unURBAN Adventures - Alaska to Argentina to AFRICA!

mapper

Explorer
Glad to have found this, very enjoyable reading. I'm sure it is covered somewhere in the pages/blog but what work do you two do in Antarctica? I would keep reading more but I also do have a job to tend to :)
 

graynomad

Photographer, traveller
You can get work as a handyman in Antarctica? Where the heck do I sign up? I thought you had to have 3 doctorates and at least 2-3 trades :)
 

bobDog

Expedition Leader
The end? No...no...no! Say it isn't so! Who will I follow now? No one as nice for sure. You two have been wonderful these past 2 years. Please keep us informed of you adventures at home although I suspect you will be bored in a months time. Thank you both! The bDog.

Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk 2
 

NoBrakesRacing

New member
Malin and Espen,
Thank you for allowing me to be an spectator in you great life adventure.
You have opened my eyes to the beauty of many places and have opened my imagination to the hope of taking a similar step one day, even if in a much smaller scale.
Looking forward to updates and for you to maybe make that turn right.

Best of luck

Javier
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
Hi Everybody!

Sorry for being slow on the updates. There will be one now :)

Mapper and Greynomad: Yes, you can get a job as a handyman. I'm employed as a General Hand in the Mechanical Department. It involves everything from maintenance to operating machines and moving snow. My first season I was a "Kitchen Assistant", basicallly meaning dishwasher, so it is definitely good to have a few trades ;-)

bobDog: End? No, no, but there willl be a break... The idea is to look for a place in Norway when we are back from Antarctica sometime late January or early February. There will of course be a workshop where I can start working on our new overland truck. If finances permit... Patrol 2.0? We'll see....

The turn right, or from Norway, the turn left, is definitely on top of the bucket list. So keep checking in on us, Javier, and you might see the dot on the map start moving east one day. But first, let's get up to date on this trip! Greece and Albania coming up!

E
 
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unURBAN

Adventurer
Back to Europe



As you've seen from our border crossing / shipping post, we made it to Europe and Greece. And even if Israel in some ways felt quite European, arriving in Greece definitely took the edge of the adventure level. We quickly decided to skip the “easy” route involving a ferry to Italy and driving north on Italian highways, and instead went for the road up along the Adriatic Sea through the Balcans. Before leaving Greece we stopped for a few days on the beach on the Peloponnese Peninsula.



On the way out to the peninsula we drove across the Corinth Canal, first started in the first century AD, but not finished until 1883. And with this canal cutting 6,2 kilometers through the base the peninsula, it is now, technically speaking, an island.



Our final stop in Greece before crossing the border to Albania, is the impressive and slightly surreal tourist attraction, Meteora. These monasteries were built in the 16th century, so it is not that they are very old (from a European point of view… (but it is almost as old as Machu Pichu)), but the locations are incredible. Yes, that is a real building, and it is a BIG house!



New for us are the crowds of tourists. We were expecting them in Egypt, but as you know we hardly saw any even at the main tourist attractions. Here in Greece it is bus load after bus load, and we fear that it is going to get worse as we drive north along the Adriatic coast towards Central Europe.



Crossing borders in Europe is very different from what we have been through the last couple of years. Even crossing from Greece to Albania, which is not in the European Union (or EEC), it took us only a few minutes. The road changed instantly driving into Albania, and the feeling of adventure was back.

On our map we were following a road marked as a “secondary road”. It was narrow, but the surface was good, and we were doing good time. At one point we were looking for a place to stop for the night, but we saw no obvious places. Normal procedure is then to start asking, but looking at the map we had only about a hundred kilometers left to Berat, the town we were driving towards. We decided to keep going. That became quite interesting. The road got worse, and soon we were on a 4x4 trail. A nice feeling of course, but it was slow going and it was getting dark. We kept going and arrived in Berat around nine o'clock.





Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we wanted to spend a day visiting the old castle and walk around in the old narrow streets. We were looking for a backpacker hostel we found in our guide book, but luck had it we stopped at one of the first hotels to ask for directions. Malin went in to ask, but came back out telling me we were booked in. It was a fantastic, small hotel, just opened, and not too expensive. It also had one of the best Italian restaurants we've ever tried. Are you going to Berat, check in to Hotel Muzaka (south bank)!

Roads were better from here, and after a stop on the coast on our way north, we drove back inland to the Theth Mountains.



Again, the roads quickly turn into rough gravel roads as soon as you leave the main highways. It is not like a technical offroad trail, but very nice to have a 4x4, or at least solid ground clearance.





