So where are we? Well, we are on The Kingdom of Lofoten Islands which are 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The islands spread like a dotted arc from mainland Norway right out in to the Atlantic Ocean. We sailed to one of the islands at the southern end, so we could slowly bumble our way back to the mainland, island hopping and bridge crossing all the way. Many visitors just come here to fish but the remote archipelago also offers abundant bird life and flora. The steep Lofoten mountain peaks are often called the Lofotwall. A spine that runs down the chain of islands creating shelter for the farmland from the harsh and severe Atlantic Ocean. In winter, the islands hold the world’s largest cod-fishing event, which is evident from the vast number of dried cod heads to the rear of our motorhome. Thankfully, they don’t stink too much or not until Mac n Tosh go digging up the rotten fish bits!
In the morning we went for walk following the coastline towards the south, through scenery that looked like an illustration from some children’s book with snowy peaks, velvet moss vales, snug farms and vertical cliffs in to the wild Atlantic. A walk on the wild side…and so we walked, hour upon hour, over rollercoaster hills, along knife edge ridges and over boggy grassland with two bouncing dogs that loved every minute. The skies grew grey, the air cooled and not long before the peaks disappeared in to the clouds, time for us to head back towards the village.
At its harbour end, the village meanders across the tiny mountain streams which is dotted with simple old fishermen’s huts. The larger sea house (sjøhus) randomly placed on rocky patches with the small cottages (rorbuer) precariously built on rickety stilts. Some are well maintained and immaculately painted with a simple ornate trim like fine lace and some are nothing more than wood held together with a few rusty nails, but all of them are simply apt. The village of A has the climate and ambience of Scotland, but the style of an old fashioned fishing village Cornish village. It was enchanting and very relaxing. We walked away the afternoon, up and down the rocky streets, and up and over the plank walked ways that lead you over the craggy gully’s. Watching the boats bob around in the harbour and the 1000’s of nesting seagulls dive bomb the choppy sea for a sprat or two. For afternoon snack, we nipped in to a small bakers for a ‘just baked’ cinnamon bun from an traditional wood fired oven. It was delicious.
Tonight, we plan to watch a few more of the series 1 Happy Valley episodes (prerecorded, whilst I snuggle Mac the hot water bottle and Craig snuggles Tosh the wriggler.
Another fellow motorhome got in touch today, Tim and Sarah with their 2 dogs Mabel & Melek. Having just returned from 3 weeks in Croatia they are now busy planning for their imminent retirement. A Life in the Slow Lane is a great blog of their travels so far and worth checking out especially the maps section!
Our wild camping spot today is at the car park in a village called A, same as last night but with less motorhomes.
GPS position N067.879824 and E012.977479
Weather: Low 10 and high 15 Very overcast with a chill but great walking weather.