Our lake cabin was located in the Lemmenjoki National Park. Even though the weather wasn’t the best, the grey fog hardly his the beauty of the landscape. I’m sure the view would have been ten times as stunning had the sun been a bit more cooperative.
We set out of Lemmenjoki at half past three. Normally, we’d leave early to maximise daylight but since night time darkness isn’t a concept in these parts during summer season, that’s no longer a restraining factor. The plan was to head into Norway towards Nordkapp or “Northcape” – the northernmost tip of the world.
On the way we filled diesel for the first time in Finland and 40km away from the gas station, the Fortuner’s reserve light started blinking. We were convinced for a long while that the diesel was adulterated with water. I remained sceptical. In Finland? It’s almost unheard of! Turns out that the diesel in Finland is of a different make, having a thinner consistency and a lighter colour. It was all much ado about nothing, really. Once the fuel situation was sorted, we continued our drive towards the Norwegian border. The desolate highway took us through Inari, home to members the Sami tribe.
Crossing into Norway was unbelievably easy. We kept on going and before we knew it, we had crossed the border. Not a soul was there to ‘greet’ us in the other side and for once, it was welcome.
The drive was as beautiful as expected. Still lakes reflected the clouds in a mirror like image. The weather, however, remained drizzly and cold, casting a grey spell on the entire area
By the time we reached honningsvaag which was 30km south of Nordkapp, it was already about four in the morning. This presented a slight problem for us. You see, we had already booked rooms at this wonderful hostel but the check in time is normally after 12pm. We were eight hours early, it was cold and all of us were exhausted.
My eternal optimism let me believe that perhaps, we could spend the remaining eight hours in the heated reception area. When I braved the cold and got to the main door all wide eyed and freezing, it was locked. What I did find, was keypad demanding a security code that I didn’t possess. “No”, I thought, it couldn’t possibly end like this. So close yet so far! Luckily, there was a phone number taped to the door. With renewed determination and exactly 5% battery left (got to love Murphy’s law) I punched in the digits and did a little dance the minute a groggy female voice responded.
“You have a reservation?”
“Give me ten minutes.”
And ten minutes later, I was led through the front door into the reception area where I presented our rather unusual case to her. She was extremely understanding and gave us our room keys then and there. “It’s okay, you are just a little early”, she chuckled. I could’ve almost kissed her. Honestly if someone woke me up in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t be half as nice as she was.