Fredvang – and the Russians Invade

The Russians arrive! I’ve had an interesting hour or two watching a Russian invasion force, consisting of two families, prepare for something – time will tell. Looking surreptitiously out of my window – they are Russian, after all – I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s possibly a good thing that Eisenhower organised the D-Day landings, or we might still be waiting.  Unopened boxes from Amazon, I’m certain containing high-tech camping gear, interspersed with a number of overnight essentials, including numerous 2L bottles of Coca Cola and Aparol (surely not as a mixer!!), 8 sleeping rolls (for 5 people – whose the softie then?), obligatory leopard skin rug, disposable BBQ, BBQ in a box, camping stove, camping stove in a case … If they return I’m going to hire them to repack our van as all this stuff has simply poured out of two little cars – together with the quite large people. They’ll surely find ways and means of increasing our possible load – I can see canned vegetables in the air filter, salami in the wheel arches. And speaking of salami, why would 6 people pack 13 large salamis – has cholesterol not been an issue spoken of north of the Arctic Circle?  The last (fit-looking) couple who returned from the foray over the ridge (looks more cliff-like in reality to the map on the notice-board) looked exhausted. I’m seriously considering using my €30 credit on my German phone to pre-emptively call out rescue services. I am heartened to see that many meters of potential life line is currently being used to tie various swinging bits to very small backpacks. I think some folks will be learning lessons involving inertia and momentum as all this gear begins to gyrate wildly with every step.

We had a lovely morning, waking in our lay-by off the E10 with a beautiful view of an inlet, and all to ourselves. Traffic during the night seemed to tail off, or else we just had a great night’s sleep.

We took off on our bikes down to Nusfiord. What a cycle ride! Huge cliffs surround you as you cycle along a very good, albeit narrow road, and with very little change in elevation, or at least not enough to bother the motors! Nusfiord itself was beautiful, ochre huts on stilts over the clearest of water. Unfortunately, entry to the little harbour costs 75NOK each, to see an old bakery and the ever-present museum/art gallery. I believe this section has been bought and the owner is looking to recoup costs – fair call, but then there should be some payback in the form of adequate parking. I was intensely sympathetic when a car, obviously from Poland’s great plains, looked at the steep entry/exit to the carpark, revved like Indianapolis, and left tire tracks all along the path. Even more sympathetic when watching a couple reversing their campervan into a parked car! Lesson learned – reverse with your windows open so that you can hears cries of distress as you near, and then engage, parked cars.

Nusfiord was, I’m sorry to say, one of those places that Norway Tourism has simply oversold. It’s pretty, colourful, scenically located – but that’s good enough with gushing. In any case, a short drive brought us to Fredvang on the north coast of the largest of the Lofoten Islands, Moskenesøya, and only about 34km from Å, our end point. As you can see from the photos of the bridges – space for one car only, on a hump-backed bridge so steep you can’t see if anything is coming towards you. Living on the edge, we are! Stunning beach, with water warmer than New Zealand’s in summer, or at least until I got knee deep! Blinding white sand backed by stupendous cliffs and, out seeward, islands. What’s not to like. Not sure what Norway Tourism could do to this lot, but I’m hoping they leave it alone!

We are camped out in a field for 50NOK, which includes interesting toilet facilities. The toilet is raised on a platform, so that the toilet itself is level with both the windows in the wall alongside, and the windows in the door. Clearly it’s important that the throne occupant has an adequate view of their world, and at the same time affording all in the vicinity to observe that the throne is, indeed, occupied.

Home sweet home

All in all, a lovely day!

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