30th July 2016. Å, Lofoten Islands, Norway.

We decided to stay another night as the weather was so lovely.  It meant I could clear the pile of washing and ironing and then chill out with Darren.  I managed to read my book while each load was washing (I’m reading The Genius of Dogs by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, it’s very interesting and he’s comical too) and Darren brought out some coffee and some chocolate covered cones called Smash which our friends Carole and Dave had introduced us to at Tromso Airport a few years ago.  We had some unexpected entertainment when a baby(!) bird began pestering its poor parent for breakfast.

We acquired some new neighbours to the right of us and the lady was very interested in the washing machine.  She started chatting to me about it.

Darren popped up to the village to see whether there was a shop to buy food for lunch, he found one but unfortunately there wasn’t much in it and he wasn’t lured by the 100 Kr block of cheese. So he bit the bullet and went back to the Bakers where he bought some tomato bread and two cinnamon buns which came to 100Kr (or nearly £10).  The bread was very nice but we decided to eat it all on the same day because we couldn’t bear the thought of having to throw it away if it went stale.

After we’d eaten we wandered over to the campsite kitchen/dining room to see what was in there and while I was looking out of the window I noticed a gull looking rather suspicious.   Apparently there was something of interest on the table and he was desperately trying to find a way to get it without attracting any attention, I could almost hear the cogs turning in his brain!  Most gulls would have just swooped down and nabbed it before anyone had time to notice but, seemingly, he hadn’t learned that trick yet.

Later in the afternoon we took the cinnamon buns and a flask of coffee, walked to the harbour, clambered over the rocks and found a private place to sit and watch the world go by.

On our way back to the van we took a detour and climbed up the steep lane which had a sign saying ‘No motorhomes’ then followed a little grassy path on to moorland where we climbed over a hillock and unexpectedly found a large pond.

We could hear gulls making a racket over by the cliffs.  When we went over to investigate we discovered it was quite hard to see the gulls, they blended in so well with all the poo that was on the cliff face!

We walked back along a concrete path that went in the opposite direction to the way we’d come.  After a while we saw a man walking towards us and he said something in Norwegian then realised we didn’t understand him and said in English “Is it far?”  We had no idea what he was talking about but assumed he meant the cliffs so we said “No” which pleased him and we carried on walking and trying to figure out what he was looking for.  A bit further up the path his friend misinterpreted our puzzled looks and assumed we hadn’t understood his friend’s English so he smiled and asked “Is it a small walk?” we said “Yes” and remained puzzled until we came to the end of the path where it opened up to an enormous car park and a sign saying there was a ‘Point of Interest’ further down the path!

The ‘Point of Interest’ signs seem to encompass many things so it may well have meant the cliff top we’d just been to which was the furthest point you can travel to by car.  The car park was the very end of the road on the island and a turning point, we’d seen it on the map and assumed it was a lot further on than just through the tunnel that we’d seen as we’d turned left off the road.

When we got back to the van, five minutes later, we noticed people looking in two big white tubs near the gutting table.  I wanted to look too but didn’t want to appear nosy so rather than walk straight across to look at them we went over to the cliff and took some photos of the sea and nonchalantly walked past the tubs and glanced in (that blew the whole charade), there were some big pink fish in the bottom tub.

A short while later a man put one of the tubs on a trolley, tied it on with string and then wandered off with it.  When he reappeared a couple of hours later his friend filmed him pushing the trolley and cheered him so he must have been doing something exciting!   Their cabin was opposite our van.

I was sitting writing the blog a while later when I noticed a gull land on a rock quite near to the tub, if a gull could look nonchalant then that is the expression he would have had on his face as he slowly inched his way towards the bucket.

The man walked out of his cabin at that moment, saw the gull and took the huge left over piece of fish and swung it in order to throw it over on to the rocks.  It must have been extremely heavy because the momentum made him topple over and slide down out of view!  A few seconds later he reemerged on his hands and knees.  Embarrassing!

I felt very sorry for him at that moment but my sympathy dissipated at 3 a.m when he and his mates were STILL partying.

The plus side of being up late in the evening was the amazing sunset that I suddenly caught sight of in the wing mirrors which called out to be photographed.  Initially I was very lazy and tried to take the photos by opening the van window but I discovered that was a pointless exercise.  Outside it looked as thought the mountains were on fire.

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