It’s the morning of day 14 and still in the camp site having breakfast at 10.30am. It’s cold, and wet too but I need to go back to Tromso, yesterday
After Land Rover agents, Biltrend spent most of the day looking for the issue that has been plaguing us, they couldn’t find it!. So with the expectation of facing a significant bill for their effort, we were delighted with their magnanimously refusing our offer to pay. What a great gesture, which was accepted with appreciation. It seems they have only just taken on the LandRover/Jaguar franchise and have not yet got up to speed with the diagnostic requirements of older vehicles like ours. So, the question we asked ourselves was, what do we do now? We considered sending the wagon back 1000k’s to Trondheim on the back of a truck. Jorn, the supervisor of Biltrend, suggested booking a ferry back for a more modest cost, but in the end, decided we would continue with the hope of getting it resolved in Russia. The mechanic, who was Estonian, said the Russians are very skilful mechanics. That did it. We would press on. Again, apart from the starting, it runs beautifully. My thinking now is the it is injector seals as they did a number of tests including measuring pump pressure and repairing a nearly severed flywheel sensor wire. We had waited patiently, though not Jen, in their showroom, reading and relaxing so by 4.30pm we drove briefly through the city of Tromso and headed north east.
With endless daylight and no pressure to stop at the usual 4pm to set up camp, we headed on, taking two ferry crossings to take the shortcut to Alta, instead of the longer but ferry free, E6. Stopping for the night at 10pm, well short of our destination but having already set the bedding up while waiting for a ferry, we hit the sack. Our first rough camp and it was great. Very very cold but soon warmed up in our cosy bed. Next morning after a quick wash in a freezing stream nearby we set off for Alta.
Stopped in Alta for some fuel and a massive ice-cream.
Some magnificent scenery on the way north and when we stopped to take some pics, got chatting with a Norwegian couple Dag & Eva from Oslo, who had just been up to the top and were lamenting the tourist ‘rip off’ of charging so much for the pleasure of going to Nordkapp.
Another wild camp that night and our first in-tent shower, which worked brilliantly, despite the cold outside.
Today we headed for Nordkapp but after driving the 130k’s to the end. With only about 50m to the end viewing point we were asked to pay £55 for that pleasure. We declined gracefully and chose to drive out again and find a place to stop for lunch. Did I say it was cold? Jeez it was freezing and bleak but magnificent all the same.
Something about the Nordkapp. On our way back to NZ in 1970, Roger, one of my companions and I, drove to the intersection of the Nordkapp turnoff but decided not to make the trip to the top. Instead, headed on to Helsinki. Our other companion was receiving hospital treatment in Bergen for kidney stones. Anyway, things have changed so dramatically since 1970, it was hard to recognise any part of the drive. New roads, and no reindeer heards or Sami, the indigenous people of Lapland, tending their flock. No fish drying racks that proliferated on the coast back then. Just large commercial fish farms and small dwellings where we assume the Sami now live. It seems these indigenous people are suffering similar fates to others world wide, by being marginalised by commercial ventures, losing their traditional means of sustenance and their culture, to become dependent on the State and victimised for it?
We did see some small groups of reindeer, but scattered. For those who are interested, there is some fascinating current and historical information about the Sami people, in Wikipedia.
From Nordkapp back to the E6 turnoff and east towards Kirkeness. It’s about 8pm and we had driven 291miles for the day. Well over the estimated average of 230miles per day and have found a fairly deserted camp ground at Ifjord for the night.