Norway


 

 

Oh dear!

Ken James went on holiday to Norway.

“On July 20th I arrived in Kristiansand Norway, ready for four weeks of touring. On the 22nd I was about 20Km North of Voss when I went off the road, going around a left hand bend I was distracted for a split second, time enough for my offside wheel to go over the edge of the narrow road, on the other side was a drop of about 1.5 metres-there was no way I could pull my Bongo back, it careered along an embankment, cleared a farm track and embedded itself into some trees. Luckily no one was hurt-just shock, my elderly parents were taken to hospital, and I have to say things might have been worse if not for the strength of the Bongo.

norway2
Now if I may pass on some words of wisdom–
Breakdown Insurance-I had cover for being abroad, £1000 worth of cover for hire car in case of an accident—NOT ENOUGH for my trip, to be towed out the trees cost me £450, hire of an old VW camper for one week approx £400, plus there was approx three weeks of hire after that!!
A mobile phone was essential,-but beware of the costs, my bill for that period was over £280, you get charged for receiving calls as well as making them, in hindsight I could have bought a mobile phone in Norway for about £40 plus a charge card for another £30, saving a lot of money.
Make sure you are adequately covered, find out the cost of hiring a camper abroad plus towage should the worst happen to you.

Remember, all that camping, fishing equipment, suitcases, in fact all the bits and pieces we all stuff into every nook and cranny still has to be brought back home–minus a bongo to get it home in!! I had to buy extra suitcases to put all my bits and pieces into, when you turn up at the Ferry terminal to get home, your hire vehicle has to stay put, leaving you with all that gear to bring back home.

My thanks to the staff at Europ Assistance, after contacting them they took charge of everything, arranging for a hotel accommodation 11 o’clock at night, hire vehicle, believe me, they are worth their weight in gold, you need someone to take charge of the situation and they do just that and they continued to do that right up until departure, also to the staff at DFDS Seaways who helped me store my equipment and to carry it through the terminal at Newcastle.

norway3

Oh yes–if you need spare parts when touring in Norway–contact Viking recovery in Voss where they have a nice silver model.

Safe motoring!”

Well, thanks for that Ken.

Latest news just in. The Norwegian police have arrested two suspects….

troll

Postscript:

Caroline Sarychkin didn’t go to Norway, but she was involved in a smash. “At the end of May we were driving along the M25 to catch a ferry. The Bongo was loaded with luggage plus my husband, 3 kids and myself. A tyre blew out as we switched lanes, all hell broke loose and we ended up hitting a tree and tipping over. We were doing about 70mph.

Now the good bit. We all walked away from the crash with no more than bruises, apart from my son who was driving (his first and only time in the Bongo) who had a cut above his eye where he hit the steering wheel.

The front of the car was completely stoved in, including a substantial bull bar, the pop top was ripped off, the side windows were smashed, poor car was a total mess but we were all fine. I couldn’t believe that we survived without any serious injury.

Despite being an old car (1995) the Bongo kept us safe. I am really sorry to see it go, and miss waving at other Bongos as I drive along.

In case any of your members has ever wondered what would happen I thought this might offer reassurance. At the end of May we were driving along the M25 to catch a ferry. The Bongo was loaded with luggage plus my husband, 3 kids and myself. A tyre blew out as we switched lanes, all hell broke loose and we ended up hitting a tree and tipping over. We were doing about 70mph.

Now the good bit. We all walked away from the crash with no more than bruises, apart from my son who was driving (his first and only time in the Bongo) who had a cut above his eye where he hit the steering wheel.

The front of the car was completely stoved in, including a substantial bull bar, the pop top was ripped off, the side windows were smashed, poor car was a total mess but we were all fine. I couldn’t believe that we survived without any serious injury.

Despite being an old car (1995) the Bongo kept us safe. I am really sorry to see it go, and miss waving at other Bongos as I drive along.

In case any of your members has ever wondered what would happen I thought this might offer reassurance.

Here’s a pic. It’s a bit blurred, my hand was shaking.

crash

Reading Ken James’s account I am thanking my lucky stars once again that the accident took place this side of the English Channel (we were on the way to France). Also, my son was on a stand alone insurance policy which gave comprehensive cover in the UK but only 3rd party abroad.
One thing Ken is absolutely right about is having to shift all the contents of the car. We had to get a taxi for the 50 odd miles home, and though we requested a large 7 seater my youngest was practically buried under cases, bags etc, there was just no room at all by comparison.

The insurance company have only valued the Bongo at £1500 so I have directed them to BongoFury to give an idea how much they are worth.

I do miss the Bongo, we had to get a replacement in a real hurry so it was a question of what was available within a 20 mile radius. I really miss being able to just throw a bicycle in the back of the car, you can’t do that with a Golf. The kids miss what they called the ASBO seat as well, my eldest could sit and play guitar there without annoying his brothers.

Happy times, great car”