We spend the morning in the “Sami Nature Centre” in the company of some of the people from this beautiful region, who have joined us for a slideshow of our photos. We also get the results from the second jury, which met the previous evening. The next Midnight Sun stage takes us along one of Finnmark’s (the northernmost region of Norway) most beautiful roads. It’s just a dirt track, but it can be negotiated by any vehicle, as long as you drive slowly!
In fact, with such fantastic views and so many opportunities to stop and take great photos, there is never any temptation to drive fast. We get some of our best shots by stretching out on the mossy ground to get a low perspective.
Philippe discovered this stage during one of his many reconnaissance trips to the area and he never tires of repeating what he considers one of the Rally’s highlights. A short ferry ride takes us to the fabulous island of Sørøya, where we shoulder our rucksacks to hike across the island. We are so taken by the marvellous scenery of green, mossy hillsides dotted with bright blue lakes that we are almost at the other side of the island before we realise we haven’t seen another soul. The distant sea glistens smoothly in the bright sunlight. It is cool for a while, then warm again. Birds flitter around us as we walk, then fly off into the distance. We wonder where they can build their nests. Fifty antlered heads watch us from afar. We gradually creep closer, being careful not to startle them, as they are warier than the reindeer on the mainland.
From the old, dry-stone building on the island’s highest mountain, we descend a few hundred metres to our bivouac site, beside a cliff on the edge of the glacial Arctic Ocean. Facing the sun, we make our beds in tiny ravines hollowed out by the autumn rains. There is no need for a tent; the midnight sun keeps us warm as we sleep on the soft, mossy ground.