We left Sommarøy for our next stop closer to the Lofoten Islands.
We had a slow start and I sat in the baking sun dangling my legs over the edge of the grass hoping to see some more creatures when suddenly a mink ran along the rocks three feet in front of me, it was so frustrating, he stood there and eyeballed me which gave me just enough time to pick up my camera but not enough time to focus the lens before he legged it which had me clicking away randomly hoping to catch him as he reappeared!
On our journey we decided to go and see how much the ferry cost with a view to taking that if it wasn’t too expensive, the road down to the tiny ferry was beautiful, well worth the detour, but the ferry was far too expensive so Darren turned the van round and carried on driving.
I’d been keen to see the rock art that was depicted on the road map, we hadn’t been able to find any information about it whatsoever so I didn’t get my hopes up about finding the site. However we did find it. I was very excited to discover that the site was right beside the road, it was amazing to think that someone had drawn those pictures thousands of years ago and we could still see them now. In 2015 we saw some petroglyphs on Vancouver Island, they were pictures of marine creatures so it was great to see these.
We sat at a picnic table placed there overlooking the bay, drank our coffee and looked at the cave art.
The path to the other cave art had been closed so we weren’t able to see those unfortunately but at least we saw a few and it gave us ( for ‘us’ read Darren) the opportunity to clean the windscreen while we remembered (I did help a bit but someone had to take the photograph!).
We had a bit of a surprise when we left the island we discovered there was a toll on the tunnel so we can look forward to a 100 Kr bill in a couple of months time. (Darren’s sister forwarded the bill to us when it arrived a few months later).
We were amazed at how quickly the landscape changed once we were off the island. We travelled through mountain passes, looked down on fjords, drove beside fjords, through farmland with wildflower field dividers and through vast grassy plains with scrawny birch trees dotted across them and small lakes scattered through out those with bright green reeds lining the edges.
We did our first Norwegian food shop O.M.G! I know we were warned that it was expensive but now we understand what expensive means. A loaf of bread cost 45 Kr, strawberries 55.80 Kr (I wish I’d checked the price before I put two punnets in the basket!) and after reeling from the shock of three small bags of shopping costing as much as a trolley of shopping from Lidl at home we went across the road to the garage for an ice cream. The lady serving us was very helpful and chatty and she did fill the cup with as much whippy ice cream as she could possibly fit in however a whippy ice cream with sprinkles (even though we were able to choose from a number of different flavoured sprinkles) can never be worth 34 Kr which is approximately £3.40.
To add insult to injury I squashed two tomatoes (worth about £1) while I was carrying the shopping to the van.
We stopped and made lunch at a picnic stop overlooking mountains and the sea from up high.
There were three other vans there, two belonged to people we saw in the phone shop in Tromso and then yesterday at the camping area. They’d turned up at the site at Sommarøy with two vans and were trying to find somewhere so they could park together so Darren had gone over to see whether it would help if we moved our van over a bit but they decided to go somewhere else instead.
I’ve noticed that lupins are still in full bloom up here. I have to say we are constantly surprised at things we’ve seen in Sweden and Norway, we certainly weren’t expecting this little ‘village’. Would I be right in assuming it had been set up to separate tourists from their money?
Along the route we passed a village called Moan, I’d feel right at home there!
We parked up at a restplats which was in front of a hotel but on a lower level. The restplats looked down over the end of a fjord which was a beautiful sight with water vapour rising from behind the mountains, this became even more beautiful as the light changed and the clouds developed a pink hue. We needed to stretch our legs so took a walk over to take a look at a memorial stone but the minute we stopped to look at the stone we were attacked by mossies so we took a very speedy photo of the view and shot back to our mossie free van where we had dinner and enjoyed the view in safety.
Later in the evening around 9.30 p.m. there was a lot of racket from outside the hotel, when we looked out of the window we saw teenagers throwing cans in and out of bedroom windows, they were having great fun shouting and generally being very noisy. At 10 p.m. we decided we would probably never get any sleep so made the decision to move on, which is fine when it’s daylight all night! It’s taken us a while to realise this but having a motorhome is brilliant, if the location isn’t suitable just move on.
We drove through green rolling hills just like the Surrey hills but with mountains as a backdrop.
We were getting concerned about the bumpy state of the road and were a little worried about the signs at the side of the road which looked like they could be to do with the military.
We have bad memories of unintentionally seeing the military in action at close hand. Years ago we’d gone camping with our brand new tent, arrived at the site which was huge AND had the added disadvantage of a fairground beside it. We promptly turned around at the gate, phoned and cancelled our booking saying we were stuck in traffic and hurriedly searched for another site in the camping book. We drove off to a pretty little campsite along a tiny country lane which was just a small field surrounded by hedges. Perfect! Then we started to set up the tent. That’s when we discovered that Salisbury Plain is a very flinty area and flint and tent pegs don’t mix! Darren was all for jumping in the car and driving straight back home, which with hindsight would have been the best option, but I thought the children would be disappointed. We finally got the tent up (or the Taj Mahal as Darren liked to call it) and settled down for a peaceful night. However Karma being what it is we received a HUGE pay back for lying earlier. Around 11 p.m. all hell suddenly broke out as army tanks started rolling past the hedge beside us as they started their army manoeuvres. (The lady on reception earlier must have been laughing her socks off when I related the story about the noise from the fairground as we were checking in!) That racket carried on until about 3 a.m. and for a very short while peace descended. We must have had a couple of hours sleep before we were woken by cows mooing as they walked past the hedge right behind us, they were very vocal so we assume they were on their way to be milked!
Anyway, yet again I digress, sorry!
We almost turned back because when we saw the military signs, we assumed the SAT NAV had got it wrong again, we’d passed a lay by next to a lake which had two other vans in it and were contemplating going back there, but for some reason we continued the way we were going, I am SO glad we carried on.
We ended up at a place called Evenes, a very small ställplats overlooking a fjord, we arrived there about 11 p.m. still in broad daylight. We were trying to park quietly so as not to disturb everyone but when Darren lent over the steering wheel to look outside he lent on the horn! HI EVERYONE WE’VE ARRIVED!