Going north - Fjords and the Midnight Sun - CycleBlaze

June 10, 2009

Going north

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Last night the hut owner told me to come down to her cafe by the quay, so once I'm up I ride there and sit outside gawping at the vista. She tells me to help myself to fresh coffee and brings me a platter of food to make sandwiches with. After stuffing my face, I'm shocked that she only wants 50 krone - just 5 euros. A bargain.

Breakfast
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Riding beside Skjelfjorden's wonderful east bank back to the E10 is bliss. Snap after snap after snap. 

A group of school pupils on bikes are staggered along the road and four backmarkers chat to me as we ride together for a while. 

Once at Ramberg, I stop at a small supermarket. It's lunch time. I've barely done 10km. Who cares?

I sit outside on a bench in the sunshine eating pieces of crisp rye bread topped with pre-prepared salad stuff bought by the weight in small tubs. That's finished off with a yummy danish pastry. Two cartons of juice get bungeed to my front rack. 

This place is about 200 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle, but since mid-morning there's been no need for a jacket. I'm just a lucky bastard I guess and put on more sun cream, don my cycling cap, get back on my bike and continue on the E10.

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Flakstadøya is just a beautiful as the island of Moskenese and I'm filling my memory card like nobody's business. 

Just after Ramberg, the quiet road curves by a vast beach that's fine and deserted. It's windy here along the island's north shore and maybe it always is, but I guess during August it's busy with visitors nonetheless.

The E10 then takes me south, right by Flakstad Pollen, which is another blue slab of sea ringed with mountains. Once at a junction, I decide to turn right and venture 6km down to the village of Nusfjord, as my map says there's a special bicycle ferry running across to Ballstad which cuts out having to pedal through what I imagine to be a chilly tunnel, a dank four-kilometre-long tube, dipping claustrophobically under the fjord to the next island of Vestvågøy. 

My 6km are wonderful ones.

Heading towards Nusfjord
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Nusfjord village is like a museum with pricey cabins to rent and the friendly assistant there is sorry to inform me that the ferry only really runs in peak summer season. And even then, cyclists have to book days in advance. She doesn't know the fare. However, she tells me her friend is on his way by boat from Ballstad and he may be able to give me a lift back. 

I hang around, using the computer, and when he turns up he agrees to ferry me across, flatly refusing any offer of payment.

An hour later and we're off, with my bike tied to the side of his dinky vessel. We chat and he tells me he runs fishing trips for tourists, who pay quite a lot to rent small boats like this. He refuses my offer of payment. That is until we reach Ballstad, when he shocks me with a fee of 200 krone. That's around 20 euros. Twat.

Youth Hostel at Stamsund
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It's getting late and I ride off to get to the Youth Hostel at Stamsund, arriving there at about 9pm. I book into a small room as opposed to a dorm bed so that I can have some privacy. 

As I don't have any food to cook, I pedal into the dinky, cute village that curves around a harbor and find the one pub, where I order a big pizza and enjoy a couple of pints. Afterwards I pay a visit to the nearby Hurtigruten (cruise ship) office and get told the fare is 400 krone and the boat docks in Bodo at 4am. What's the point? That's out. 

Back at the hostel I chat with a UK cyclist who is on his first bike trip. He seems to have taken root in Stamsund.

Today's ride: 50 km (31 miles)
Total: 87 km (54 miles)

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Marian RosenbergI'll never understand the people who tell you "free, free, free, not free". What will they do if you suddenly say "gee, I've got no money?"
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3 years ago
Graham FinchTo Marian RosenbergHi Marian

It was frustrating to get that at the end of what was a great boat ride. It came out of the blue, which made it feel worse.

Have a great 2018!

Graham
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3 years ago