Day 188 Nordkapp to Alta, Finnmark, Norway.

Oliver survived his night in his tent in the most northerly campsite in the world. Pretty impressive! Despite gearing him up with extra thermal layers, he reported that he was hot in the night. That must speak volumes about global warming!!

We opted for the optional breakfast at the campsite – a first, and very much appreciated. After packing away, and went to visit the tiny fishing village of Skarsvag, just along from our campsite. It’s claim to fame is the most northerly fishing village in Europe. Unlike Hammerfest, the day before, this place had real charm. Reindeer wandered across the football pitch, and the harbour was lined with attractive fishing craft. We then headed back to Nordkapp, to make the most of our 24 hour ticket.

The day was unusually warm, and once the sun was out, it reached 17 degrees at this most northerly point. After another look at the view, we went in side to see IMAC presentation of Nordkapp throughout the seasons. After that, we visited the underground exhibition space, and took a look at the tiny chapel, where some people opt to get married. We grabbed a quick coffee, then it was time to leave this extraordinary place. Despite the tourists, it has a kind of draw to it – this place at the top of the world. The light is unique, and there is something very ephemeral about looking out over the Barents Sea towards the Arctic. It is hard to describe, but it leaves an impression on you – an experience that I will never forget.

We headed south again, stopping off at Honningsvag, claiming to be the most northerly city in Europe. It is a Hurtigruten port, and on cue, the black, red and white Hurtigruten was sitting in dock, waiting to depart. We had a walk around the harbour, which looked gorgeous in the sunshine, and opted for another coffee before departing. A slightly inebriated local came and talked to us. He was a fisherman of King Crab and cod. He claimed to have caught his quota for the year, and seemed to have earned a shed-load of money as a result. His wife also ‘owned’ a fishing boat, meaning that in effect he had two quotas, although I am almost certain that his wife doesn’t fish.

We escaped our dodgy friend, and headed back to Oscar. We had a long drive back to Alta, but the scenery, particularly on the road leading down from the Cape was sublime. We had to keep pinching ourselves about how lucky we had been to catch this wonderful ‘weather window’. To experience Nordkapp in wall to wall sunshine is quite exceptional. We had been very lucky.

We eventually arrived back at our campsite in Alta gone seven. The sun was still blaring, and we enjoyed a pleasant supper outside in the warmth. Gone eleven, people were still sat outside, enjoying the sunshine – what a treat!

It has been the most remarkable couple of days – a real ‘road trip’, but worth every long mile. It is an experience I will never forget. We have been very lucky to have seen Nordkapp at it’s best. I count it amongst one of the remarkable experiences of our trip so far. I give a big thumbs up for Nordkapp!!

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