We left our camp by the river near Hamningberg at at 10.35am. (early for us!!)
Back on the E75 we headed for the town of Vadso. Decided to check out a geocache to see where it would take us. We found the the geo-cache on the top of a hill in Vadso, next to a lighthouse with a picturesque view of the ocean and town. We left a Travel Bug we had collected previously in the cache.
Stopped at the local COOP store for food supplies. Prepared lunch in the Bibliotek (library)car park. Back on the E75 we stopped at a new road side stop to replenish our fresh water supplies and empty waste and refuse to have the Hymermobile fully serviced and ready for the next stage of the journey. We continued on South West towards Tana Bru. We passed out of the Arctic Climate zone with the landscape changing to scraggy thin trees with new growth sprouting from half way up the trunks.
From Tana Bru we turned north on 98 and drove North along the river Tanaelva. In the Sami language the river is known as Deatnu, The Big River. The local inhabitants have string bonds to the river, especially when it comes to salmon fishing. Traditional fishing methods include enclosure nests and drift nets. About a third of Norways wild salmon stocks are associated with the Tanaelva River with about 130 tones of wild salmon caught here each year. This may explain why we have not seen any fish in the rivers so far?
West off the fjord on R98, the landscape was sandstone hills and trees which strangely reminded us of Hayes Creek in Northern Territory, our old route down the Stuart Highway to Katherine. Sandstone rocks and sparse trees with blackened trunks (just like after a bush fire).
We stopped just outside Tana Bru at the Tourist Information office. Managed to pick up internet so took the opportunity to check business emails and catch up with our blog entry and put the kettle on for a much needed coffee break. Trish browsed around the ‘Solvsmie Silver store’ and much to Steven’s relief only walked out with 2 post cards for our grandchildren.
Time was ticking by and we needed to be back on the road to find an overnight parking site and we still had a mountain pass road to take on the next leg. We turned left and climbed up into the mountains passing many lakes, crystal clear streams from melted snow cascading down rocky embankments as we went through the mountain passes.
Between Vestertana and Ifjord the mountain pass road was hard going, narrow, full of potholes and bumps, steep and windy, yet the scenery made up for the bumpy ride. Parts of the road are in the progress of being rebuilt, the opportunity is taken in the summer months to fix the roads from the damage during the winter months. The Hymermobile took it all in its stride and the steep inclines were no match for the Mercedes engine. At the top of one pass we pulled over to take some photos and walk on the compacted snow just off the side of the road. Just under the snow, grass and rocks are still covered in hard ice. The drive had spectacular scenery, snow packs, lakes, fast flowing streams from ice melt, drove through low level clouds, rocky mountains and fjord.
Down the other side of the mountain we turned North again Ifjord onto the R888 and a big relief being a sealed road and good condition. Late into the night (still sunlight) , tired and feeling worse for wear, Trish’s back, Steven from keeping the Hymermobile from becoming airborne and concentration on the road, we drove into the village of Bekkafjord, our intended ‘Aires’ site for the night, to find the 3 spaces already filled with other motor homers set up with Satellite dishes up and curtains closed.
On we drove up a steep mountain to find a off road car park area overlooking the fjord on the top of a mountain. Parked the Hymermobile, back bedroom window facing the Laksefjorden fjord and started the dinner. Found ourselves sitting down to dinner at 11:30pm. Was good to fall into bed after a long day and as it is still light, take in the majestic view.