Table of Contents
Day 127: Storslett
We have planned one rest day at the hotel. During breakfast we think about how to continue towards North Cape. Our plan was to walk about 80 kilometers through the Nabar and then follow the road from Alta for the last 300 kilometers. It is supposed to get warmer in the next few days, but our desire to stick to this plan is still limited. Alternatively, we could walk along the road to Alta. But that would be much longer and walking on the road is boring. Heading east and following the muddy remains of the E1 from Kautokeino is also out of the question. We want to have a good time and it is very unpleasant to walk through the mud for days.
Dead end North Cape and no way out in sight
The second question we have is how to get back from North Cape. We postponed the planning for a long time, but we also knew for a long time that this would probably be problematic, since the Norwegians do not transport dogs on many bus lines. We would get from North Cape to Alta, but would be stuck there. A few hours of research later we are still lost. Alta is a dead end, you can’t get out of there with a dog. Neither to Norway nor to Finland or Sweden.
A brief thought of last year strikes us: With the camper we could travel this last distance really well. But the camper is now in Germany, far away. We do some research and find a few rental companies. In Tromsø we find an offer that does not break the vacation budget and where we could even rent a small VW van the day after tomorrow. Well, why not?
Day 128: Storslett – Tromsø
The only thing missing is a travel plan to Tromsø. After some time this is settled. In the morning we take the bus to Skjervøy, and from there we continue to Tromsø by ship in the evening. The dog is allowed on the boat and on the bus. As a precaution, I leave the tab with the conditions of carriage open on my cell phone. The next morning I find out why: The bus driver does not want to take us. One look at the conditions of carriage and he calls his boss. Then he mumbles something and we are allowed to board the bus. Phew, I am glad we mastered that…
Birthday on Skjervøy
The day we spend on Skjervøy is fantastically beautiful. It’s my birthday and we climb the island’s local mountain. The panoramic view is great and reminds me a bit of the Lofoten. Somehow our change of plans has already paid off. That we would be walking along the road or in the mud instead, we cannot imagine right now. In the evening we take the boat into the twilight. Lando doesn’t find it funny at all that he has to stay in a dog crate during the trip. He barks indignantly, but is drowned out by the noise of the engine. Eventually he realizes that there is no point and lies down unhappy. In Tromsø we walk a few meters to our AirBnB and fall into bed tired.
Day 129: Tromsø – Langfjorden
The VW bus we pick up the next day has seen its best days. The engine stutters a bit strangely from time to time, but it runs. And we enjoy the landscape passing by. Norway looks completely different on the coast than it does in the mountains, and we are happy like little children to discover something new.
Our first destination is Alta, but we want to spend a night in between because we are not in a hurry. We find a quiet spot right next to the E6 on a small parking lot at Langfjorden. In the evening the road is quiet, but we wake up in the middle of the night because our camper is completely wet from the inside. There is no way to open a window in the back and with our breath we have created a lot of moisture. We leave the sliding door open for the rest of the night and are glad that there are no mosquitoes at this time of year.
Day 130: Langfjorden – Alta
The next morning we dawdle a bit and when we finally get going, it is almost noon. Today we want to have a look at the rock carvings in the museum of Alta. An audio guide takes us back in time and we walk through the outdoor area of the museum. The petroglyphs are not always easy to find, but some of the scenes are really impressive. Some rock paintings are drawn with red paint. These are especially good to photograph. On our tour through the museum we are only accompanied by a fox that watches us from a distance and probably has its home here on the museum grounds.
In the footsteps of ancestors and geology
We are especially impressed by the land rise. We have already read about it on the Swedish side, but after visiting the museum we take a closer look at this phenomenon. The short version: During the last ice age, the weight of the ice compressed the ground. Until today, the ground is relaxing again, so that Scandinavia is slowly rising out of the sea. In some places this rise is stronger than in others. Here at the museum it has been about 25 meters over the last 8000 years.
After the museum visit we make a short detour to downtown Alta, which is not really worth seeing. We just buy some groceries and watch the police arrest a drunk man. Then we drive on to the campground. We had planned to spend the night there after our Nabar crossing, and I had already found a Sami restaurant nearby where we wanted to eat. Of course we don’t want to miss that, despite the change of plans.
Attention: tourist trap
The restaurant is a modern building, but very cozy inside. We are the only guests and sit next to the fireplace. Somehow it seems strange that we are alone here. Outside in front of the restaurant you can visit a reindeer enclosure for a fee. And in the entrance area there is a small shop. We have the feeling that the whole thing is a tourist nap. Actually, the food is not very good. Most likely, larger groups that dock with the cruise ships in Alta end up here on other days.
Day 131: Alta – Honningsvåg
Today we want to drive up to shortly before the North Cape. Our plan is to spend the night in Honningsvåg and drive to the North Cape the next morning. But first we have to cover quite a long distance today.
When we are a few kilometers away from Alta, we see two hikers on the road. As we get closer, we recognize them as Auguste and Helene. What a coincidence. At the next inlet we pull over to the left and invite them to join us for a coffee. We catch up on our progress and learn that they also had no luck with their planned crossing of the Nabar. During the ascent, they got so lost in the steep and wet wall that they had to be rescued by helicopter. Good thing they had a Garmin InReach Mini with them to call for help. Auguste lost a hiking pole during the incident and we spontaneously give her my hiking poles. How nice that we met once more up here!
Big reindeer activity in Finnmark!
In the vastness of Finnmark the reindeer are currently being gathered. It is announced everywhere and we discover huge herds of reindeer next to the road. Otherwise, Finnmark is rather barren and the landscape looks almost the same for kilometers: rolling hills, lots of swamps and sparse vegetation. It is only when we turn north towards Magerøya that the landscape changes. The birch trees become fewer and fewer and finally we reach the northern tree line. It is quite impressive that we are now so far north that no trees can grow here.
The sea roars beside us and we pass through several tunnels until we reach the North Cape Tunnel. Now it’s another deep descent to get under the sea to the island. We are glad that we don’t have to do the steep descent and especially the ascent on foot. With the car it is definitely more comfortable. Just outside Honingsvåg we find a nice little campsite, sheltered from the wind. The reindeer watch us curiously as we convert our camper for the night.
Day 132: Honningsvåg – North Cape
Today we are going to the North Cape. Our mood is strange, as it has been for the last few days. It is fun to be on the road in the camper, but slowly the end of our long journey is becoming all too clear. Today we reach our destination, which we have had in mind for so long. We have the North Cape all to ourselves for a while and take the obligatory photo. Then we look north. 300 meters below us is the sea and as far as the eye can see, we see nothing else. Until several bus groups with tourists arrive. For us this is all a bit too busy and so we start to make our way back to the camper.
The destination of a long journey
The North Cape was always the geographical destination of our trip. But the real goal was to have a good time together. And that we did! Still, it was important for us to visit the North Cape before heading home.
On the way south we meet Markus again. Shortly after the North Cape Tunnel we have a coffee with him. What a great way to end our tour. Seeing some of the people who have accompanied us along the way is a nice way rounds out our journey.