Norway-Alta to Hammerfest
The E6 out of Alta is well marked and after a quick stop to draw out cash (it runs out fast in Norway!) we soon found our now regular cruising speed as we made our way to Hammerfest.
The E6 maintained it’s character all the way up with fun curves ensuring we didn’t get bored -as if we could! Although the distance from Alta to Hammerfest isn’t substantial, it still took longer than anticipated. The last two hours of the ride were painful as the snow was now coming down thick and heavy, making visibility difficult. Gear changing became a battle, as our feet were numb, even with the benefit of insulated gortex gloves and heated grips and jackets, fingers were painful and fingertips again numb.
Hammerfest couldn’t come soon enough. The weather worsened as the road became windier, demanding we use every last ounce of concentration to stay upright: conversation (via Autocom) stopped. The journey seemed to go on and on and we travelled what felt like 100K after we had passed the 41K to Hammerfest sign.
Yesterday on the road just before we arrived in Alta, Lisa had to brake hard and yelled to me as an animal threw itself across her path before diving into the undergrowth. We both were unsure as to what it was. We would only find out when visiting “The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society” in Hammerfest central, which shares a building with the Tourist Information of Hammerfest. Amongst other stuffed animals on display is a beautiful dark grey/brown wolf. After a few looks of disbelief from the staff, it was confirmed this is what Lisa had seen -quite rare as only a few wild wolves are left in Norway. Lisa left the information centre looking like she’d found the leprechauns pot of gold!!
Hammerfest was bustling by northern Norwegian standards as we set off to find the smaller of the two campsites. Tourist info. had advised it was ‘cosier’. The larger one was also having ‘difficulties’ (we weren’t’ told what type) with asylum seekers. The campsite was easily found off to the right of the main Hammerfest centre road and overlooked a large lake. Our priority this evening was food and bringing our journal up to date. We finished the journal at 1:30 am our time. These long daylight hours are still messing us up!