Reading material for those who love the camping life

Text: Trine Dahlman, journalist and author. Photo: Eva Rose.
Caravan and Caravan magazine, No. 1 February 2019

Dream became reality: On a camping tour in adventurous Norway

For three months, birth photographer Eva Rose Norway drove around in a motorhome called "Födbilen". She gave birth photos on weekdays and explored Norwegian nature on the weekends.

- "I combined what I love most of all. Births and fricamping. My girlfriend, Ole Jacob Johanson, also joined the trip. Call it luck in the accident, but he was laid off from work, "- says Eva. The trip was a dream come true.

Public education on birth

Eva has photographed births for 20 years and immortalized over 130 births. For the past 10 years she has also worked intensively with public education on births. "The Food Car, Norway Around" was a vibrant knowledge project, where she gave away 1000 photographs that today decorate the walls at 100 birthplaces and health centers. She spoke to midwives, obstetricians, and families to provide and receive information on maternity care throughout the country. - What surprised me most is how big differences it is in birth care from municipality to municipality. Many birthplaces have been closed down and women living in the village have a longer travel route and fewer choices for their birth than those who live in large cities. Having to drive three hours of rides to the nearest birthplace does not promote a good birth. How is it safe, she asks.

The nature in the midst of the flesh

We are in Oslo when we meet, in the photographer's apartment on Tøyen. It is no coincidence that the living room windows overlook the botanical garden. Eva grew up on Remøya, an island at the far end of the sea gap on Sunnmøre. Nature is for her life itself. - «On Remøya, I literally got nature in the middle of the woods every single day. Sun, rain, wind and strong gale. The mountain was my regular playground. I did not think about how nature affected me then, but the transition was great when I moved to Oslo to study and later work. The asphalt got stuck in the throat. ”- The solution was to pack a tent and a hammock to relax in. Oslomarka. Every year Eva has between 50 and 100 nights out. - «Life with work and friends in Oslo is terrific but hectic. When city life demands too much, I disappear into the woods. There I have time to listen to birdsong, breathe in fresh air and cook by the fire. The dinner always tastes lovely, even if it "only" is stew "-.

Luxury home on wheels

Eva has driven Norway twice before, with never in a motorhome. It was her first time behind the wheel of what she mentions as a luxury home on wheels. - "People sometimes ask me if I don't get tired of driving around Norway, but no, I never get bored of Norway. We have the world's finest country. There is always a new mountain to climb or a new view to wake up to. I've been driving through Europe to Africa earlier, then in a van. Nature in Norway beats everything and it was really luxury to use a motorhome over other options. When you drive around in your "home" you lack nothing. The bed was better to sleep in than the one I have here at home. ”- The caravan, a brand new Knaus, was sponsored by Askjems. - "I am forever grateful that they had faith in my project. Asking to sponsor a motorhome for three months when calling the "Food Car" may be shooting itself in the foot, "- she smiles. It was 40 rejection before she finally got yes from the guys in Askjems.

Involuntary camping

Winter was returning when Eva and Ole Jacob set off Oslo. - «We started with snow and ended the trip in 30 degrees. We experienced winter, spring and summer along the way. It was amazing. Since we went out of season, it was also easy to find places to park for the night. ”- Within three months, they slept three nights in a campground because they needed electricity and had to wash clothes. Beyond that, they slept in open countryside. The plan was free camping, but some evenings they were involuntarily directed towards wild camping. Eva laughs when she tells. - «It is typical for me to start a huge project, without knowing how to get into it or get out of it. My life motto is: No guts, no glory, meaning that if I do not try, I will not get anywhere. It was important for me to find nice campers that allowed me to wake up every morning to views that took my breath away. I used satellite images in Google Maps to find special places, maybe a little uncritical at first "- says Eva.

