29 July 2009 Repväg
Incredible how the weather can change - literally - over night. Woke up with winds that may turn into a storm; hope not. The sky is grey and covered in clouds and it's started to drizzle. Fat chance to see anything at the Cape today.
I'll do 'the walk' to Knivskjelodden and guess I'll get going after that.
The area has quite an impact on me. Its wideness, the steep cliffs down (which were very visible yesterday) and the never ending view where no horizon-line seems to be visible. It's quite magical and surreal. And makes you feel awfully vulnerable.
But, back to reality. I must be heading home at some point too. Now I've got to figure out what the fasted route will be. Spoke to some people yesterday about taking the ferry from Kirkenes but they are telling me it's way quicker by car. So I guess I'll stick to the old mini and hope for the best. The trip down, though quick, will be cool too. Even if you're driving on the highway, the scenery you pass through is usually beautiful. Let's hope it doesn't rain too much, that always make driving a bit more strenuous.
Several of you asked me how the sleeping is going with the skies never going dark. Well, it's a challenge. You wake up a lot so in the morning you are not really rested. I think you will get used to it though. Compared to the earlier weeks of my trip (even in the south it would not get pitch black) I now manage to get enough sleep to get me through the day and do a reasonable amount of driving during the day.
Drizzle has turned into real rain. I better get going.
Am now at some strange little campsite on my way home. Well, of course I have still about 3500 km to go, but it's en route. Am knackered so I am writing this wee note to not forget what I wanted to write in the first place before I nod off completely.
Had a fun day today! Did go on that hike at Knivskjelodden (took me 7 hours there and back), which is quite an achievement, if I may humbly say so. Why? Rocky and mountainous area combined with fog, wind, rain and almost got lost at some point (compass would have been useful Mel) if it were not for a friendly Italian guy with a French accent (really) called Fabrizio who warned me I was about to take a wrong turn (those stones all look the same and a mountain is a mountain, right?). We ended up taking the hike together and that was great fun! Before I almost got lost, I felt like a star in Wuthering Heights wandering about on the misty mores. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the fog was quite bad (at some point we were walking on the edge of a big lake that we definitely had not seen on the way to Knivskjelodden). It was worth the whole trip, so cool. I was on the most northern point of our continent!!! Yoohoo!!! North Cape sucks! Hahaha.
Well, it was a hike with lots of laughs and contemplations. Once back at the starting point, Fabrizio went off on his bike to the North Cape (his last stop before returning to Madrid. He cycled all the way from Helsinki, RESPECT. When he told me he had no lights on his bike, I thought he was completely mad. Two major tunnels to go through and a thick blanket of fog…ay ay). Driving back through the fog was no picnic either. Imagine winding roads with sharp turns, seeing no more than when the car is right in front of you, touring cars that meet you and take up enough space to almost send you off to the other world, as the roads are not fenced. Mmmm. Drove no more than 30 km/hr at some point and even that was scary.
But now I'm happily set up and managed to find one last camping spot after two hours drive as I was in desperate need of a hot shower. The last camping spot is however a very slanted last camping spot so if it were not for the fact that I'm exhausted after today, I might well have been awake rolling from front to back.
Well, there are worse things in life like getting lost on mountains that are fogged up.
I think I'll be dreaming of Heathcliffe tonight, or may be I'm now getting Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights all mixed up. Someone somewhere in Northern Ireland will surely correct me.
Btw, my shoes were water resistant but it does not help when your foot gets sucked into a swamp. Luckily I had a hiking buddy to pull me out. Wet feet: no fun. Not if you still have about 4 hours to go. And I had quite a bad fall which - I thought - only left me slightly bruised. Damage is more than that: my camera lens seems to be malfunctioning and my ankle is swollen. After my sprained ankle experience last year I do hope this is a mere bruise and nothing more than that.
Although spirits are up again, I have definitely decided to try and get home as fast as possible. Homesickness is a condition that cannot be ignored nor dismissed. So down the main highway along the coastline of Sweden I'll be going, leaving Norway for another time when I shall explore it thoroughly. I'll definitely go back sometime.