World

The Northern Light Chasers from the Netherlands

14/02/2017

Three cars and six irrepressible off-roaders made their way to the Northern Cape, driving via Copenhagen, Vaxjö and downtown Stockholm.

But aren't those little mishaps you encounter on this kind of journey exactly whatturn the whole adventure into a challenge and life-changing experience?

Leaving the Netherlands in December, Eddy Gotink and his friends were prepared for some enthralling days ahead under extreme conditions and in freezing temperatures. Some evenings, they even had to build a fire to warm themselves up in the far North. Besides the cold, the light was also something they needed to get used to, as above the polar cycle daylight dropped to just 3 to 4 hours a day.

“It was dark till about 10am and around 1pm it started getting dark again!”

 One day, close to the Polar Circle in Norway, they even built an igloo not far from the road. It took two and half hours to build and was not closed with a door or partition. Three people slept in it for one night, probably the closest you can get to nature… Talk about adventure!

But during their trip, they not only got the chance to discover the beautiful landscapes of the Nordic countries, they also encountered some very helpful and considerate locals. One night, when they were unable to access the Airbnb accommodation they had rented (due to snow), Eddy stopped a snowplow passing by and offered the driver a bottle of vodka in exchange for his services. The driver accepted and helped them home.

In Arvidsjaur (Sweden), the group rented some snow scooters for a couple of hours to experience the beautiful landscape as close-up as you can get. Scooting in the snow with a 600 cc 2-cylinder 2-stroke engine with a top speed of 140 kph on ice was a great opportunity for them to prove they were "driver enough", in a totally original way.

At one point, two of the three cars got stranded in the deep snow and Eddy’s vehicle, fitted with BFGoodrich tires and so the only one with no risk of getting stuck, had to pull them out…  With the help of the others who pushed the cars, they were able to get all the vehicles back on track. Thanks to BFGoodrich studded tires, the group was able to continue on its way to discover the mythical fjords and some pretty unspoiled nature.

Driving on dark snowy roads, the group had to drive on high beam and needed to keep their eyes peeled. One time, they encountered another vehicle, also on high-beam. Both drivers slowed down and switched to low beam so as not to blind the other. Suddenly, they were both plunged into pitch blackness! Out of nowhere, two reindeer appeared on the left side of the road with two more on the right. At just 5 feet from the cars, the reindeer stood motionless for a second or two. Afraid of hitting them, Eddy shouted "REINDEER" to his partner in the car. But it was too late to stop. The driver veered away from the reindeers and they closed their eyes for a split second, feeling the tires getting a grip in the deeper snow… On opening their eyes, they realized they hadn't touched the animals. The reindeer crossed the road only once the group of vehicles drove on and and were far enough away.

"This is actually a true story. Our friends behind told us that there were about 30 reindeer near the road but we only saw those four…"

If, like Eddy Gotink, you have a driver's dream, go for it and try to make it come true by filing your online project application on http://www.bfgoodrich.de/bfgoodproject/subscribe

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"We all managed to get home safe and sound after 7,500 km without any major issues."

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