Friday, 6 July 2018

Lofoten, after the storm

Thanks to the forecast we retreated to a small apartment rented out by the campsite. The storm which arrived had already done a lot of damage in Scotland a couple of days beforehand. We used the time to visit a restored Viking settlement and museum, and to visit (in the company of hordes of others) some of the pretty villages of the area. It was hard work in a wind threatening to blow us over.

Strangely, it seems that sea birds around here prefer nesting on buildings rather than rocks. How they stayed there in the howling gale I do not know.

John had brought fishing gear along. I'm pretty sure I was promised cod for my dinner every night, but this was as close as I got.

As the weather cleared we were left with 3 days of paddling. We launched from Ramberg, where the local ladies took us to task for wearing so many clothes.

We first had views into the Selfjorden, to which we would return.

Then we entered the narrows of Sundstraumen, which took us from North to South between the islands, with a strong tide flowing.

Sund, the village at the south end of the narrows, was a delightful place. We stopped for waffles, and to watch the local blacksmith. His main source of income is the manufacture of cormorants. It would have been tough to fit one in a boat, though.

Our camp was on the island of Kunna. In his guidebook Jann had mentioned two potential campsites. We only found one, but it was enough. Jann's idea of a good campsite is not quite what I'm used to at home. Around here a good campsite is a piece of flat ground big enough for a tent. There isn't necessarily a good landing spot, and there probably isn't a water supply.

Our return journey took us to a mountain hut in the Selfjord. Norwegian huts (of which more later) are well maintained and generally in in very scenic spots. This was no exception. The Billy Goats Gruff seem to feature on their stoves often.

From here we had our last short paddle back to Ramberg, with the weather clearly deteriorating again. John was to fly home the following day, while I had to start the long drive south. Fortunately I had only a couple of days to travel before picking up Kate at Trondheim airport, for another phase of the trip.

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