Walking the world
- Norway: Nordkapp-Olderfjord
- 27 June-2 July, 2019
- 112 km
- E1 European long distance path: Scandinavia
The first 20km and last 10km of this section are on roads that can feel narrow dew to tourist busses and campers, caution is necessary.
Well marked cairns with T painted on them lead you through the rolling hills, covered in heather, low growing blueberry and small low sprawling willow. Sheltered valleys housed taller birch that was a nice sight amongst the seemingly barren hills.
The higher mountains we passed through sat at 400m to 500m and surrounded by beautiful lakes appearing one after another. Still covered by spotted snow drifts and icy lakes, made the temperature drop as wind blew through the valleys.
In the lower valleys it was wet muddy and boggy, we needed to navigate the vast wetlands skipping across from high ground to high ground.
The rivers through this section are all passable by stone stepping across carefully, except for 3 more established rivers were you won’t escape wet feet.
Day 1: Nordkapp to Skarsvåg
Distance: 7.3 km
Weather: windy, light showers
While the Nordkapp monument is free, the hotel that operates out there charges $50 per person(!) just to enter the parking lot, including being dropped off by bus. Quite a ripoff but the bus driver would not let us on the bus without paying and hitching has proven difficult up here so they sort of got you.
We started out from Nordkapp after lunch and followed the road south in the on-and-off rain. We camped up early since there was lot of wind and heavy rain in the forecast and we wanted to find a sheltered spot for the night since the road is very exposed. A soft start to the trip, a half day. We are just excited to finally be on our way.
Day 2: Skarsvåg to Repvåg
Distance: 32.3 km
Weather: windy, heavy rain/showers
After a stormy night with wind gusts shaking the tent and heavy rains we decided to sleep in. It was supposed to rain heavily all morning and we saw no point in battling it out with 24 hour daylight to our disposal.
We got on the road by noon. and road walked until finally we saw the first red E1 markers painted on the rocks next to the traditional T for the first time. The trail led us over a beautiful mountain pass and the rain chilled for a bit and the sun even came out for a little while.
We dropped down to the road again as we approached the big 7 km long underwater tunnel connecting the island with the mainland. We hitched a ride through since it did not feel safe to walk without any shoulder with big tourist buses speeding through. Well on the other side we camped up. Wet, cold and hungry, but just in time before the next rain shower started. Sweet.
Day 3: Repvåg to Námmeleakšá
Distance: 14 km
Weather: heavy rains all morning, windy, sun and clouds throughout the afternoon
Slept in again waiting for the rain to stop. We are heading up into the mountains again and preferred to not battle the rain along with the winds. We love being up in the mountains again. Surrounded by streams, big rivers and waterfalls and with views for miles!
The sun was welcome today. The battery bank we use to charge our phones was really low and we had the solar panels charging it all day. We found an amazing camp spot, beautifully sheltered next to a river. We washed up a bit in the freezing cold water since the sun was out lending some warmth. Nice to be able to hang out and enjoy camp instead of just pitching and ducking in to escape the weather for once.
Day 4: Námmeleakšá to Masoy
Distance: 17 km
Weather: windy, sun and clouds, few light showers
We got on trail a little earlier today. Weather was a bit more agreeable, still windy but only a few light showers. We enjoyed a beautiful hike! Even though the route is very well marked it is not much of a trail. Mostly it crosses mores covered in heather and blueberry, some wetlands, as you climb up river valleys and traverse ridges in the remote wilderness of Northern Norway. It is a very beautiful, rugged and wild country up here! We have not seen a soul for days.
We found a great spot to pitch the tent out of the wind for once! It is sooo nice and quiet here! A welcomed change. We love being back out on trail, but it always takes a few weeks getting used to the walking routine and getting your trail legs back so we are pretty tired once the camp chores are done. No problem falling asleep despite the eternal daylight.
Day 5: Masoy to Porsanger
Distance: 22.5 km
Weather: windy, sun and clouds
We slept really well in our sheltered spot. Good thing because we had a big day planned. We needed to make up some km to get in line with our resupply stop in town and still beat the rain that is supposed to start around noon.
Another big ford today. There are countless smaller ones, but this one was pretty wide, only knee deep though and not too fast. We only had a few more km to go today when we came across a private hut, open to hikers! Really nice to get out of the wind for a while, and sit in a chair! So we made a nice warm fire and stayed the night.
Day 6: Porsanger to Olderfjord
Distance: 23.6 km
Weather: cloudy, on/off drizzly
We left the hut early to get a jump on the day since we were coming in to town for a resupply today. We walked into Olderfjord around noon, our first leg of the Scandinavian stage of the expedition is done.
We had three objectives in town. Shower and laundry but first and foremost a resupply for 8 days out of a small convenience store.
The little store was actually pretty well stocked and we found what we needed. A little bit of a sticker shock to Norwegian prices, but we did alright. We had to work out a different strategy on snacks to stay on budget There were no energy bars and candy bars were way too expensive. We found an amazing caramel-like topping with some 1000 calories per jar, we’ll just smash that on tortillas and call it good. It’s all about the calories.
The campground/hotel here offer both showers and laundry at a reasonable price. It was 11 days since last time so we went for it. Heavenly!
We’ll hang out at the café for a couple of hours waiting for the laundry to finish, write this update and charge stuff, then we’ll move on.