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The Journey. All 21 hours of it.


Dear Jim,

We like to think of journeys as poetic don't we?

And they are, often.

And then sometimes they are not.

Sometimes they are just plain awful.

I started off with such a positive attitude.

Helisinki: 3:45am alarm goes off. Haul myself and my packs (yes one on the front and one on the back, I'm lugging around over half my body weight at the moment - keeping me fit!) into a taxi and to the station. On a train, on a plane, and before you know it I'm in Oslo.

Oslo: a decent breakfast. $28 later..... that's Oslo for you.

Alta: Working my way north. It's about 2pm now. We land at a tiny airport and it's starting to look more rugged. There are mountains, sea/fjords/water of some sort? And permafrost on the peaks. Sitting at this airport I look out at the tiny mosquito plane we are waiting for. I don't often question man's enthusiasm to launch themselves into the sky in a tin box, but with this one, I do wonder a little.

And rightly so, it turns out.

This plane is like a bus. It stops at various tiny tin shed airports around the north of Norway. The plane shakes and shudders and rumbles and is so noisy that you couldn't have a conversation, and you kind of have to hold on to the seat in front of you to stay steady.

But the view is stunning.

As we go to land in Hammerfest (where I'm going to take a boat tomorrow) a thick sea fog descends and we can't land. So I get flown back halfway to Oslo to a place called Tromsø.

Tromsø: I'm further from my destination now at 8:30pm, than when I was at Alta at 2pm.

Then there is more waiting. And another flight scheduled for 10:20pm.

And off we go again.

And hope that the fog is gone and we can land.

The fog is not gone.

But its seems the pilot is determined and we descend into thick white nothing until finally we break out on the other side and the ground is only about 20m below us.

Well done pilot.

Very brave.

If not a little reckless.

And finally, I am in Hammerfest.

After 21hours.

I think it's almost quicker to fly back to Australia.

It's about the journey right?


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© Alisa Tanaka-King 2020