I picked up my new caravan wednesday before lunchtime, and the plan was to begin the camping trip the very same day. How ever, things almost allways takes longer than expected, and after several trips of shopping for items I thought I might need, I finally got out on the road thursday afternoon. There was still a bunch of stuff I didn't find or simply forgot to buy, but the main reason for this trip was to get to know the caravan.
With the caravan all packed up and ready to go, including full water tanks and various retrofitted accessories, there's always the weight issue. It's a small caravan, with a registered weight of only 800 kg and 200 kg loading capacity, and I decided to take a detour via the DMV station at Kjeller to weigh the caravan. I was quite happy when the display showed 940 kg, which meant that including the approx. 60 kg I measured on the hitch before leaving home, I was just within the limit! Still, a mere 60 kg pressure on the hitch is a bit low, which I discovered on bumpy roads, and on future trips I will try empty water tanks to save 50 kg, and instead add some more luggage weight in the front of the caravan.
After weighing the caravan at Kjeller, I took the E6 from Skedsmokorset up to Kløfta, where I left the E6 and turned onto the E16 for the trip further north. Partly because I needed to stop by the dealer to install some missing alarms, and also because I concider the Rv24 from Skarnes to be a very nice and toll free alternative to the E6 when one can't (or aren't allowed to) drive at a speed of 110-120 km/h with a caravan behind your car.
Upon the arrival in Elverum (way behind schedule due to a traffic accident causing massive traffic jams from Myklegard), dinner time was higly overdue, and the Elgstua (Elk Cabin, loose translation) restaurant has always been recognized as a very nice place with excellent food, so I decided to stop and enjoy a nice dinner there. Unfortunately I discovered a little to late that the drive-trough parking was blocked by parked cars, and with a full parking lot and no turning around possible, I had to do some unvoluntary practicing in backing with a caravan on my own, without a companion or a backing camera. Finally I got out of the parking lot and parked at the Esso station next to the restaurant, and the elk beefburgers with potatoes and cranberries were well worth the effort. Absolutely delicious, and under 200 NOK!
After dinner, it was a non-stop drive up to the final destination. Along the Rv25 there was a lot of wind at times, I could feel the caravan moving from side to side, and it was a bit tiring having to constantly adjust the steering wheel and correcting the movements. With a heavier car than my little Focus, it probably wouldn't have been a problem. Between Drevsjø and Elgå there's also a stretch of gravel road of very poor condition, and sometimes I had to slow down to 25-30 km/h to save the caravan from the worst beating. You can take the longer detour via Sweden and Idre, which supposedly has asphalt all the way, but the asphalt roads I drove in the area weren't all that good anyway. You just have to slow down and take it easy.
Finally I arrived at Elgå and Båtstø Camping, and could couple the caravan off the car and prepare for the night under a dramatic evening sky:
On the next day the weather was very unstable, switching back and forth between rain and sun, and as I didn't think of bringing suitable outdoor clothing, I spent the day relaxing in the caravan. A lot of wind, especially from the north, which wasn't all that uncommon I was told. I had planned to take the boat (M/S Fæmund II) up to Revlingen and ride my bike back to the camping site, but later I found out that the boat never docked at Revlingen because of the wind and high waves, so I guess it didn't matter that I stayed in the caravan after all.
In the afternoon the weather got better, and eventually the sun came back. I was very exited to find out what culinary experiences a small place like Elgå could offer, and had spent some time earlier in the day doing some research. I went with Bryggeloftet restaurant, as their menu was both varied and exiting, and they gave excellent service when I stopped by earlier to ask for the menu and recommendations. Normally they stop serving dinner at 18:00, but they have a special 3-course menu for their hotel guests who are served at 19:00. They offered me the option of joining in on this, and it turned out to be one of the best meals I've had in a long time!:
Starters: Dried reindeer meat and reindeer sausage, served with egg and potato salad:
Main course: Salmon with sour cream sauce, boiled potatoes, cucumber salad and grated carrot:
Dessert: The secret of Tjønnodden:
Can't complain about the view from the restaurant either:
I almost felt like a real "Food blogger" as I sat there taking pictures of the food, but whatever. Total price for the dinner including 2 glasses of wine was NOK 560, not bad at all I think.
Saturday was departure day, and naturally the weather would show off at its best as I was about to check out. Here are some pics from when I left:
Bryggeloftet with M/S Fæmund II at the dock:
This is as far north as you get with a car at the east side of lake Femunden:
My conclusion: Båtstø Camping is absolutely a place to visit if you want peace and tranquility, and nature experiences by hiking or biking in the wilderness. With a stunning location at the east shore of lake Femunden, it offers an abundance of hiking and biking possibilities in the Femundsmarka national park, as well as boat trips on the lake with M/S Fæmunden II. One downside is the quality of the sanitary facilities, somewhat outdated with only cubicles for the toilets, and a quick shower costs extra. They also offer free Wi-fi around the reception and in the Fjøsstuggu recreation building, but as the Fjøsstuggu was closed for a private arrangement and my caravan was parked to far away, I never got the opportunity to try it out.