Between him and I, plus a few others, we started the soda ash plant in Sua Pan (Botswana) in 1991. So we had lots to talk about. All the people we used to know, some of them we are still in contact with and about his present occupation.
I now had to get back into the Holborn station to carry on the journey. The fascist ticket machine refused my request to be let through. A tube official came along to investigate what is going on. It was explained to me that I had broken my journey, my argument that I had paid 17 &^%%^ pounds for a ticket to get to Stanstead didn't count. Using an analogy 'if you take a flight from New York to London, you can't get off half way and rejoin the flight later'. This logic went a bit above my head, but he let me through anyway.
At Livingston Road I had the same problem, the system wouldn't let me out. The tube official mumbled something about a creased ticket and let me out. Getting now onto the train to Stanstead was no problem and I could re-join Jim at Stanstead Airport. And now we are sitting on the tarmac in Aberdeen airport to take on some more fuel before we proceed to the Faroes. Atlantic Air has cramped us into a small plane, a BAe 146, whatever that is. Seat space is very narrow and I am sitting wedged in between Jim and some gorgeous blonde.
The remainder of the flight went on with a hasty dinner. Flying past Suðeroy we knew that we are pretty close to the airport on Vagar.
Jim just wanted to jump out and run into the mountains. I had to hold him back and persuade him that it would be better to take the bus into Torshavn so that we could make a proper plan from there by going to the information centre. At the same time we could also get our ferry ticket so that we are sure that we can get off the island again.
The bus ride was very pleasant, taking us through beautiful mountain scenery, lovely villages and under the sea. There is an undersea tunnel connecting Vagar and Stremoy. Its about 4 km long, sloping down for about half way and then going up again, no idea how deep below the sea bed it actually sits.
We passed the camping site, unfortunately this happened unexpectedly and we couldn't stop the bus. It dropped us off down in the harbour. I was not looking forward to walking back up the road, so we took a taxi and paid DK50. Set up the tent, had a shower and went to sleep.
We did as we thought we should and went on foot into town with the difference that Jim thought of a short cut that would cut out the bulge. His route took us through the houses giving us an opportunity to check up on what the Faroese are growing in their gardens. Lots of flowers, not much vegetables, all we could spot was potatoes and rhubarb.
At the Smyril line we collected our tickets for the ferry to Shetland, now I was happy being assured that we could leave the island again. But that will only be on the 30th. The information place at the harbour was closed. Taking a walk through town it suddenly came to Jim that I must get some spirits for my cooker. This required a bit of a search until we came to the supermarket and found some red stuff called technical alcohol.
At this stage we had collected enough pamphlets from various places that we could make a decision to take the bus to Klasksvik. It is the second largest town in the Faroes and is situated in the north on the island of Borðoy. The bus took us along fjords and through tunnels to the harbour of Leirvik. This involved crossing the Atlantic on a bridge. It is a bridge between Stremoy and Eysturoy, it is only a narrow gap that has to be crossed. But it actually looks like a river because of the tides the water rushes under the bridge and a strong current is visible.
From Leirvik it was by ferry for about half an hour to get to Klaksvik. The map we had was a bit confusing and when we thought we had walked to the campsite we hadn't. We must have looked very lost when the editor of the local newspaper spotted us and enquired where we were heading. He offered to take us to the campsite, only problem when we got there it wasn't a campsite. Being the editor of the newspaper this interested him very much, I could see the editorial being formulated in his head. A phone call solved the problem and he took us to the local youth hostel where we could put up our tent in the garden. For DK50 each we could use the facilities of the hostel.
We are very grateful for the help received, we would most likely have put up our tent in the local park.
He also gave us some advise on where to go and to do what. For the next day it was planned to get to Viðareiði, that is a small village up in the north of Viðoy.
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