Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tromsø to Harstad

With the National Day over, there was a return to good weather and I felt even happier when I got to the Tromsø Post Office and found the package I'd been waiting for.
Today's overland journey took us down beautiful Balsfjord in the direction of Narvik, but turning back towards the coast finally to Harstad.

Before the highway we pulled into the Polar Zoo, usually home to a variety of bears, wolves, foxes and their large grazing friends like moose, deer and musk-oxen. Due to some winter-losses and the seasonal shyness of the remaining inhabitants I didn't actually see much.
Trudging a few hundred metres through deep snow to get towards the back of one pen I was able to see two brown bear cubs close up. Bigger than Bondi, and already with lengthy claws. There were some families wandering through the zoo, with young children bored by the
lack of 'sights'. They obviously had a lower threshold than I for large animals lying around farting.

A lazy white wolf cub, some young deer, a lynx and a solitary female musk-ox were the remaining visible animals. A warden told me that the musk-ox, besides having a brain the size of a walnut, are highly dangerous animals, and will charge you at great speed, trampling one into a smooth marmalade before they're finished.

No, smile like this!

Brut 33?

The road back to the coast was a slow winding affair, but the water views were stunning. The sky was captured below with a blue I had never seen in water before over such an area.

In Harstad we were to be staying with Geir, Mari and family. Geir contacted me as a result of the Dagbladet article three months ago, and was very interested in learning about and obtaining a giant malamute. I'd been fielding similar enquiries off the street in Hammerfest and Tromsø in recent days.
I'm very grateful to the family for their hospitality and my first home-cooked meal in months. Bondi felt very much at home too with a kitchen floor to decorate with his hide.

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