Alta (again)

EUROPE 3

ALTA (AGAIN)

15/06/2011

I overslept slightly this morning, and it was past 8 when I made it to the campsite café for breakfast with Heinz. It was expensive, but good food and all you can eat. Turns out that when you offer that combo to two hungry cyclists you don’t have much food left when they’re done! He had a big day, planning to ride to Nordkapp and then back to Honninsvag in time for the ferry to Tromso. After breakfast we parted ways, him heading North, and me South.

I climbed away from the east coast up to a 300m summit – Hatten, that offered great views of the costal mountains. For much of today the road undulated making for tiring, but rewarding, cycling. The weather was on my side as well: bright sunshine and about 15 degrees – good cycling weather. On one of the climbs, early in the day, a German touring Scandinavia by car stopped and gave me some cold orange juice – the language barrier prevented much communication, but by pointing at a map we were able to show each other our plans. I pressed on after this brief encounter on to a high plateau where I met Martin, a recently graduated cybernetics engineer cycling the length of Norway. He was great company, and fluent in English having studied in America. We rode together for around 40km. But he was going slowly, and planned to ride about half the distance I do in a day, so when he took a lunch break I pushed on, enjoying a fast descent towards Norway’s western coast.

I met a german cyclist heading south to his home in Hamberg just before I stopped for the day, who had taken 4 days to get from Nordkapp to Alta making me feel quite pleased with the time I was making. I reached the campsite at 2.30, and spent the afternoon doing some laundry, cooking, and chatting to Navid. Navid was a Norwegian Indian who had moved back to Norway from Britford following the recession. He was trained as a software engineer but was working in the petrol station, and gave me lots of insight into the Norwegian outlook: he found it funny that I had locked my bike up, assuring me that theft was unheard of in this part of Norway: there just aren’t enough people to get away with it (less that 5 million in the entire country).

I’m off to bed: to start with the 24 hour sun was a novelty, but now it’s just getting irritating – I’m looking forward to the next tunnel just to get a bit of dark!

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