Our last night in Sweden was spent just North of Kiruna, and brought a surprise or two. The free parking site was on the E10 leading to Narvik, at the entrance to a nature reserve, and on the banks of the Vuonajohka river. Stunning campsite that seemed to be, at least partially, inhabited by long-term campers, in spite of the 24 hour signage. I was very pleased that my initial judgements were fully borne out …
One camper, in particular, drew my attention. I was very happy to note that his generator chugged away almost silently, having no impact on the sound of the river rushing by. In the same vein, I was impressed with his willingness to create a sub-ecosystem through the shaded area provided by a truly enormous awning, providing cover for the area’s more delicate creatures. On his return from fishing for trout, I was pleased to note that, after wrenching the head of one gigantic specimen, he threw it onto the verge, obviously looking to support creatures distressed by the summer heat. Even the fire that he used to smoke his catch was carefully crafted to create dense clouds of smoke to hold the region’s ravenous mosquitos at bay. Clearly a camper in tune with his environment and his fellow campers. Thus I felt truly vindicated in my character assessment when, later in the evening, he distributed whole smoked trout to everyone in the campsite and had a delightful conversation with Niki. Delicious trout!
The drive from Kiruna to Narvik was so spectacular I’ll let the slideshow tell the tale. After a 60km gradual climb to the border crossing (not a soul in sight) we began a more winding descent to Narvik. The change in scenery has been spectacular, and exiting the pass to find ourselves at the head of a fjord was just fantastic.
We will miss the Midnight Sun by a week or so here in Narvik, and by the same margin in the Lofoten’s. Nordkapp will still see this until July 29, but a 1600km round trip seems a bit much. As is, there is no night time period, and we are very thankful for the blinds on all windows.
To cap it all, 4 hours at the beach, including a couple of swims. I’d said swimming north of the Arctic Circle was a goal – the fact that I paddled alongside some 4 year-olds didn’t diminish the achievement – much. And on our return walk – dolphins in the bay!
Niki and the Campercontact app to the rescue for a site. The official campsite overlooks the ore loading harbour, on tar, no cover, no facilities, at 270NOK, around €27. Terrible. Niki found us a quiet car park near the Narvik Church, free, with a dustbin. We appreciate good fortune like this. Tomorrow we head off towards the Lofoten Islands, but for now, enjoying the peace and quiet of Narvik.