We decided to leave early this morning so we didn’t have to meet lots of cars on the single track road. We put the alarm on had a quick cup of tea and bread, spread with marmalade that had been made by my friend Eileen, and set off to find a lay-by to stop in well away from here.
On the way out we stopped so that I could photograph the fish drying on the racks, when I looked at the photos later I realised that all that was left of the fish hanging on the racks was their heads! Yuk! We’ve since read up on the fish thing, apparently it’s a delicacy in the Lofoten Islands, they hang up the gutted body and the heads to dry separately.
We drove out of Myre.
A short while later we found a pull in beside a fjord. It was especially beautiful in the early morning light. I took some photos and then made some coffee while we waited for the water to heat up for our shower.
It was such a lovely place to be, it felt so serene. We watched a fishing boat go out while we were drinking our coffee.
To our great amazement a little while later, ‘accidentally on porpoise’, while we were gazing out at the scenery, we actually saw a porpoise! We couldn’t believe our eyes, I’ve been scanning the sea at every place we’ve been for hours and hours and I’ve seen nothing, this time we were just looking at the scenery and a porpoise swam silently by, what FANTASTIC luck!
After that excitement we got ready for the day ahead which started with a trip to the petrol station to empty the toilet cassette and grey water and fill the fresh water tank. The petrol stations are great in Sweden and Norway they all have fresh water and you can fill your water tank for free. Darren just asks the cashier and they either go and turn the water on or direct him to the heated water cabinet on the forecourt and we’ve discovered today that they also have toilet emptying facilities at some petrol stations, brilliant.
We were told by the Tourist Information people that we should take the coastal route because the E10 has a lot of tunnels, which they thought was a bad thing, to us it was very interesting to see how different the construction of each tunnel was. The tunnels and bridges are a sight to behold and made the journey extra special.
I think I counted 11 tunnels, the first one we went through was 6.4 km long and not long after we’d come out of the tunnel we went over a long bridge, it was a brilliant journey. It was interesting to see that the walls on some of the tunnels were left as bare rock whereas others had coatings on the walls. Some of them had a bit of both.
We stopped off in a lay-by for lunch just before we left the Vesterålen Islands. It overlooked a beautiful sandy bay with mountains and a very pretty hamlet.
We decided to wander down and have a paddle but when we got down to the beach we discovered that the water was full of red jellyfish. When we were in Canada I was warned that it was OK to swim if the water was full of the clear tiny jellyfish, christened ‘jelly tots’ by our friend Shirley, but when they changed to red they would sting, so we gave the paddle a miss.
We noticed the two people who’d put their swimsuits on had also given up on the idea of going in the water, they left the beach with the same look of disappointment on their faces as we did. We were surprised to see a mum letting her children paddle in the water when we got back to the van, either the jellyfish had all disappeared or they weren’t stinging ones after all.
As we walked to the end of the beach I noticed an Oyster catcher annoying a Seagull. Makes a pleasant change for a Seagull to get a taste of his own medicine!
We drove on to Svolvær where we discovered that the side roads have priority to the main roads, we discovered that as a small car came hurtling towards us as we were driving along the main road and got a blast from their horn because we didn’t stop for them, we haven’t seen this in any other town. They had four way stops in Sortland but we’ve never seen junctions without road markings like this one.
It was far too stressy in Svolvær so we drove on to Kabelvåg on Austvågøya to visit the pretty village there.
We sat in the square with ice cream and coffee and had a walk around the small town.
The village has a little marina, Nyvågar.
On the walk back to our van we saw a cute little Volkswagen.
Some names written in beautiful gold writing, which we assume by the crowns above them, are the names of Royalty who may have visited the town.
And a very pretty church, which is apparently called Vågan Kirk and nicknamed the Lofoten Cathedral.
I’m sure if I hadn’t been feeling so tired we would have spent a lot longer there. We were also a bit concerned that it might be difficult to find somewhere to stay overnight if the Tourist Information lady was correct and the Lofoten Islands were as busy as she said. She said there are hordes of tourists and loads of motorhomes so we’ll find it hard to wild camp. Aaaargh!
We found somewhere to camp in a large grassy car park by Rørvikstranda (Rørvik beach?). It was perfect as it was on the road leading to Henningsvær where the two bikers had suggested we visit. There were two vans parked here when we drove up but five vans stayed overnight. It overlooked a bay and the mountains were to the front and back of us.
A huge cloud descended over the mountains in the evening and completely hid them.
We went for a short walk as the cloud lifted a little and found a pathway down to a sandy beach. There were hundreds of wildflowers growing all over the area, a little river running down to the bay with a small wooden bridge crossing it and over to one side dotted amongst the rocks were colourful tents and people sitting around talking quietly together. It was a beautiful and unexpected sight.
What a great place to stay.