As you may have read in the previous post, we wanted to at the North Cape in late June. Well, we did it! More on that later, because before we got there, of course there happened a lot again.
We drive through Finland and enjoy the fact that every few kilometers we encounter a sign ‘campsite’. That’s just another world! We arrive at campsite Metsakartano in Rautavaara. Unfortunately, this area from Finland also suffer from many mosquitoes. Fortunately, they are not as aggressive as in Kazakhstan, but outdoor cooking is not an option. This campsite has a disc golf course and fireplaces, an interior space where you can cook, so we decide to stay here for three days. On our first day in Finland we first came into contact with this new sport, disc golf: a golf course with nets where you have to trow your Frisbee in. Of course, we join the trend and have fun with this crazy sport. In addition, we use a rowboat to get to a beautifully trail. We enjoy while sipping a drink in the evening sun at a campfire on the shore of a lake. Sounds perfect, right? It was great, only it did not go quite perfect… When chopping wood for the fire, Joren hit his hand instead of the wood. A moment unfocused annoyed by the mosquitoes. Fortunately there were the lovely people of the campsite. After seeing the wound, they called an ambulance and given first aid. Luckily it was not very serious because the ambulance arrived an hour later. Thankfully Joren could be helped into the ambulance, and we did not need to go to the hospital. The wound on his hand is glued instead of stitched. The paramedic gave further instructions and with a serious face, he said, like a real Finn: next three days no sauna! Well for us no problem, but the man who had called the ambulance, said that was the worst! Fortunately Linda can drive again, because now is to do Joren turn to sit on the passenger seat.
With a little scare in the legs, we drive the next day (away from the mosquitoes) towards National Park Martinselkonen, a nature reserve close to the Russian border where there live brown bears. On the way there we first come into contact with reindeer on the road. What an experience. A few days later, we arrive at the park. Obviously we do not go away before we see a bear. We are met 17.00 by our guide. After a short drive, and a small hike, we arrive in a wooden cabin with a number of peek holes. With two others we sit in the chairs in front of a peek holes. And now we wait …. After about 45 mins we suddenly see moving some bushes. And yes, there’s one! Suddenly we see a bear appearing. The bear comes quite close to our shelter and we can see him well. If the bear disappears’s we toast to celebrate with each other that we have seen a bear. But luck was on our side, we see this evening about 9 different bears, including a mother with two cubs. Awesome !! And the moose we spotted on the way back, was the icing on the cake!
About 950 kilometers to go to the North Cape. We put a little speed up, because we are really done with that mosquitoes. Forests, lakes and reindeer make sure it’s not a punishment to drive through Finland. The last night we spend, at a parking lot next to the main road, where we stand with some campers in Finland. We witness a beautiful sunset. At least, we now find ourselves above the Arctic Circle, so the sun does not goes down any more. A very special experience of course, but it has therefore become more difficult to fall asleep. We’d often say to each other, do you turn off the lights?
We notice that we are now on a tourist route. We cannot count the amount of campervans and caravans we see. The route to the Nordkapp is stunning, we drive through a rugged mountain landscape where the last remnants of snow still on the tops. We need to occasionally stop for reindeer on the road or just take a picture. It is so big and wide that it’s hard to capture on a picture. We settle down on the most northern campsite of the northern hemisphere, the village called Honningsvag and we go for a hike to the Kirke Porte. At the campsite we grill with Wiljan, a motorcyclist form the Netherlands who we met at the campsite. Thanks for the pleasant evening, Wiljan! In the middle of the night, we are woken up by reindeer running under our roof tent, beautiful.
That morning, June 26, we drive 20 kilometers to the North Cape. And there he is, the world famous North Cape globe! We walk there, settle down with a drink and snacks and enjoy the fabulous views. We are lucky, because even though we occasionally move into the cloud, we generally have clear weather. At 24.00 we see the midnight sun without any clouds. At this time the sun is at its lowest point and still above the horizon! It does not stop with the beautiful adventures, even this was great!
We conclude this second part of our journey successfully. On to the third and final part, where we can expect the beautiful Norway , but also the return, because remember: We miss you now and then really!
Joren and Linda
Photos are below