We woke up after a fairly noisy night due to the trucks that were passing right next to our tents. But as you all know the first rule of camping is do not forget the ear plugs. In fact since we were traveling north of the Arctic Circle for a while, in a time where the sun is not setting anymore I also brought an eye mask. There, I said it and I am not ashamed of it, never slept so good in my tent :p
The not setting sun and especially the midnight sun are something astonishing to experience. We first had it in Finland at the campsite after we passed Rovaniemi. We were sitting outside chatting and having a drink at 23:30 and it felt like early afternoon. You are somehow tired but also not willing to go to sleep because it looks like the middle of the day.
Our route for the day was Narvik to Moskenes, crossing a highlight of our trip: the Lofoten. The Lofoten are a group of islands connected by a road spanning almost 200 km. It is a beautiful rough landscape with huge mountains rising out of the ocean. On the other hand you have flat islands with white beaches, green grass and crystal-clear lakes. And in the middle of that all you can see small fisherman villages with the typical norwegian red houses. It’s better than a painting.
Fishing is still a big deal on the Lofoten (Lofotfisket) even so the amount of fish that can be caught has decreased drastically in the last 70 years from 147.000 t to 15.000 t. The main catch is codfish and around the half of it is used the produce Tørrfisk (stick fish). That means the fish is cleaned and then hung up to dry over a stick for 6 to 10 weeks. It’s the norwegian kind of biltong, but I have to say regarding the taste, biltong wins big times. Tørrfisk is really super dry, hard with a light taste of fish. We found some already harvested Tørrfisk hanging from the stick constructions along the road. There were only the heads of the fishes left, but it was too late Benny was already on the run 😉
The campsite in Moskenes was super crowded because it was just next to the ferry that brings you back to the mainland. The was a group of americans sitting in the center of the camp. They had a guitar and were “singing” songs like “country road” for the whole night. Rule number one!!! But we also met a very nice couple from Haiger (Germany, Hesse, Hibbdebach), they both were riding motorbikes with a sidecar. We had a really good talk about bikes, their mechanics, how to fix them and to prepare them and so on. I totally enjoyed it and in the end they offered us some of their SCHNAPS. As gentlemen that we are, we could not deny such a descent offer 🙂
We took the ferry the next morning to Bodø. It’s a 4 h trip and as a farewell you get a nice view of the 1.000 m high Lofoten wall. Arriving in Bodø we were welcomed by a couple of Viking boats. Okay that were rebuilds for the tourists, but they were pretty anyways.
From Bodø we took the 17, an alternative to the main road (E06) along the coastline. This route contained two additionally ferry crossing. Wuhu three ferries in one day, new record 😉 For the last one we had to wait 1.5 h at the harbor to bring us to Kilboghamn. Time Benny spent fishing and I were sorting pictures. With this ferry we crossed the Arctic Circle again. From now on we will get darker nights the more south we get. We found a camping site right in Kilboghamn and had lunch at a nice little spot at the sea… how romantic ;p
For the next morning we had a problem to solve, Benny was short on gasoline. I gave him the two liter from the spare can, but that would still barely last to the next city, Mo I Rana. But we were lucky and found an automatic gas station container, somewhere in the nowhere. Saved from an embarrassing disgrace we passed Mo I Rana and stopped 88 km later in Mosjøen. Here we visited the old town and walked along the Sjøgate, a famous walk with wooden houses in the style they used to be 150 ago.
Some 30 km down the road we had our next stop at the Laksfoss. There are very strong and powerful rapids and you have the chance to see salmons ascending the river (Vefsna), we didn’t. But we met the side car couple again (unfortunately we forgot to tell names) 🙂
They advised us not to miss the Trollstigen, a very famous and most beautiful mountain pass. We hadn’t heard of that before, because it is south of the region we had planned to travel. We were good in time and decided to take this detour, after visiting Trondheim the next day. Our camp for the night was in Levanger.
The way from Trondheim to the Trollstigen leads along the E136 through a magical mountain and forest scenery. No wonder they produced a good part of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in this region. Unfortunately it was a very rainy day and I was not in the mood to stop for photos 😛 We settled down in a cabin 30 km in front of the Trollstigen. Here we met Marianne and Nicole, they came from the south and already did the Trollstigen that day. We had a very nice evening with Whisky and beer and chats about bikes and travelling. They also gave us some good tips for tracks we should take after passing the Trollstigen, our highlight for the next day.