26 October 2008

Stuck on Sotra with three Filipino girls...

The weather last week and into the weekend has been getting progressively wilder, brewing up to a big storm, the surf at Stadt this weekend was 25 ft - I opted to stay at home!

We were out on Friday evening, one of those spontaneous nights when the correct people turn up and it develops into an unplanned large one. Consequently was not feeling super sharp on Saturday. But it's the party season - so its' not like we are missing out on anything anyway.

Saturday lunch time and the weather was getting really foul. We popped in to town to collect Vench, a small Filipino girl who had offered to come out to the lair once a month and give it a quick blast on the cleaning front.

When we arrived to collect her, one had become three, all very small and giggling a lot. They seemed fairly oblivious to the high winds and pouring rain and keen to get to work. We piled them into the back of the car and drove out to Sotra. While they started cleaning I got on with some work. All the time the rain was lashing against the window and the house was shaking in the wind.

Then I noticed out of the window that the traffic towards the bridge was backed up. Not a good sign. A quick look on the net told me that the Sotra Bridge was shut due to high winds! The Sotra Bridge was built in 1972 and is 1236 m long with a span of almost 500 m. Its the 74th longest bridge in the World - not bad for a road that connects a small island with a population of 25,000 with a small town with a population of 250,000! When all the oil money has run out at least this country will have an impressive collection of bridges and tunnels!

Anyway the bridge was shut because the wind was over 25 m/s which is about 54 mph (90 km/h) - fairly windy and apparently that is only the 15th time its ever had to be closed. Not much of a conciliation to the three girls who were now stuck there. They actually didn't seem very bothered as they had by this time finished their chores and were drinking tea. They then magically produce a cake from somewhere and we had an impromptu party, which was entertaining and amusing since they didn't really speak too much English.

So the next challange was how to get them back to the mainland. Contemplated the boat but a look out the window suggested that would be a short cut to a Darwin award. Eventually it was Katharine to the rescue, she had found out that the bridge had reopened to some traffic and the police were busy stopping people with ski boxes! So we made an escape - the girls to go home and us to the Leppards leaving party.

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