Despite the driving rain and gusty winds the tour buses arrived at the museum. Like little lemmings the tourists stepped off the bus to a wet welcome. The prospect of walking around an outside museum was written all over their faces. Eventually, they huggled together, curled forward and shuffled off to look at some prehistoric rock art. Well with head down at least they should see the beautiful Arctic flowers.
We packed up and drove back towards our little headland spot just outside of Alta. Tonight, we have special guests for dinner and we want to make sure no one pinches our patch. As Vin’s tyre roll up next fish drying racks, Mac n Tosh jump up in excitement. They recognise the place and cant wait to head off for a good old sniff and re-scent their territory. As we park up, Craig jumps out to check the spot and make sure there is enough space for another motorhome. A bit of a shuffle around whilst I take Mac and Tosh for a walk. Off they trot on a mission to sniff out the cod heads, crab shells and anything else fishy.
As Craig was head chef tonight, I offered to cook lunch. I wanted to do something light, so I made an exceptionally complex assortment of jam butties. Exceptional because I never cook, complex as the bread required baking and assortment, burnt or cindered. I will admit, I am hopeless at cooking and no matter how simple, I always manage to mess it up. I really do not understand what goes wrong because in my head, it is clear what needs to happen and how it should look. No wonder my poor hubby is so thin!
They are here! As we peered out the door Zagan the motorhome pulled up and out popped Ju and Jason from Our Tour. A cracking couple who are an inspiration to many. Back in 2013, we stumbled across their blog when we debated travelling Europe and we’ve been hooked ever since. It was lovely to see them again and after a quick hello, the kettle went on and we snuggled down to sharing stories, exchanging info and swapping data. The dogs joined in too…Charlie dropped a few aromatic farts whilst Mac n Tosh decided to climb on the dashboard and hump each other…you can always rely on animals to provide the entertainment!
Craig cooked a fab dinner with spring rolls, red chilli sauce and a homemade Thai red chicken curry with jasmine rice. All washed down with several bottle of wine and ‘blow your brains out lager’. The box of chocolate liquors combined with fresh Norwegian air was all too much for some. At one point, I remember someone’s bum to chair coordinations skills going out the window. The slow reflexes accompanied with ‘I am pissed’ grin was highly amusing. But the last man standing award goes to Jay, who not only managed to startle Charlie and kick the bucket but managed to go fishing and catch a fish at some godly hour.
A cracking night had by all.
Our wild camping spot tonight, back to Alta headland overlooking the boats and small marina bay.
GPS position N069.986705 and E023.306063
Route: Alta museum to Alta headland
Weather: Low 7 and high 15, started with wind and rain but by end of the day, calm and pleasant.
The Day After the Night Before
In the morning, Craig had a fury tongue and a hangover that would fascinate a science lab. Nothing for it, a strong cup of coffee, a handful of paracetamol, a few roll ups and some fresh air.
After breakfast, we joined up with Ju and Jay and the conversation started to flow. Craig spotted a camper heading this way and originally he thought it might be Kate & Steve from Burnley but to our surprise, it was Patti and Bill from America on a 3 month tour of Europe. They had been following Jay and Ju’s blog for a couple of years and yesterday, they passed their motorhome on the way to North Cape. They read about our meeting in Alta , so they got the coordinates from our website and popped over to say hello. It was lovely to hear their story, how they shipped over their camper from USA and their plans for the future.
Just after lunch we all said our cheerio to Rhode Trip before waving goodbye to Ju, Jay and Charlie. They are heading south and have so much to look forward to, Norway will not disappoint, for sure. Equally, we will have the pleasure of reading their blog and watching their journey.
We too set off but first we need some LPG. This is the last filling station until we hit the Baltics, as Finland does not have any LPG. So we brimmed the cylinders and fingers crossed it is enough for the next few thousand kilometres. Mid fill and we here an English voice “is this where you get LPG?”. Richard and Jenny were with Ju and Jay at North Cape…such a small world. A quick chat before the queue started to build…and then the rain came.
The lower part of the Alta Valley is covered in spruce forests and fertile agricultural land. The Gulf Stream and sunny summer nights provide fertile conditions, even at 70°N. At times, it really does not feel like you are in the arctic. Imagines of freezing cold and barron landscapes could not be far from the reality. We continued our journey towards north cape and the scenery had a minimal beauty with the odd Sami hut along the way. Sami translates to river current and traditionally they thrive on reindeer herding. However, with growing tourism, the Sami handicrafts seem to provide most with a reasonable income.
We stopped several times to admire the view and then decided to stay put on a quiet piece of land with great views up and down the fjord. The sky was rather moody with patches of rain cloud. We sat in Vin and watched the rain sprinkle the sea. Not long and the rain passed, closely followed by multitude of rainbows. Perfect end to a great day.
Our wild camping spot tonight, flat headland in the middle of Smorfjord.
GPS position N070.538100 and E025.138897
Route: Alta headland to Smorfjord
Weather: Low 5 and high 14, pleasant day with just a splash of rain in the early evening