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March 26: Inari to Bugøynes

Our next destination was on the Arctic Ocean, in the Finnmark region of Norway, north of Finland.

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Passing by the sign for the Angeli road toward Vasatokka. The odd symbols in the Sámi name for Angeli are a capitalized version of ŋ, which denotes the "ng" sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet and apparently in the orthography of this Sámi variety.

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Here's a further-along part of Inarijärvi.

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OMG REINDEER GOTTA STOP AND SAY HI TO THE REINDEER and that's what we did.

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Dude is flexible.

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Roadside reindeer tracks.

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More of 'em.

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Graffiti'd reindeer. (These marks are like brands, showing which herdsman the animals belong to.)

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Very, um, laky.

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The day was already fading and we still had a good distance to go.

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Almost tundra.

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A roadside public concert stage. (Just kidding. I have no idea about this.)

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"Norja" is Finnish for Norway. Getting close!

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We stopped at this supermarket/gas station at Näätämö (which seemed to be about all there is to Näätämö), just before the border.

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Nice twilight. It was fairly cold, but not as frigid as one might expect.

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A map of the area, inside the K-Market.

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The border, delineated by this wood fence.

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Oh yeah, there we go. I'm not sure what the bridge is all about. UPDATE Jan. 2013: Sources suggest that this is a footbridge to allow people to cross the border on foot, which would otherwise be difficult due to the surface of spaced steel pipes (see previous photo) that are placed in the road to prevent reindeer from crossing. The logs of the bridge are also spaced out to prevent the reindeer from just going over it instead, but they provide a surer tread than the steel pipes in the road. (Thanks Tore!)

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A customs house; we expected that we were supposed to stop there and show our passports, but it turned out we didn't need to at all.

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Once in Norway, the landscape seemed to become immediately more hilly and rocky.

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There was scattered settlement about.

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Still quite a ways to go.

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Finally, THE ARCTIC OCEAN. It was pretty incredible for all of us to see it for the first time. These are some fishing pens or something right near the surprisingly sizable town of Bugøynes (Pykeijä in Finnish), where we would spend the next two nights.

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An impression of the harbor, down the road from the village.

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Again at the harbor; the village is across the water to the left, and the city of Vadsø is across the water to the right, its lights visible here, much further away.

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Here's the house we stayed at. It was very cozy.

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I had the top bunk here.