Day 174. Tromso weather and rest day

Posted by: James on June 23, 2009

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Day 174.1 Looking from Tromso on the Island to Tromsdalen on the mainland where the campsite isDue to the very late night I slept until 1000, when Bjorn of Bjornskajakk phoned. He had spent all yesterday evening modifying the rudder pedals and checking the kayak out. He was phoning to say everything was ready. I am continually impressed by Bjorn’s competence and helpfulness and highly indebted to it.

I skipped breakfast, as it was nearly lunch, and prepared and sent a mailshot to some 600 people who have now subscribed to the monthly updates. This took a few hours as I had to get the grammar right and insert photos.

Day 174.2 The old wooden cathedral in TromsoIn the afternoon I went to the post office to send a bag full of items I am not really using but still have to carry up and down the shore twice a day. They were posted to Oyvind in Asker who has now almost set aside a room for all the skis, rucksacks and other equipment returning from the north.

Then it was over the bridge again into the quaint centre of Tromso. I needed to eat and have a haircut. I got them out of the way first and then explored more around the wharfs and the heart of the old town, before going to the polar museum.

The polar museum had extensive displays from the early days of the pioneers to the age of the great Norwegian explorers. It was quite well laid out but there was a lot of reading with very little in English.

The early pioneers started when the Dutchman Barents “discovered” Spitsbergen in 1596. After that there were some of Dutch and English whale and walrus hunters followed by Russian fur trappers. There were exhibits on this and then the subsequent seal hunters and polar bear hunters who arrived and started to overwinter on the islands in rustic cabins in the 19th century.

The other exhibits concentrated on the golden age of Norwegian polar exploration with the two main heroes being Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, but also the often overlooked Hjalmar Johansen, who was Nansen’s compatriot but later considered a threat to Amundsen’s authoritarianism. There were also interesting displays on the ships, particularly Fram which they both used. The original ship is in Oslo.

After the museum I had another meal as the good weather broke and the skies which had been clouding over all day finally opened into a downpour. It was the type of change which I could see would last a few days with a misty drizzle. The sunny weather had been good while it lasted and left a good impression of Tromso on me.

Day 174.3 The new cathedral on the mainland in TromsdalenI cycled back over the bridge to the campsite and my cabin. There was a British caravan there. I went over and knocked and within a minute the kettle was on. I chatted with the pair for a good two hours before returning to the cabin to write more and prepare to depart tomorrow morning when Bjorn arrives with the kayak.

It had been a nice relaxing day but I was not looking forward to start paddling again. Tomorrow I make my way towards the large island of Senja. I have to pass Rystraumen which is one of the strongest currents in Norway which should make thing exciting for a few km. Unfortunately I think I will be paddling against the flow – if I can.

2 Responses to “Day 174. Tromso weather and rest day”

  1. Camilla Wikström Says:

    Hello all!
    Today James writes that he is sending e-mail to 600 people who are interested in his adventure – and probably read his blog that seems to be a big effort to him. It is time to open the wallet and send money to Antahkarana Society International!
    James, I am so interested in what was wrong with your rudder. Please tell how it works!


  2. e.c.baxter Says:

    Your Blogs have sustained us throughout the last weeks of packing, now for the Unpacking ! Signing off now as we go to the Back of the moon, and out the other side hopefully. Love mum&Dad