hjalte's blog


It is like we have got a daily routine here in San Francisco. This morning Ida and I washed clothes and hang them up to dry on a string in front af the cars. Then we walked over to a shopping mall near the trailer park and got grocceries while Hjalte was on the phone with Soeren back in Denmark. In the afternoon we met with members of Electro Auto Association, the key grass-roots organisation for promoting and practical use of electric vehicles. Very nice people with many stores and experiences to share with us about the not always easy struggle to pave the way for electric vehicles in the world’s no 1 car country. Some of the guys had used electric cars and motorbikes for 20-30 years. They do not think the great break-through for EVs just around the corner in America. But there are many EV-enthusiasts in California and all over the USA. Rain poured down on the 50 miles back to Trailer Haven. An endless stream of red and white carlights sparkled when I drove the cart home through darkness and rain. Tomorrow we drop off the big RV and continue in Gereen Car. There is a long way to New York! WE ARE NOW UP-DATING THE BLOG - STAY TUNED! Hjalte



This afternoon we had the first meeting with Electro Auto Association. They had gathered at very short notice and waited for us at an airfield near San Jose. Very nice people with a lot of experience and stories to tell. Several had driven electric cars or motorbikes for twenty years. They do not think a major break-through for EVs are just around the corner. But there are many EV-friends in California and around the US. Thety said jokingly that if you want to make a small fortune with electric cars you just have to start with a big fortune! Rain hammered down all 50 kms back to Trailer Haven. A never-ending stream of white and red lights sparkled when we drove home. Tomorrow we will drop off the big RV and start our continental trek in Green Car. There is a long way to New York.



After charging a whole night the batteries had gone up from 13% til 78%. Not very impressive, so we have to find plugs that can handle more amps. After a test packing of the car we all four boarded Green Car. Hjalte drove and I was sitting in the back together with little Elliot, that had got his own auto-chair. While we were driving Ida navigated us through the maze of freeways with her computer and the satellite-antenna from Thrane & Thrane. We have really missed our mobile internet-access from Inmarsat the days we have been waiting for Green Car. It is still mild here in California so we decided to camp as long as the weather stays fine. So we drove up to a outdoor-shop in Berkeley where I got a really warm sleeping bag og Ida bought a mattress. The rest of the camping-gear is still in the car, last used in the Gobi desert. Nina



Finally the day came when Green Car was released from the customs warehouse in Oakland. It was looking quite as beautyful as it did in Shanghai and with a fine layer of chinese coal-dust. Our faithfull electric car jumped back to life and it ran just as well as the day some six weeks ago when we put it in the container. We drove Green Car and the clumsy RV back to our spot in Trailer Haven where the cars now are parked between a tree and a palm. We hooked Green Car to the American 110 volt grid. It took it well and hummed satisfied all night. But 110 volt is so SLOW.


Samuel P Taylor State Park saw us wake up under enormous trees, still shrouded in morning fog. Not completely voluntarily we must spend some days as tourists. Then again San Francosco is not a bad place to do that. Everything up here in Marin Country is so green, the trunks all mossy and huge ferns covering the ground. It had been raining hard during the night and it was still a drizzle when Ida put elliot in the new green stoller and went for a walk. Rolling hills, winding roads and fabulous beaches. Limantour Beach reminded us of the Danish North Sea coast. For the night we returned to the magnificient redwood trees in the state park.



Until Green Car is released from customs we have rented a RV an Recreational Vehicle. It is full of electric gadgets but certainly no EV. It is complete with three double beds, kitchen with running water, three propane burners, stove, micro wave, cub boards, drawers and a table for six. Not to mention toilet and shower. When we push a button the dinning hall becomes double size. There is also a generator and sockets and propane heating for the chilly nights. This rolling house has comfort but poor road-holding. And the bulky thing only does 2 km/l. We met with Hjalte’s friend Wolfgang of Dubbelju Motorcycle Rentals, a good friend of Moto Mundo. Ida also got time to buy a stroller for Elliot . And because it was Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving, she got 10% discount.


Not for a long time have we slept so good as in our bed here in Irkutsk. Hjalte and I take a day of not doing much here in Svetlana's flat. My down-coat warms me wonderfully on this seven degrees summer's day. I did some shopping in a well-assorted super-market  next door (oh what a difference from 22 years ago when we here and food was almost impossible to find!). We visited Green Car. It dreams about getting the spare-part Soeren has sent from Denmark. We eat in Svetlana's kitchen. TV shows floods in Copenhagen! That Siberia is almost under water seems quiet normal.


24 hours after the break-down Misha had the gearbox back and it worked! We were deeply impressed and clapped in our hands. He told us it was the first time he had opened a gearbox. Rain was pouring down most of the way to Krasnoyarsk. Here in the middle of Siberia we had to change trucks. We got new horsepowers and Valodja, a seasoned trucker. His "evacuator" was higher and stronger and ready to take us and Green Car over the worst part of the road to Irkutsk. We set off as night fell and drove without rest for 24 hours. Potholes became bathtubs, puddles became lakes and the mud deeper and deeper until we could hardly pass crawling along in first gear. At midnight we arrived groggy to Irkutsk. We found a safe place to unload Green Car. The first two back-packer hostels were full and the expensive hotel too expensive. In the cold rain we trudged along the empty Irkutsk streets looking for a bed. It had its own poetic charm, like a romantic French movie. We did not think to record it ourselves. Good luck found us a room in a private flat on Lenin-street - and it turned out to be a perfect place to stay.


We are sitting with Misha the young driver in a tiny truck - an "evacuator" as it is called in Russian. The trans-siberian highway runs arrow-straight for hundreds of kilometers. Not much to see but uncompromisingly flat and endless wheat-fields dotted with birch-forest. A corrupt police-officer stops us in a small town and Misha has to pay a bribe. Misha shrugs his shoulders and drive on. We skip dinner and just carry on towards the East. Hjalte and I spend the night in a godforsaken truck-stop. Misha sleeps in his truck as all the other truckers do. Sleeping on the seats can't be comfortable. But that's the conditions.

Syndicate content