Alta-Kautokeino River Wild Camp, Norway!June 26, 2017 in Norway
As we drove towards Finland, the land around us looked more and more like Arctic Tundra, a unique habitat where only a few plants and animals can survive. Vicky remembers learning about in school. Much of it was boggy, with mosses, lichens and short spindly Silver Birches. Even when the snows are melted, permafrost under the topsoil prevents water from draining and roots from growing deeper than about 25cm, making for very difficult growing conditions. The soils in this particular area were sandy and there were even some banks that looked like dunes.
We entered Finland as we crossed a river. We soon started to see lots of enclosures and in one with some teepee type structures nearby, there was a herd of about 30 reindeer! We weren't intending to stay in Finland, but had cut through the narrow finger extending East-West between Sweden and Norway. We weren't the only ones doing this and local entrepreneurs had tried to lure in the passing trade by setting up several tourist businesses, such as reindeer petting, somewhere called 'Husky Cape' and souvenir shops.
After about 100km we passed into Norway, the 19th country of our tour and the 10th we plan to do in-depth! Surprisingly quickly the landscape began to change, hills became higher, the roads undulated increasingly and wide, torrential rivers cut deep courses into the tree clad valleys.
Laybys were larger, picnic sites were signed in advance and several were well off the road, reached via a hard mud track that ran through a corridor of trees. It in was one of these that we made our home for the night, above the swollen and raging Alta-Kautokeino River. The track opened up to a car park with a picnic bench, grass and plenty of interesting smells for Poppy. We spent a peaceful the night with three other vans and the constant ssshhh sound of the flowing water.Read more