Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Day 35: Narvik to Alta, Norway. 537km 9.5 hours.

We are one day away from our northern destination NordKapp.

At Narvik we  stayed at the Best Western Hotel which is right on the ski fields. 
In summer it attracts bikers.
We had a wonderful time doing what round the world bikers do.

We said goodbye to Chris Eden, Ken and Darius and the group of bikers from France and Switzerland.

The journey today was like an extended ride for hundred of km through the Marlborough sounds.
We rode around the fjord coast and  briefly rode up to the alpine areas. 

We contended with traffic slowed by motorhomes,
We found a place where they breed,
A convoy or 6 huge Circus trucks leapfrogged us for most of the journey.
So, although the roads were good we took around two hours longer than we had expected.

Four Tunnels are being constructed on this section of the road.
We could see the efficient use of tailings  for road building and for social amenities like sheltered boat harbours in the fjords.
It made us realise how well norwegian engineers have dealt with tailings from the tunnels. Landscapes appear unspoiled and the tunnels are unobtrusive.

'Look at us,' say these BMW bikes.
They have been overland from Australia to Poland, from Ushuaia to Colombia, from Capetown to Europe.

We found Ken, from Australia and Darius from Poland and the storytelling flowed.
They are on their way south from NordKapp.



I couldn't resist talking with these men.
They looked so much like the coffee groups of men we met in America.
Yes, they meet for coffee here at this hotel every morning. Sometimes up to thirty men.
Clearly enjoying each other's company.

Pierretta my new found biker twin. 
An instant bond.
Sometimes words are unnecessary.

Peter and Antonella ride to the Lofoten.
One day soon they will be sailing to New Zealand.

We had a great time meeting Chris Eden, from Queenstown, NZ, who is riding east to Magadan.

Last night when we arrived it was raining. 
Bridge building in fine weather, today.   
The bridge will span the fjord and will be very long.
Ploughing the fields at 69degN

We had a good run for the first hour and a half. 150km.
We stopped for coffee and when we got back on the road...
It took nearly an hour to cover twenty km  as we ground slowly up a long hill hill following a group of circus trucks and motor homes.
Dick passed them one by one. Slow and tricky with no road shoulders, no passing lanes, and cars coming in the other direction.
We discovered that for some of the time the traffic was so slow because vehicles couldn't pass a cyclist going up the hill.
A test of driving and of patience.

Lo and behold we found a place where they go away and mate and reproduce...
Oh, no! not a good sign.




A rainbow...
A harbinger of hope...
Regarding motorhomes?

Oh, not the circus trucks, again...
They slowed...
Huge relief, they turned off the road at Storslett.

A tunnel under construction....

Where road works and tunnel building are underway the plant for grinding and sorting the gravel and the cement works are on site.
A lot of the landfill from the tunnels is used for building the roads and...
... Building useful social amenities like this sheltered boat harbour in the fjord.
The creativity in the engineering is Norway is impressive. 
No two bridges in Norway  the same. 
This one took us to a tunnel entry.
We rode through several curved tunnels and were in Alta.
Dinner in the hoof for Dick.
Sami people rear reindeer for their hides and for their meat.

Dick had reindeer stew with lingon berries for dinner
I hope this doesn't offend Father Christmas, especially when I ask him for more passing lanes in Norway.

The breakfast orange salad with prunes was lovely. 
A completely new flavour combination for me. 


john said...

I guess you now know why motorhomes are called "road maggots"

jim kennedy said...

Making he world a better place as the Hubbard's travel the world on Orlanda, meeting ordinary people and making them feel "extraordinary".
Thanks Dick and Di. Stay safe.

Diana Hubbard said...

Hi Jim, we are being blessed everywhere we go. Wonderful scenery and wonderful people.