Learning Money

The girlfriend got a lesson when they followed Google Maps to a beach where there was a race. The road was turned into a powerful river. - "When we finally managed to turn around, the motorhome got stuck. We had to use fires and rocks to get loose. In this area there was also no coverage on the mobile. It took a long time to regain the resting pulse. The rest of the trip we always checked the landscape on foot before we drove the "Food Car" into uncertain terrain. We also managed to venture into the pedestrian street in Egersund. That's not to recommend. "-

The man and 71 degrees North

There were many great nature experiences along the way. In some places they were recommended by the midwives they met. Since Eva shared the whole trip on Snapchat, tips also ticked in there.

- "I was looking forward to experiencing Northern Norway. On the previous trip around Norway, I ended up in a place in Lofoten I didn't remember what it was or where it was. I was hung up to go back there. When I visited Fødestua in Lofoten, which is located on Gravdal, the wonderful midwives wanted to show us a great place to camp. One of the midwives asked us to drive after her. As we approached, I began to recognize me. I thought, it might be the place I fell in love with. Yes, it was! ”-

Mountain «The Man»

The mountain is called the Man and lies between Haukland and Uttakleiv. Eva and Ole Jacob parked the "Food Car" and went up to the Man right away, in glorious sun. - "When you are at the top, you look down on two very different beaches. A beach on either side. What a view! I could hardly believe it. It was a happy moment. The next day, bad weather and the couple drove on to Tromsø. On the whole trip there were two places with challenging weather, without it limiting them. The other place was North Cape. - "At Nordkapp we experienced full storm. When we got there no one was out on the North Cape plateau. Ole Jacob and I got the plateau for ourselves and ran around. Or tried to run around. Like Sunnmøre, this is exactly the wind I was right in the breeze. We had fun. In addition, the sun shone, which made the light adventurous. The photographer in me had to take pictures »-.

Attention

When the girlfriend entered the North Cape Hall, the other tourists stood with their faces pressed against the window and stared at them. - "They frowned on the brows and seemed likely we took unnecessary chances. However, when we were to put ourselves in, we took no chances. The wind shook the camper from side to side. We decided to seek shelter in a car park half an hour away. There it was not a blast and it turned out to be a good choice. The next day we were told that there had been hurricane and that more campers had overthrown "-.

Norway's most beautiful prospects

From Nordkapp the trip went to Kirkenes. - "People told me about long driving distances in the north, but you have to drive there yourself to understand how far it actually is. We drove and drove through fantastic scenery. Altogether, on the entire trip, we drove 14000 km. The favorite place in Northern Norway, however, ended up being beautiful Sandhorn Island, which lies south of Bodø. - "Wow. The nature at Sandhornøya is amazing with its high mountains, beautiful colors and the long beach, Langsand. The very, very finest place we camped, however, was the place I dreamed of camping for a long time: At Litlefjellet in Romsdalen, with a view towards Trollveggen and Romsdalshorn. It takes half an hour to get up and you get one of Norway's most beautiful views »-. Eva found a tent site at the edge of the mountain. - "It's the coolest camp I've been to today" -. Eva can also tell about memorable experiences from Alta, where they visited Alta's birth room, stood at the top of Sagtind and visited Team Horisont who runs a long-distance dog sledding and offers guided dog sled tours.

An amazing adventure

Combining work and vacation on a motorhome tour exceeded all expectations. Eva used the motorhome as an office. With a bath and shower, it was easy to "stay clean" and to start the work day fresh and rested. - «I invited midwives, families and others with an interest in giving birth to the motorhome. One night we sat six pieces in the "Food Car" and ate dinner. I got the best of both worlds. I lived an effective life and at the same time could freely choose to take the backpack on my back to climb up and sleep on a tempting mountain top »-. The last night of the project "The food truck, around Norway", ended in the same way as the trip started. - «The first night we parked at Brevik pier in Nordre Frogn, with a view over to Oslo. We saw people walking across the ice in the light of the full moon. Last night we spent during the lunar eclipse, at Skallevold bathing place in Tønsberg. These were special experiences because they represented the beginning and end of our fantastic adventure "- says Eva Rose, driver of the" birth car ".

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