NORWAY – Nordkapp- Hammerfest- Silfar Canyon! Part 2, Week 3 4th September – 10th September 2017

4th September 2017

Felt a bit silly first thing in the morning! The night before, we’d pulled the van up to the top of the steep slope that led down to the river; we thought it may only be used occasionally by fishermen to get to the shore, we certainly hadn’t realised that a hunter, complete with rifle and husky, would want to drag his boat down there early on a Monday morning! He was alright about it, we moved the van and had a chat with him, apparently he needed to cross the river to get further into the wilderness as he was on the hunt for a moose!

We moved on shortly after, carrying on the 93 towards Alta, we stopped at Pikefossen, a waterfall that Zo had spotted marked on the map.

Venturing further up the 93 we crossed a bridge where we spotted a very picturesque section of river which we had to stop and photograph!

Spent the next couple of hours cruising on the 93, a slow van sometimes has it’s perks – like being able to take in the views!

Just before reaching Alta, we pulled over for lunch next to this beauty…

The 93 led us straight into Alta where we fuelled up and took a look around our first Norwegian supermarket, yes, we know how to party (more to amuse ourselves looking at the prices) however we pleasantly surprised at the prices of the burgers and sausages (albeit a low grade of “meat”) so much so that we decided to buy a couple of packs as we were pretty sure there was some charcoal left over from the last BBQ somewhere in the van…

Leaving Alta behind (we didn’t stay for long as it didn’t seem that a lot was to be missed there, nothing nasty about the place, just nothing interesting!) we set off on the E6, Nordkapp now on the road signs!

As we left civilisation behind once more we found ourselves cruising through the barren landscapes of northern Norway, the trees now a even more thin in numbers and more squat in form..

..as the sun began to fade we found somewhere to pull over amongst the rolling hills, absolutely no chance of any light pollution from anywhere, an ideal spot for a our first attempt at getting a glimpse of the Northern Lights!

We set up camp, lighting the BBQ and collecting wood for the nights campfire…

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And then. We waited… And around midnight it all kicked off!

We watched them for a couple of hours before they started to fade, I think it’s safe to say we went to bed feeling pretty satisfied!

5th September 2017

The next morning we cleared up the BBQ and (like we always do) any signs that we had been there, we carried on the E6 for a little way before joining the E69 at Olderfjord, a stunning section of coast road that would eventually lead us to Nordkapp!

 

We stopped at a beach for coffee where visitors who had made the pilgrimage to Nordkapp had made stacks from the flat stones that were strewn across ground. We carried on, now following the road signs, Nordkapp was almost in sight!

 

After spending most of the day driving, the road signs began to indicate that Nordkapp was within “single digits” of us, the final kilometres almost like a countdown, after a short but fairly steep climb (made even slower by a few of the local reindeer who were out for a stroll on the highway) the Nordkapp visitor centre was in view!

Annnd we made it!

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We’re still not quite entirely sure whether we should have paid or not but the person on the gate/toll booth simply waved us through! Not a first as we’d experienced it at Lands End back in the UK last year, maybe it’s the vans charm… whatever it is it meant that we were free to camp there for the night along with all the other motorhomes, so I guess we can now claim that we’ve camped on the most northern cliffs of Europe! And to top it off, the sunset was incredible!

The triumphant Lands End mug was applicable once more, certainly get our monies worth there…

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6th September 2017

Spent the morning hanging around, waiting for the visitor centre to open as we desperately wanted a Nordkapp sticker for our collection on the window! Ended up with a sticker, keyring and a “well done” certificate along with a few postcards to send back home, which if posted at the centre would be stamped with the special postal mark! It’s very rare that we succumb to such touristy nonsense but, well, it was a bit of an achievement and it’s not likely that we’d be back anytime soon…

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After a look around the centre and reading all about who had visited over the centuries we took one last victory photo before heading off to explore something else, that something we were still unsure about as for the last couple of weeks our “destination” had been Nordkapp and now that we’d got there we were a little bit lost.. but in a good way! There was plenty more to see, it was just a case of, what first?!

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What first? Well, fuel would be a start! After fuelling up at Honningsvag we drove a little way back down the E69 pulling over for the night on a piece of ground we’d clocked on the way up, an evening of gazing at the map proceeded!

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7th September 2017

We woke the next morning with a bit of a plan, neither of us had seen it before so we thought why not go and take a look at Russia! We carried on down the E69, stopping again at the beach with the stacks of stones, when we’d stopped the first time we had noticed that a lot of people had written on the flat stones and nestled them into the ground, some areas almost looked paved, each tile bearing the names of visitors from around the globe, some with links to their own blogs, as not to jinx it we decided that we’d write ours on the way back down…

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We eventually joined back onto the E6 where we stopped to top up with fuel at Skaidi noticing that the service station actually had showers our stop was longer than planned as we thought we’d take advantage! From there we left Westbound on the 94 for a slight detour towards Hammerfest, another very scenic road on which we parked up for the night near Grotnes.

We decided to take a walk up the mountain to get a better view of our surroundings, coming across a not so lucky Reindeer…

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We decided to crack open a can of our finest, TESCO value chilli (yes we know the irony in that!) and get some rice cooking! It really does taste better than it sounds!

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Later that evening we were about to “turn in” for the night but out of nowhere the Northern Lights appeared for us once more!

8th September 2017

The next morning we carried on up the 94 a little further, arriving in Hammerfest, “The World’s Northernmost Town”! We found that the carpark down at the harbour didn’t only just offer great views of the town but also an overnight stop with electric hookup, we had a little debate about the fee, eventually deciding to call this place home for the night!

Caught a glimpse of what we now think were harbour porpoise:

Parked up, hooking up the electric before we went for a wander to what the World’s Northernmost Town had to offer…

We took the walk to the Salen Viewpoint above the town later in the day…

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9th September 2017

We spent most of the following morning sat in the harbour, we’d paid for 24 hours so we thought we may as well make use of the electric hookup! Eventually we set off again, back on ourselves, heading East. It was clear that there was a fellow T25 enthusiast even this far North! Shame about the Mk1 though! 😦

We picked up the E6, this time passing Olderfjord, following the coastline, keeping close to the coast we left the E6 and joined the 98 another pretty coast road on which we decided to stop for the night on.

 

10th September 2017

Made a bit of a late start the next day but nonetheless we carried on along the lovely 98, after spotting a road sign we decided to go and investigate the Silfar Canyon…

 

 

We carried the 98 for the remainder of the day, picked up the E6 once again where we found another place to stop for the night near Sivertburt, all in all a pretty successful week of exploring! Next destination, the Russian border!

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