Day 31. Thursday 13 June.
A restful view from our doorway – great way to greet the day, even if it was at 10 AM.
Car picked up, immediate supplies purchased and wine stocks for next few days secured. Time to start seeing Lofoten. Visited the tourist information office and amidst excellent advice on activities also received some guidance on speeding, drink driving, etc…..accompanied by bemoaning regulation, especially control of alcohol. We sympathized.
T had mentioned doing some kayaking, thinking that it was just a matter of hiring one and a half-day in such perfect conditions was beckoning. So, ‘Do you have a wet card?’ asked the attendant in the Info Office. ????? In Norway, kayakers are regulated ( like everything is): they must be able to self-recover etc. etc. That’s why we can only go in a guided tour group for a price we are not prepared to pay, so that’s when the idea was abandoned. Briefly explored a tour to Trollfjorden and an add-on kayak trip but decided against (c$500), then a midnight sun kayak for another price: there is plenty to do and see otherwise! (we figure we’ll see the midnight sun on the Hurtigruten voyage)
As today was intended to be a rest, we decided on a short drive to Henningsvear, a small town about 30km south west of Svolvaer. It turned out to be the hub of active – that is, young – rock climbers, who use the imposing cliffs.
Very picturesque, and very oriented towards the tourist/visitor, with lots of small art galleries (some wanted a fee). The drying cod is interesting: no aroma at this stage, and why don’t the birds get at it? T felt that a seafood soup calls, but with the Italian twists.
The views were outstanding all afternoon. Water, mountains, more water…A few tunnels, a few bridges, laybys on narrow roads. And the beaches!
Impromptu decision as we started back to detour to a little village called Hov on the island of Gimsoy. We encountered some unusual looking cyclists and motorists were patient, crawling along behind until it was safe to overtake – except in one case where a couple of motorcyclists roared out, overtaking on a blind hill. The lead cyclist was not amused: the middle finger salute said it all! We agreed.
As we came back, we pulled over to photograph the motor home campground – wall to wall – on one side of the rad, and the tent camp ground on the beach side. A quad bike came roaring up, asking us to back up to give access to a farm gate: five young women were rounding up the horses for the night. We were invited to stay if we wished, which we did. Free circus. The young woman standing near us explained that the horses didn’t like going into their night time paddock as it was just dirt, with no grass, so would baulk at the journey.
The round- up proceeded smoothly, interrupted by a wayward dog, which had been accompanying its master, who was on Norwegian road skis (abandoned as he tried desperately to gain control of the dog). It was unleashed and decided that it was part of the action: needless to say its contribution was negligible, and only seemed to bemuse the horses, who took no notice of it.
All modes of transport sighted today. As well as ‘normal’ means on the roads including prams, bikes, motor bikes and mobile homes there were some more esoteric ones such as horizontal bikes within a capsule, roller skis, quad bike, shanks pony, and (on the water) a variety of ships, b oats and kayaks.