I feel on top of the World. Well.. Europe

Trip Start Apr 23, 2005
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Trip End Mar 31, 2006


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Monday, July 11, 2005

I could see I was getting to the business end of things now - The trip up to Honnesvarg showed a change in landscape - The snow patches were getting more common, and the trees getting smaller and more stunted before finally disappearing altogether in most parts. It was a baron, grass and heath filled lanscape of hills and fjords dotted with little fishing villages of painted wooden houses - All different colours, very cute.



I met some fellow backpackers on the trip who were doing it much harder than me - Matteau from Italy was touring around Scandinavia with no plan at all, no money and just a violin, some juggling sticks and the odd job making dreadlocks to get him by. Often he was sleeping rough under whatever shelter he could find. Maria from Austria was slightly more organised, she had a budget and a tent. Made me feel a bit soft though - staying in these luxurious dorm rooms with a shower (may not be hot, but a shower) each morning.

I bade them farewell at the bus stop (they were heading straight to Nordcap and camping there) and went to the tourist info to find my hostel. "2km out of town" the assistant told me, smiling, "Enjoy your walk". So nice and friendly! I trudged the 2km and finally got there feeling a little tired. I sorted out my bed and then headed down to the local shop to get some ingredients for dinner. I haven't usually been cooking, but here there was no choice. Of course the supermarket didn't take mastercard and the only cashpoints were all the way back in town. 4km later I finally got my food and could eat!

I quickly made friends with Illyan, the Bulgarian guy who runs the hostel - Honnesvag isn't a big place, and with looking after the hostel everyday (which is sometimes completely quiet), I don't think he gets much social contact. So he was very keen to chat. I found out all the gossip of honnesvag. From the lady up the road who had been married 3 times (common occurance in Honnesvag), to the fella in the next house who'd made a mint in fishing and was building a new balcony on his house and owned a bar in town. I could have passed for a local by the end of it.

Next day I caught the bus with 3 young taiwanese girls who were staying at the hostel and headed to Nordcap. Nordcap! Northern most point in Europe (actually its 10kms to the east of Nordcap, but Nordcap is where the tourist centre is) and best place to observe the midnight Sun. As we set-out, the sky was looking fairly grey. I was planning to spend the whole day there - check out the tourist thing, go for a big walk along the cliffs and return to the Northern point to watch the midnight Sun. As we got closer, the weather got worse.

I arrived and found out that the midnight Sun was feeling a bit under the weather and it's understudies: midnight cloud, midnight rain and midnight wind would be performing instead. And did they perform - It was foul!! Low cloud and fog so you couldn't see more than 100m, cold miserable rain and winds gusting up to 50-60km/h so you couldn't really stay out side very long, and to venture to the cliffs would be suicide. Still, this is what artic weather is all about and it did have a certain excitement to it. I checked with the front desk for the weather forecast. It'll be like this all day. I checked with the front desk for the next bus back to Honnesvag. An hour - cool.


Nordcap

I wandered down to the main area to see two very bedraggled and tired looking characters - Maria and Matteau... who had camped... in this weather... all night. They hadn't slept a wink because most of the time, the tent had been blown flat so that it was lying in their face. They hadn't planned on going into the tourist facility as it was fairly pricey but in the end, they had no choice. I bade them good luck and caught my train back into town. Walking back to the hostel I was thinking what I would do to kill time this afternoon when I ran into Illyan coming the other way. A bunch of loud guests cooking smelly food had turned up, so he was going to the pub. Sounds great to me. Spent the afternoon drinking and chatting before heading back for a quiet evening and an early night. Next day was an early start as I had to catch a bus back to Alta and then a plane to Oslo. Beautiful as it was up there, I was looking forward to getting back to civilisation.
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