After a welcome day off the bike, our journey continued North. Always on the lookout for a good place to eat our lunch or drink the coffee we appear to be addicted to while on the road, I spotted an unusual sight. Not only picnic tables but a sign declaring cafe and souvenirs. This had to be checked out as we had seen nothing open for two days along the road. All became clear whan we pulled up to read the large information hoardings which told us that we had actually reached the Arctic Circle. 66 degrees 33 minutes North. After the hard and desolate ride in Alaska to reach the Arctic Circle in 2015 where it was marked by a single road sign pointing you to a map this was European at its best. Full fanfare. So obligatory photos of Bertie taken, quick trip to the souvenir shop for a sticker to mark the occasion, a pat on the back and we were back on the road.
The temperatures have started to drop so camping has been replaced by camping huts and a youth hostel where I have to say youths were thin on the ground, in fact non existent and travellers of a certain age appeared to have taken their place.
As we move north the trees become shorter and start to thin out. Already the leaves are changing colour and its only mid August. Wildlife in the form of reindeer are becoming a regular sight and not from afar. Often they wander along in the middle of the road and as with sheep have little common sense when it comes to traffic. Pulling up, we sit and watch and they seem unfazed. Mature males with a full set of antlers are quite a sight to behold.
Nearing the border with Finland and conscious that fuel costs will rise in Norway we stop to fill up and to check how many swedish kroner we have left. 116 kroner (enough for a coffee). Next to the petrol stop is a local cafe, a rough looking cafe at that but inside the welcome was warm, run and frequented by local Sami. The lady in charge was very amused as we purchased our coffee, cake , pack of butter and snickers bar and left ourselves with 1 kroner. That’s economical. We opted not to buy the chocolate bar with the weird name !!!