Across the Stokkedalen and Repparfjorddalen. 24th July.

Today has been a great ride with a feeling of having crossed over a large remote stretch of country.

The road tunnels leading into Alta from the west on the E6 had not permit cyclists. All the detours added distance, however the deserted roads and beautiful scenery more than compensated.

Alta is a reasonably sized town with a modern relaxed feel about it and an unusual and striking church. The cafe I found also did an excellent cappuccino, none of this £3.50 coffee from a thermos. The apple pie and ice cream were also good. No excuses needed with 120 km to cycle and a 1000m of climbing ahead, I was looking forward to today’s ride.

The church at Alta.

Having put in several 100 km plus days, I’m now two days ahead of schedule. The heavy rain that had been forecast for tomorrow is now patchy rain, but strong winds and heavy rain is forecast for 29th. Plans need to be flexible, so hopefully Honningsvag tomorrow night, 25th. I had thought about cycling through the 7 km sea tunnel to Honningsvag during the night when traffic is light. This would have necessitated carrying two days food to camp over near the entrance and I haven’t the capacity. Besides I have quite enjoyed the previous tunnels and the reported loud and bewildering noise of vehicle’s hasn’t been as expected.

Back to today, many of the photos today were either taken using my Olympus ‘from the saddle’ whilst moving, or the light contrast was too much for the phone camera.

There were two substantial climbs, not steep at 7 and 8% but long. Sea level to 250m at Sarves and 385m at Sennalandet. For some reason the flies weren’t around and these climbs were enjoyable. Once on the barren tundra, where the road in front ran for miles straight to it’s vanishing point, there were a surprising number of small timber dwelling dotted around the undulating hills, each with a snowmobile. The sun was shining and the air cool, this was very enjoyable!

Then came a real fright. I had heard the screech of a bird of prey above me for a few minutes. Without warning there was a loud swishing sound near my right ear as I felt the air disturbed. Looking up I saw a bird do an incredible rising turn and started to descend towards me again, screeching all the while. Fortunately there were no vehicles around as I waved my arm and shouted, expecting him to make a strike. The bird subsequently flew around me and I managed to get two photos of it again on the Olympus. These and others will go on the website hopefully within a few weeks of returning home.

My campsite at Olderfjord when I left for a meal.

And when I returned.

That’s why I prefer wild camping. My neighbour’s drank at least ten cans of beer became very loud. had a smoky barbeque and snored.

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