FINNMARK

Me and my boss Julie had 2 days off, so we decided to go camping. There are so many places around here we want to go explore but it’s also fairly difficult to get to the places because they are so far away!

We decided to try and reach a very Northern point in Norway of Hamningberg, a place on the far northern point of the coast. On our adventure we went, taking the dogs with us we set off. Who knew this journey would take so long to get to! As we drove past more and more lakes and cabins in the middle of nowhere I realised we truly were heading towards the end of Norway. There was no doubt about it, as the sun started to set and send out a light of truly glorious sunsets it was hard not to feel emotional about the views we were seeing. This is normal life for the local people of Finnmark and they drive past these views every day!

As the night descended on us, it felt like we were driving in the abyss. There were no street lights, no local towns and no sign of an end. We were getting tired and were almost contemplating stopping and camping out where we wanted to stop our truck. All of a sudden Julie let out a squeal of excitement and pointed to the sky. There above us, in the middle of nowhere, the whole sky was filled with dancing green lights, swerving and prancing all the way through the sky. It was a truly amazing sight to finally experience the Northern lights.

We finally arrived in Hamningberg, and it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, it was pitch black and there were only a few houses that were lit. We decided to just park and walk to somewhere we thought was okay to camp on, we couldn’t see how close we were to civilisation or anything. It was very windy, poor Bj√∂rk did not sleep the whole night! She was very very stressed and it stopped me sleeping because I knew how stressed she was, she probably has never been in a tent in her life before. When we woke up in the morning, we finally had time to see where we were and it was beautiful. The landscape was a massive contrast to the landscapes you usually see driving through Finnmark. It was jagged and rugged, as we emerged from our tents, we looked over the arctic ocean and its surrounding features which was just rock. There was little greenery and it was very grey, however it was striking with the early morning sunshine bursting through the clouds. There was a memorial looking over the sea and it was beautiful, Hamningberg used to be an old fishing town that was near to abandoned during the war and it was surprising to see people living that far out in the middle of nowhere, there were only a few houses still occupied and it really confused me, coming from a big city town its almost pretentious of me to not understand how people can live this far away from civilisation, but people can do it.

We then travelled to our next camp spot and we were originally planning to hike to a cabin that night but Julie had a text from her friend who was a fisherman telling us he had just caught a massive haul of crabs and we should come have a look. As we arrived it saw his boats filled with king crabs little spilling out all crevices. I am not one for hunting/fishing/killing and get uncomfortable at the sights, but this is how he earns a living and he was proud of how much crab he had caught! He showed us a special blue crab, they look a bit like aliens and are really big and I was shocked about how scary they really looked. He was just about to load them up to the main factory so we decided to help, they were very heavy, I didn’t realise they could be so heavy!

Once we had finished unloading the crabs, we headed off to our chosen campsite. It took at least 2 hours to drive there and the road wasn’t great but luckily the car was a big pick up so it didn’t fall apart. The views were absolutely incredible, the sun was setting over the valleys and the autumn colours were really vibrant and shining through. It was incredible to walk into such a beautiful view. There’s just something about autumn and the autumnal sun that really strikes me as beautiful, the way it shone over the valley and lit up all of the colours and plants. The dogs were loving going for a run as they followed us on the trail and we decided to find a place to camp, we knew we were not going to make it to the cabin and it was starting to get dark. We came across a flat place by the river which had a previous camp fire there, so we settled for the night and had ciders/beers as we had the fire going and just relaxed. It was nice to get away from all the troubles at home and just camp in the wilderness.

When we awoke in the morning, the sun was already risen and the colours were really vibrant, the sound of the river running filled the valley and you really felt at peace. I can understand why people do this often, if I had the chance/time and money I would definitely do this more often!

On our way home, we stopped off by a beach in the middle of Norway, the sun was shining and Julie informed me it was the arctic ocean! I was almost sweating on a beach in Northern Norway dipping my feet in the arctic ocean! Not very often you get to say that. It was beautiful, the water was so clear, the sand was white and no one was there, it was almost deserted!

The trip was amazing, if anyone ever wants to go to Finnmark and explore I would recommend during the autumnal season. The colours change, the weather is warm, the place has a character and is truly beautiful.