Day 17: Senja, Northern Norway.
3:45AM and we were up and ready to go for the day. Well, one of us was and that one wasn’t me.
Another hour or so sleep and I was ready for the day. Whether I was ready or not I was getting up as the sun was glaring through Doris like the light at the end of a tunnel.
Surprisingly warm and not a cloud in sight we couldn’t have picked a better day for hiking.
After a double dose of coffee, a quick shower and a getting a bag packed we were on our way to the next fjord. Which is crazy when you think about it like this. We travelled 17KM, 5KM in tunnels to get to the mountain that was less than a KM away across the fjord. I guess that’s Norway for you!
If you’re unfamiliar with Senja, or Norway, it’s mountainous. There are so many individual peaks that you could spend a year here and not even scratch the surface. So how do you pick one out of 100 and decide that’s the one you’re doing? Instagram of course!
Well, typically, we find the busiest and most popular route, avoid that and head for the second one closest. That or we find one we really, really like the look of and plan our routes accordingly.
Our drive in this morning got halted after about 20 minutes. It turns out there close one of the tunnels here between 23:00 and 07:00 for maintenance and works. We got to the entrance about 06:05. Thankfully a lovely lady had told us that they’re just finishing up and would be letting us through within the next 5 minutes.
I’d have waited all day if it meant I’d have not have had to drive what can only be described as a cave. A tunnel? No lights, only 1M taller than Doris and wide enough for 1 car is not what I’d describe a tunnel. Mind you, I can’t speak Norwegian so what do I know?
Hiking Heston, the summit with a view.
It turns out the most popular peak here in Senja is one called Segla. It’s the one smack bang in the middle of this photo. Easy to see why it’s so popular. Rising straight from the bottom of the fjord and creating an incredible wall of sheer rock, it stands impressively for photos.
Heston isn’t as impressive as a stand alone summit, but the views across the two fjords and that view of Segla are incredibly impressive. I’m glad we chose to hike Heston and not the more popular peak, Segla.
The small village here doesn’t really have the space for hikers to be parking, but luckily we got there early and managed to get a space in an empty car park.
Hiking Heston was really straight forward. Norway has good trail markers and easy to follow routes. Initially it started up a ski slope and then into a small boulder field. Having not hiking in a little while the straight vertical ascent got the lungs going and the thighs pumping very quickly. But we took our time and it took us about an hour to reach the top.
The views from the top, wow. They were incredible. Looking over the small fishing island of Husoy, the two fjords and of course, the incredibly impressive Segla.
We couldn’t have picked a better morning to be perched high above the fjords, with no wind, little to no clouds and not another person in sight, we could have spent all morning up there gazing at the views and testing our head for heights!
Back to Doris and the small car park was starting to fill up quickly. Before we’d had time to throw on breakfast, eat it and chill with a cup of tea the car park was full and lots of people were starting their climb up Segla.
The small fishing island of Husoy
Post hike we didn’t do much other than chill near the lake, wash some clothes and take a well earned nap.
In the early afternoon we decided to head to the small fishing island of Husoy. Perched in the middle of the fjord and with access by a single lane bridge, this is a thriving small fishing village. To be fair though it would have been easy to guess this by smell alone.
The harbour was busy with boats of all shapes and sizes. The island itself is home to around 300 people. With a small cafe, a diesel pump and a small supermarket it’s fairly remote. Not a bad place to live though, especially when this is the view from your street.
Our place for the evening was a little place on the West side of the island. Through various tunnels, across narrow single lane roads and up and over some fair steep hills Doris was on her way. The landscapes here are out of this world.
With rock jutting out of the water, jagged, raw and looking like something out of a Jurassic Park movie it’s hard not to get distracted whilst driving.
On the way to Skaland we passed the famous Devils Jaw. I guess no explanation is needed and you can see why it got its name.
Tonight we’re parked in another amazing spot. Right near the inlet to a fjord and right on a small harbour. Snowy mountains surround us and we can definitely tell, we’ve got the second blanket out!
Tomorrow we’re going to head up a nearby mountain for one last hike in Senja, and then who knows what we’ll do but we can decide that tomorrow because that’s the beautiful thing about motorhome travel, who knows where we’ll end up?
Tonights camping location: Skaland, Senja. (Park4Night: Click here).