Day 21: Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands, Northern Norway.
Yesterday was pretty much a write off. We didn’t do anything other than drive an hour or so to a campsite. Paid our fees. Hooked Doris up on electric and made the most out of the free WiFi. Hiking mountains that are already scary in the low cloud, wind and rain is a recipe for disasters, so we took a rest day yesterday.
This morning we were up bright and early. Ready to make the most of the early sunshine and of course, the hot, unlimited watered showers. Little things, eh?
Even though I technically said we were on the Lofoten islands the other day, we weren’t. We were on the Vesteralen archipelago, which actually is world famous for it’s whale spotting. We were due to leave there this morning and actually cross over into the Lofoten islands. Which to be fair, they’re all the same. Fjords, with big tall rugged mountains jutted from the shores of crystal clear green waters.
Put simple: They’re bloody beautiful.
Norway is the WORST Country in the world to drive in!
Yep. I said it.
Norway is by far the absolute worst country I’ve ever driven in.
Not because it’s on the right hand side of the road.
Not because HUGE HGV trucks come hurtling towards you on narrow roads.
Not because most Norweigians don’t care about when or where they overtake you.
Because the view out the window at every turn is so bloody distracting!
However, after many long, dark and narrow tunnels. Many jaw dropping lakes with crystal clear waters that reflected the incredible rugged mountain peaks like a perfect mirror. We made it to the Lofoten islands.
I’m going to stick my head on the line here. Having been to New Zealand and been fortunate enough to travel around for nearly a month. This place has what New Zealand offers…
It’s unimaginably beautiful and something you’d only ever imagine in a book or a movie. It simply cannot be described and I’d love to give it a go but I would fall short of enough words to describe the sheer beauty of this place.
But if you’re interested in crystal clear waters, insanely huge and rugged mountains, white sand beaches and all the wildlife in the world.
Norway is for you.
Hiking in Lofoten
As you can imagine there are hundreds of trails and peaks to be explored here in The Lofoten and we’re barely going to scratch the surface of what’s available. That said, we’re cherry picking our favourites and making sure we get up them to see the ridiculous landscapes on offer.
Today we headed for Floya. A 600m mountain peak that towers over the town of Svolvær. Not only is it incredible from ground level looking up, but the views looking down over the tiny islands below is not something I’ve ever seen before.
Like the hike we did in Senja, it kicked out ass. Different from a normal hike, where you’d typically expect to cover 5-10KM and a gradual gradient. This basically does 5KM there and back and you climb 600m from the get go without any let up.
That said though it is one of the more interesting and challenging hikes I’ve done. With some scrambles, some ropes and chains. Easy to take your mind off of the sweat rolling down your forehead when you’ve got to focus on where to put your hands and feet.
About 90 minutes later, lots of sweat, a couple of swear words and about 468 flies killed we made it to the summit.
Potentially one of the best views I’ve ever seen from a summit before. A panoramic view of tiny islands bustling with life below and then from every other angle there were other mountain giants lurking from everywhere.
It really was a special view.
Daily Van Life
Once we’d finished the hike we didn’t really have much else to do for the afternoon other than a few weekly van chores. Those being the clothes wash and the toilet empty. The clothes wash took longer than expected, so we sat around waiting for those to finish off in the cold town of Svolvær.
Then it was time to empty the full toilet tank. If you didn’t know, when travelling in a motorhome, whatever toilet waste you discrete, you have to carry with you until emptied. Usually a unpleasant job, but not a hard one.
Today however, this incredible invention.
Pressed a button, the hatch open, pressed a button, it closed. Emptied the waste. Cleaned the tank. Filled up with freshener. Opened the door. The cost?
Reason 187934 why Norway is incredible.
Tonights camping location: Svolvær, Lofoten.