Day 149. Gamvik weather and rest day

Posted by: James on May 29, 2009

Distance 0km | Time 0hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

There was a gale when I woke. The skerries just beyond the harbour were covered in white explosions as huge 3 metre waves crashed onto them. Somehow there was a large stone cairn on top of the skerries, which must have been there for decades yet had not been hit by the waves which would have destroyed it in no time.

There were frequent showers, some of sleet, which got carried in on the gale force winds from the north. The flags in the town where cracking in the wind. It was no day to go kayaking. What worried me was that the weather forecast showed no respite for days.

I spent the morning and midday preparing and sending a mailshot to some 600 email addresses while sitting in the guesthouse café watching the rain lash the windows and occasionally pausing to watch the waves crashing onto the skerries. This was done by 1400.
I then went to the Museum again. There were settlements in some coastal regions in Koifjord, which I crossed 2 days ago, which go right back to the Mesolithic era (12000 to 6500 years ago) and stone tools, especially of quartzite, were found near these settlements. These settlements continue into the Neolithic era also (6500 to 4000 years ago) where there are more extensive finds of kitchen middens, stone constructions for reindeer hunting and stone storage chambers. These eras are the Middle and Late Stone Ages respectively.
In the Bronze Age (4000 to 2500 years ago) and Iron Age (2500 to 1500 years ago) metal, antler and bone tools became more common and some ceramics were used. The houses in these metal eras also became smaller suggesting people were becoming more mobile as they moved about exploiting different resources at different seasons. However, there is very little from this era found on the Nordkinn Peninsula compared to the earlier stone ages and it seemed the earliest people moved elsewhere.
In the Medieval Period (1500 to 500 years ago) most of the settlement in the region seems to be Lapp. They combined fishing and farming. There are some Lapp labyrinths here from the end of this period around 600 years ago. These labyrinths are close to Lapp grave sites and one can guess they were used for ritual purposes. There is not much history from this period until the Norwegian and Russian traders and fishermen arrived around 400 years ago. I will write more on that later.

The owner of the guesthouse was going away for the weekend and I was the only guest at the guesthouse. As the weather forecast showed no improvement until after the weekend I took a room in a house for up to a few days. This house had three rooms for rent but I was the only one staying there. It had a full kitchen and living room with television. It was also incredibly cheap. I could wait out the forecast gales in it, rather than in my tent. I needed good weather for the next stretch round the Northern Capes, and would be stuck here until this queue of low pressures in the Arctic Ocean had passed, in a few days hopefully.

It had been an easy relaxing day where I did much paperwork and a bit of cultural research. The house was very comfortable and I could easily spend a few days here if need be while the gales blow.

Comments are closed.