This is not a very developed area, and you think this is how the Alps must have been before all the hotels and gondolas came around. Visiting some of these places in the mountains is almost like stepping back in time. Wouldn't mind going back to Theth to explore more of this area, but now we are on our way to Montenegro…

Espen
 
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photo_i

Explorer
Hey there!

Guys, we keep telling people a story how we unexpectedly ran into famous travelers (means you two) while camping in Slovenia - everybody loves it! :) Great meeting you and hopefully see you again sometime somewhere down the road. World is a pretty small place, as we all know. :)

Oksana & Brad
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
Guys, we keep telling people a story how we unexpectedly ran into famous travelers (means you two) while camping in Slovenia - everybody loves it! :) Great meeting you and hopefully see you again sometime somewhere down the road. World is a pretty small place, as we all know. :)
Oksana & Brad
Haha, it was great running into you, guys!! I still chuckle when I think about Brand standing there watching us pitching our roof top tent, and then went, "you're the unURBANs!". We had a really nice evening in Slovenia, and we hope we can meet up somewhere down the road. Best of luck with the Unimog (these guys are building THE ULTIMATE overland truck! Post more pictures!!).

Take care and safe travels!
Espen & Malin
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
Driving through Europe

Europe is full of interesting places to see, and it is extremely hard to choose a few. As we have now chosen the route along the Adriatic coast, one stop gave itself: Dubrovnik in Croatia. In August most tourist destinations are packed with people, but hey, it’s now that we’re here, so we better make the best of it. We couldn’t even find a parking space down town, so we ended up a couple of kilometers away near the port, and found a bus going back in to the city center.



We timed our visit to a weekday as we heard there could be as many as 15 – 16 000 cruise ship tourists in town in the weekends – each day! There is even a webpage with the numbers for the following days so you can plan your visit. The Thursday we went in there should be about 1500 cruise passengers, and then all the drive- and fly in tourists of course. It was crowed enough, so we were glad we found out about the weekend mayhem…
But what a beautiful town! Extremely touristy, but well worth a day exploring. Plenty of nice cafes and restaurants, and you can even go for a swim on the cliffs just a few meters outside the city walls.



It is also possible to walk all around the old city on top of the walls. Great views!



Between Dubrovnik in the south and Zadar in the north, the coast of Croatia is full of tourists. Some kilometers north of Zadar the main highway north take off and turn more inland. We took the coast road, and found a few small, quiet towns, and it was a beautiful drive along the crystal clear Adriatic sea.



A few more hours driving north, we crossed the border to Slovenia. This is another country we would love to spend time in, but that will have to be next time. We have an appointment in Switzerland with some old friends. One of the main tourist attractions in Slovenia is the Postojna Cave, and it wasn’t too far away from our route. It was very different from the Black Chasm Cave we visited in the USA, but quite fascinating.



And it is HUGE!



From Slovenia we crossed the border to Italy, passed Venice that we visited last year just after flying out from Arusha in Tanzania. This time we drove straight past and headed for Milan (or rather Bergamo a few kilometers outside) to do some shopping. We were invited to a wedding in Belgium so we need a present and some nice clothes. Italy is perfect for this! Not to mention filling up the fridge with goodies. This is paradise!



What was interesting to see in the supermarkets in Italy is that almost all the food you find here is produced or grown in Italy. And Italy is not really that big. This is an ENORMOUS difference when comparing with Africa where you hardly have any selection of foods.

With the fridge full, new clothes, and even a present for the wedding, we started climbing over the Alps to Switzerland.



We were on our way to Klönthaler Sea to set up camp for the weekend. One of the reasons for picking this particular spot, was that the campground allowed open fire. And this was important. We saw the campground from a distance when we were driving in along the lake. And yes, there it was, a white Toyota Landcruiser with a tall fiberglass roof. Toyotours had just arrived. Pulling off the road to check in, we parked behind an orange VW Combi from 1976. Some of the readers might remember this car from our first camps on Baja California almost three years ago. The last time we saw them was in Panama City in May 2011. We parked the cars in a circle as we used to, and left a space open. A couple of hours later this was filled by Nordsued.ch and their Land Rover Defender 110. This is the couple we shared container with around the Darian Gap on our way to South America. Toyotours doesn’t need much introduction, most of you have seen them in our pictures more or less all the way. We met them first time on Baja California, and have travelled together on and off the entire trip. They had arrived home in Germany only about two months earlier.





It was a magic weekend with good stories and lots of fun. I think all of us are already planning new adventures. The date for our next “overland meeting” is not yet set, but it will happen for sure. Leaving our friends after the weekend was in a way the moment when I realized that our trip is now coming to an end. A very sad moment. This really is the last leg home...

Espen
 
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