In search of giant halibut ( actually any halibut!)

After our return from Nordkapp we had a day or so to kill in Alta before heading off on THE FISHING TRIP to catch a giant halibut. Not exactly the most exciting place. Went in search of a coffee and the only place was in this run down mall. We decided the Nespresso in the van was much better. However the local museum was actually quite interesting. It’s location was determined by these 6000 year old rock carvings found around a nearby bay which you could walk around. There was even a carving of a boat with a fishing line going down very deep to – you guessed it – a halibut watched over by a bear from the sea bottom ( some deep meaning there!). 

They have coloured in some of the carvings as they are difficult to see. 

The last night in Alta we were recommended to go to a lodge in the countryside nearby . We had a lovely home cooked meal of super tender reindeer and wild mushrooms followed by cloudberry dessert. Can’t get much more traditional than that. Gorgeous place with an out door kitchen (not in use that evening) and Sami hut. 

We drove the van to a campground  an hour or so south of Alta near the intersection of the road to our fishing destination and left it there in favour of Twiggy, having decided the road might be a little scary for the van. Glad we did when we encountered a narrow 6km tunnel.  There was a green light at the entrance which we stupidly thought meant the traffic was controlled by lights, with one direction at a time. Got to the end of a tunnel that was only one lane wide to find there was a green light that end too ( it just meant the tunnel was open). Luckily no traffic going out but it was a different story on the way back – but there were pull in bays. After an hour’s drive it was a 2 hour plus ferry trip ( first rough one we have had) then a drive to our accommodation. This place is on the mainland but there is no road access. It is VERY isolated. No shops, no cafe – nothing! However, Richard had been told by several sources that it was the BEST halibut fishing in Norway. 

Our cabin for 3 nights. 

To quote Richard ” If this is the best halibut fishing in Norway, then halibut should be on the endangered species list!”

So for the next 2 days many hours were spent trying to catch halibut in a 6m aluminium boat. We even hired a guide for some of the time. Not a single halibut was caught but Richard did catch a 15 kg cod which was a small consolation. To make matters worse they taunt you with outlines of huge halibut (supposedly) caught that season painted on the jetty. No one else was catching halibut either. 

From one extreme to the other- but no halibut. 

We did have a nice wander up to a nearby lake ( freezing cold and too windy for fishing that morning) and discovered heaps of cloudberries and bilberries. Lots of reindeer too. 

Richard eating cloudberries (gold) and blue berries. 
Amazing colours with the mosses.

I was very happy to leave there after 3 nights – I gave up fishing on the second day and just went out to keep Richard company. I don’t know how people live there year round – it was a bit like being at Big Bay in Fjordland in terms of how remote it is. 

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