On top of the world!
I've just landed in Alta, Norway and I'm already in love with this place. With its snow capped mountains and -7 degree weather (despite the fact that winter hasn't even set in yet) this place has a chilly charm unlike anywhere else I've been. I was picked up at the airport by Conny, the head organiser of the Offroad Finnmark mountain bike race and after a brief stop at the house where she loaned me appropriate wool leggings, we set off for a drive down some snowy roads to a frozen beach. As we drove she gave me a run-down of life in Alta and she suffered my many questions about the northern lights and what life is like living in complete darkness through the winter as the sun doesn't rise for months.
I made a joke about going for a swim in the sea at some point, to which she quickly informed me that her and a group of others still swim in the sea in these conditions and she invited me to join them on Sunday morning. Of course that's going to happen.
After a walk along the water we took a drive into the Alta town centre where we met Jon Vidar, a very keen mountain biker that's going to take me out riding bikes with him and a couple other people. He made a joke saying we are going to ride 200K this weekend... at least I think it was a joke.
We also visited the Alta Visitor centre where I met a great woman named Mariana. She runs the Alta instagram page that knew about Outspire.org from Instagram - very cool!
It's 6 PM as I type this - it's pitch black outside and I'm off to stare at the sky for a while hoping to see the northern lights. Later this evening I 'm meeting with two well known technical mountain bikers from the area that are going to give me a beginner's 101 into the world of long distance mountain biking.
This has been a great trip so far and I've only been here a few hours!