Loo-foo-tun - Fjords and the Midnight Sun - CycleBlaze

June 9, 2009


the fun begins

I wake at nine, a bit late and fuzzy from so much travelling by plane and train. 

The Dutch duo have already packed up and I can see they doubt I'll get to Bodø in time. The 12km ride to the ferry is flat-ish and there's a wind blowing me along, so I make it for the 10.15am departure to Moskenes okay.

It's quite sunny. 

Breakfast is served on board and I soon meet up with the two guys from Holland and buy them both coffees as a thank-you for their generous hospitality last night. Wine (and beer) is very pricey in Norway. I have a chat with another Dutch pair, two young cyclists who have ridden up. We compare maps.

Cod drying in the sun
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Lofoten appears on the horizon like the jagged backbone of a dinosaur, a series of sharp, grey peaks. A few houses dot the coast. They're mostly a rusty red colour. I can't wait to get going and once off the ship ride down to Å (it seems to be pronounced 'oar'), a fishing hamlet that's just a few kilometers south of Moskenes' wharf. 

The road ends and a path leads to a grassy expanse that's the bottom tip of the Lofoten island of Moskenesøya. There are some tourists around, but not too many. Boats are moored by the wooden houses which stick out over the water on poles. Rows of stockfish are drying in the sun and wind, and the peaks I'd seen earlier from the boat now loom above me.

The fishing village called Å
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After about an hour I'm riding north, back past Moskenese, but stop when I see a small shop to buy some food... yogurt, drinks and rye bread. Not long after coming out the Dutch pair in a car pull up, looking stressed and worried and ask if I've seen a large wallet. It has all their cash; a good wedge. They lost it after coming out of this shop earlier - one of them put it on the car's roof while he opened the door and loaded in the food and then just drove off. Oh dear. 

As I'm finishing my yogurt someone telephones the shop to say they've found the wallet and the Dutch drive off relieved. That's some luck. There were loads of euros in it.

Reine, on the southern Lofoten island of Moskenesøy
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My plan is to do a loop of the islands but there's nothing carved in stone and I ride up the coastline into a moderate wind with the sun on my back. I get to Reine and take some snaps. Nothing new there. I've been taking lots of them and my progress is pretty pedestrian. Snap, snap, snap, snap. Every few hundreed metres another great view appears: snap. Peaks dropping down into the sea, which is a serene blue: snap. Fishermen's huts looking so picturesue: snap. Me riding: snap.

I get to a small village called Hanoy and have a bowl of fish soup and bread in a restaurant and get chatting to a Scottish hiker who is renting a cabin linked to the place which is costing him hefty 80-90 UK pounds a night - no food included. And they don't have any vacancies. I'm loose with money, but that is OTT IMO.

Onward, across a bridge over to the next island - Flakstad - and it's getting late. A sign pointing to Sund has the hut symbol on it: accommodation! I cruise there and after a while of asking around manage to locate the robuer's (name of a fisherman's hut) owner. 

She's really nice and escorts me to her nearby roomy place - a two-floor structure right next to the fjord and I'm the only guest. The price is cheap (250 krone - around 25 euros) and I am thankful. There's a washing machine and she gives me some powder, so I put in a full load. She then gets the Internet working while I plug in my Eee PC and battery charger. There's a TV with cable and she tunes it to the BBC, then leaves me to it. 

After loafing around for a while, I notice it's gone midnight. This 24-hour sunlight is quite discombobulating.

Cappelen map #CK 52 - 1:220 000
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Today's ride: 25 km (16 miles)
Total: 37 km (23 miles)

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