Our motorhome is on a headland. Nothing remarkable about this except that the Arctic Sea bay attracts a number of keen fishermen. All morning little fishing boats tootled back and forth along the coastline making the most of the beautiful sunshine. Little hand waves, nod of the head and cries of Hei as the fishermen passed by. It certainly provided a welcomed distraction from our cleaning duties. As usual, Craig scrubbed the outside and I did the inside. We also took advantage of the warm sun rays and went full hog on the washing from bedding to blankets and socks to shirts. Everything got scrubbed and all in the space of a few hours.
We had nearly finished cleaning and pondering over what to have for lunch when all of a sudden we heard bellowing from the waters edge. Craig walks over to investigate. Next minute, I could see a fisherman hurling fish in Craig direction. One..two..three..four wet fish. No sooner had we thanked him and he was on his way. How kind is that! Well thats lunch sorted, perfect timing. Craig shot off to gut and fillet the fish whilst I finished cleaning and setting the table. We BBQ’d the fish, one with a sprinkle of paprika and one with just salt and pepper. Very tasty indeed. The other two fish, well we cooked them and placed them to one side for Mac n Tosh. We have no idea what kind of fish but they certainly yummy. If anyone knows what kind of fish they are, please let us know.
With full bellies and a clean van we set off to Rema 1000 supermarket. We picked up all our favourite Norwegian goodies and headed to the checkout. This could possibly be our last Norwegian shop before we cross over in to Finland. My heart sank, as much as I am ready to explore new countries, there is a real part of me that does not want to leave. Norway has certainly captured our hearts and the prospect of leaving is quite sad.
We had a brief drive around the town and Craig turned in to local tour guide. He’s been here for nearly a week, so he knows Alta like the back of his hand. I am reliably informed that the original village of Alta, at the mouth of the Alta river has grown over the years to form one of the most populated areas in Finnmark. If you cross the bridge and take a right there are a few nice campsites, which are excellent if you like salmon fishing. Apparently, Altaelvar is one of the world’s most attractive salmon rivers for fly fishing with standard catches weighing more that 20 kg.
Then over to Alta Museum for UNESCO highlight. In 1973, rock cavings between 2,000 and 6,000 years old were found near the village of Hjemmeluft. The wildlife and hunting scenes are the largest known collection of rock carvings in Northern Europe made by hunter gathers. The figures are carved, polished or chipped in to a stone or bedrock outcrop. The hammer was probably made of antler and chisel of hard stone.The large collection also indicates that Alta was probably a meeting point for rituals and ceremonies.
A small tree and bush lined pathway takes you through a vast array of rock art spread out and over a large open area surrounding the museum building. Winner of the Museum of the Year, 1993, is located by the coastline. Inside the museum features exhibits relating to the Alta River from the Stone Age Komsa culture (7000 BC –2000 BC) through to the latest hydroelectric project.
With rock art complete we sat in Vin and watched a load of Finnish people go for a quick swim in fancy dress. Yip, in fancy dress! We have no idea why or what for but it certainly caught our attention and provided plenty of chuckles before bedtime.
Our wild camping spot tonight, Alta museum car park located in the village of Hjemmeluft. Nothing fancy but we had plenty international neighbours to chat to from Finnish, German, Dutch, Polish, Swedish and Norwegian.
Apologies for the delay but we’ve had limited wifi combined with a little preoccupied…the next few posts will explain!
GPS position N069.946271 and E023.187151
Route: Alta headland to Alta museum
Weather: Low 5 and high 16, beautiful sunshine turning to grey clouds by late evening.