Day 38. 205km. Leppäjärvi – Alta

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Cycling, Finland, Norway
Tags: , ,

What an awesome day. Night cycling alone in the sun on the Finnmarksvidda and following the Alta River down to the final big plunge to the coast. Arctic-cycler is happy cycling in the Arctic.

Day 38. 205km. Leppäjärvi – Alta. Map and gpx

At first it confused me. The sun was just above the horizon – in the north. I thought about this. Yes. At noon the sun is in the south. This is the depth of night.
The morning was crisp at 1:15 am when I left. The Finnish flag at the camping ground was fluttering in my direction. I would have a night tail wind.

It felt the whole plains were for me, lit in the rich orange glow. How privileged I was to be here.
An expanse opened out. Low shrubs and grass. Low undulations with higher rises in the distance. I rolled along, breathing in the expanses. It was beautiful.
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I reached the norwegian border in the dead of the night.
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At every bend a new expanse opened up.
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The wind dropped. My snack break became another full mosquito protection affair. The mosquitos wait until there is no wind. The campervans wait until day in parking spots on the side of the road. I saw many in hibernation as I snuck past in peace.

The road left the rolling plains and followed a river down.
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At a snack break I met a Dutch student who was going to the North Cape on his motor bike. He had been en route 5 days. A bit quicker than me.
The other extreme were 2 lovely norwegians I met at lunch. They were walking 2000km across northern Norway. They had just walked across the Finnmarksvidda. Sounds awesome. They have also walked near Vadø and Vadsø where I will be cycling. That sounds beautiful there.

The road then followed a lake that was like a fjord.
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With reindeers.
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And then it dropped and dropped in an amazing canyon. The last 30km into Alta were spectacular and all downhill. I sped down laughing with joy.
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Before Alta it started to rain. It’s a bit grey now. I tried to get the hut recommended by Chris. Unfortunately they were not in, and so I have a hut in the camping ground. It’s 6km from the centre. I cycled back to the centre (up and down some steep hills) looking for a new tyre. No luck yet. Not the right size at InterSport. I’ll try the other shops tomorrow. I know where they all are from my escapades here last year 😉 I am also considering visiting the Alta canyon tomorrow and this have a ‘rest day’. It sounds very beautiful.

Comments
  1. Arthur says:

    Great you had such good weather and a bit of a tail wind, that makes life so much easier.. 😉
    Good luck.

    • Yes. Too true. 🙂
      I think I will have to go with my old tyre as spare. Still, I think tomorrow will be a good day for a rest day and visit to the Alta canyon. Have you been there?
      Where do you live? You seem to have cycled here a lot. 🙂

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