Visiting R 121 16

This post is part of a bigger trip I made through Scandinavia with focus on Norway.

Ok, this one here is not really about visiting something. Just some impression on how it might feel when you need to find a spot for the night in the middle of nowhere for the first time (it got better after that).

The challenge

In the past I always had an idea where I am going to stay overnight. Typically I had some app support to search for a spot. That night I didn’t find anything in the app so my plan was to stay at a regular camp site. The location was not close to anything special. No city, no beach. And it was already more up North. My hope was that I would be able to get a place there and didn’t call upfront.

Well, I arrived late afternoon and was greeted by a sign saying that the camp site is already full. Bummer. And now? There was nothing else close. Which meant I had to find a spot on the fly on my own for the first time. Yeah, I know, all those experienced people will now laugh but this was quite a thing for me. I don’t want to annoy anybody, I don’t want to park somewhere too obvious, I don’t want to accidently be somewhere where I am not allowed to stay overnight.

I started driving again and finally found a small place next to the street in the woods. It was kind of creepy, because there were some car wrecks. However, as evening was approaching I didn’t want to go further and end up searching something in the dark.

Camper van surrounded with trees and bushes, one car wreck in the background
My spot for the night

The monkeys in my head

The biggest problem was not the site as such. It was far enough from the street to not be seen. It was even to stand properly. The ground was good, so no risk of getting stuck when trying to drive again. Actually it was kind of perfect.

View from inside the car to the outside through the windshield, bushes and trees around, small path wide enough for a car
The street would be to the far left, not visible from here – I am a little bit around the corner

But those car wrecks. My mind started spiraling about what could happen. And this is the problem. Those monkeys in your head recalling every thriller you ever read and every exciting movie you have ever seen. I mean, how likely is something going to happen? Very, very unlikely! Nevertheless, our brains are wired for negativity. This is called the negativity bias (yes, it is really a thing).

Two car wrecks in the bushes, both exploited and dirty, white car to the left, blue small truck to the right.

I always read that one should listen to the gut feeling as well. If you have a bad feeling don’t stay at the place. Search for another one. I felt uneasy. Should I try to find another spot?

I came to the conclusion that I would feel the same way at all the other spots as well. It had nothing to do with this spot. It had to do with my attitude towards the situation. I spent some time arguing with my monkeys and we agreed on giving it a try. So I stayed.

And then…

it happened. It just started to get dark when a car pulled in. Two people in it. The car stopped. They were looking at me, I was looking at them. I think we were both not able to see each other properly. Seconds past. Then they went backwards and drove away. Monkeys, go back to sleep.

Seems like this spot is not only for car wrecks but also for folks looking for some quite time. Sorry to have ruined this for that evening.

The missing piece

In the evening and also the next morning I always had the feeling that something was weird beyond the car wrecks. There was something about this place that gave me bad feelings. I just couldn’t figure it out. Next evening, when I again looked for a nightspot on my own, I finally got it. There was not sound of any animal even though I was in the woods. Normally, you always hear birds singing. But there was complete silence.

This unusual silence was what had made me feel so uncomfortable.

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