8th week : On our way to the North

Day 50 : We leave early in the morning and head to the parking in Gjendesheim where is the departure of our boat towards Memurubu for a 14 km long track over the Besseggen ridge. It’s only 13 degrees so warm clothes are a necessity for my masters!  But I am fine cause I run everywhere when there are no people and I can be free 🙂  The hike starts by a difficult one-hour ascent. At the beginning, we are surrounded by other hikers from the same boat but throughout the ascent, the crowd spreads out. At the top of the first part, we are almost alone! It’s time to take first pictures and eat, really quickly though because it starts to rain. Then we are ready to face the ridge, at 7th km of the hike. This is where the real adventure actually starts! The path looks quite steep and stony but more importantly, it is really narrow and seems a little bit dangerous… We can see a small queue forming on this steep part of the track as people in both directions move slowly and carefully. As there are just few meters on both sides before the steep path drops to the two lakes at each side, there is only one possible path. There is no room for mistake, so we wait until the path is free to move forward. I must be really careful where to put my paws…

I can feel that my masters are not completely at ease with this climbing part and I am not either… Fortunately, it takes us around 15 minutes to climb to the very top. And the view is just stunning!

We take a well-earned break and savour the view over this narrow band between Lake Gjende and Lake Bessvatnet, one has a beautiful turquoise coulour and the other is navy blue. It’s the best spot for photos! Further on, the trail still ascends until reaching the highest point of the track – a rocky plateau that peaks at 1 743 m. However, from there, the view is not as impressive as from the top of the ridge.

We still have 4 more kilometers to the parking. It’s a downhill path with one last beautiful view over the fjords and the village! What a hike! We loved it even though it was quite challenging!

Day 51 : Our muscles are really sore today, and so are my paws. So we decided to drive a couple of hours to move forward to the North. On our way, we see a sign to Trollstigen, meaning literally “Troll’s path”. We follow this sign to have a look on this touristic spot located between Geiranger and Andalsnes in the Geirangerfjord, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We come across a serpentine mountain road with a steep incline of 10% alongside the Stigfossen waterfall. We have a beautiful view from Campi but as we drive uphill, the engine starts to roar…and we get a little bit dizzy from the height of the mountain ! After 10 minutes we eventually make it to the top. There is a big parking and loads of tourists heading towards the viewpoint over Trollstigen.

We then drive a little bit further to the Geirangerfjord … and we see some snow ! The second time in my life that I can touch the snow ! I am on cloud nine 😉. After this wonderful experience, we come back to the main road and head to the Atlantic Ocean Road, the reason why we didn’t go straight to the North but did a little detour by the West of Norway.

Day 52 : We start the day with the Atlantic Ocean Road from the city of Vevang. It runs through an archipelago in Norwegian sea. The road begins with Storseisundet Bridge, a slightly inclined bridge which is the longest of the eight bridges here.Alongside this road, we have an amazing view on a big number of small islands. From there, we head towards Trondheim, then to Sweden.

In the evening, we cross the border and arrive to the ski resort Are where we decide to spend the night.

Day 53 : In the morning, we decide to explore the Swedish mountains and go for a short sunny walk with a view over the hills.

Actually, it’s different from Norway. There are greener lands, lower mountain peaks… and my paws can heal again ! After some quick errands in local supermarket to fill up our supplies, which got nearly emptied in Norway, we take a long road to the North. It’s really easier to drive on Swedish roads because they are flat, wide and straight. In these conditions, we can drive 500 km in one day and that enables us to arrive faster to the North Cape. Even if the Norwegian landscapes are outstanding, it takes a lot of time !

Driving all day long can be a bit boring but we are happy to rest a little 😊. Fortunately, some reindeers make our day ! They walk happily on the road and don’t care about the cars passing by ! Some are, however, blocking the road…but even my barking doesn’t scary them! So we have to be patient and wait until they move away. Maybe my furious barking has finally helped a bit !

Day 54 : Today is also a rest day. We plan to do also 500 km. Again, we see many reindeers on our way. We get used to it now! Only some road construction work slows us down a little as the road suddenly becomes a dirt track for a few kilometers…

Then we cross the Polar Circle but we don’t stop at the souvenir shop and café because the fuel level gauge has been switched on since almost 100km and we are afraid that we won’t be able to get Campi started again if we stop there. The last 30 minutes has been a haunt on gas stations. There are so few of them here… I really don’t want to pull Campi, so we keep moving! Eventually, we come across a gas station! W-ouf!

Day 55 : We start the day by a short bike ride along the river where we stayed during the night. It’s good to move a little after two days of driving! We still have some hours left before the Norwegian border. In the afternoon, we arrive in Kiruna, the biggest city before the border. We decide to run some errands here. Then we find a spot for the night on a hill with a view over the city. We also discover a big iron mine on the other side of the city. After having done some research on the internet, we find that it’s one of the biggest iron mines in the world. Its origin dates back to the beginning of 20th century!

Day 56 : We stop by a tourist center in Kiruna to get some information about the hikes in Abisko national parc, our next destination in Sweden. We get there in the afternoon and immediately start our 12 km long hike.  It starts with the Sami village where Sami people, aboriginal nomad people from Lapland, had their temporary shelters. The hike then leads to the top of Paddus hill (600m).

On our way back, we got lost because my mistress wanted to take another path so to make a round trip. But the path had no markings… so we did almost 20km but I don’t care! I am so happy to be free! And it gets dark really late so why not take advantage of it! Moreover, it was an easy peasy track, with no big elevations.

PS : As a reminder, all our photos from Norway are on Facebook.

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