Well we are here, a day earlier than planned, but then blame the weather for that. We are in a large car-park with a glutton of motorhomes, not pleasant, but we won’t hold that against these Islands. So sit back and read about our last bit of travelling to get here.
Sandnessjoen to Stokkvagen 17/06/2016
The greyness of the weather had disappeared and our plan to see the biggest Puffin Colony known to man was put into full swing. These little lovelies live on the Island of Lovund, a two hour ferry ride out from the port of Stokkvagen, a town so important that it is known as the town with no name on Maps.me. But first we had to take the crossing from Levang to Nesna. A twenty minute hop and a huge dent in the bank balance, although not as large as it should be thanks to our Homie going on a Length-reduction Diet. With all the Hi-Tec in this country you would think they would have come up with something to measure the length of the van. Yea, I too know how simple it would be.
Donna again from the van
The Hurtigruten Ferry Leaving Nesna
After disembarking at Nesna we had an hour’s drive on the Rv17 with some pleasant views to behold.
On arrival at Stokkvagen we had a quick chat with the Captain who told us to take our bikes and leave them at the cemetery in Lovund before a quick hike up to the puffin cliffs. So we packed everything we needed including a picnic into our paniers and boarded the 13;50 ferry to Lovund. Here we met a local lad whose mum was a Geordie and was taking his new bride back to her home Island of Lovund for a holiday. All was going swimmingly well until our final approach into Lovund where I realised I had forgotten our cheap non-Zeiss Binoculars. So folks, it looked like a disaster was coming. We were going bird-watching with no Binos. How I would have loved to have had my beautiful Nikons in my hand.
So the scenario is; we will have spent four hours on ferries, cycled about 5 miles ,walked up a cliff and hung around in dropping temperatures to see……… um rocks. Not good. I asked the captain if he had a spare pair. No luck. Not to be beaten we enter the local supermarket for some optical enhancement. No luck. Lastly we went into a rather swish hotel where 3 Swedes decked out in silly hats were watching Euro 2016. After some banter and unifying declaration of hatred for Italy and all things Italian we were lent two pairs of Binos, a map and loads of info of where to spot the Puffins. With some extra vim in our bicycle peddling we reached the graveyard, dropped off the bikes and yomped up Puffin Mountain.
From where the Puffins Are
There are 60,000 pairs of breeding Puffins here and the whole scree-slope is filled with Puffin nests. These little wonders like to nest inside rock cavities within the scree and not on a cliff at all. The next thing to note is they like to fly at night and are not seen much in the day. How they work this out in the land of the midnight sun is a wonder to me. When we got to the bottom of the cliff there was not a bird to be seen, not one of the 60,000 was having a day putting their little puffin feet up.
But as soon as got to the viewing area they arrived. And so did their predators. It was like watching the Battle of Britain with the sleek, mobile, aerodynamic Puffins representing our boys in blue and the Luftwaffe being played by the lumbering old crow. In today’s world the Lumbering Old Crow would be portrayed Mrs Merkel. The puffins would arrive in sorties over the cliff performing an acrobatic display completely confusing The Germans, sorry crows, before breaking off to their nests. The crows had no idea which one to follow and time after time the brave wee Puffins made it home. Yes you can observe the Beaky Blinders with the binos but sadly I was unable to get any pictures.
After watching the Aerial Show
We just had time for our picnic before returning the binos and catching the ferry home. Great day out.
The Island of Onoy with hat
We will finish off todays’ report with a quiz. Tell us what you can see in the Picture below.
That night exhausted and happy we stayed in the car park at the ferry port.
Stokkwagen to Svartisen 18/06/2016
A bit of a nothing day really. We had two ferries to catch, one short and one long. We had the penultimate stage of my ferry theory to test and we had miserable weather. For the first time since we left Oslo we had rain. The short crossing at Agskardet presented no problems and we rushed on to finally cross the Arctic Circle on the ferry from Kilboghamn to Jektvik. We were two days early for the summer schedule and as a result of every Motorhome from France and Germany had been in the queue since 6 AM we had to wait for 2 hours to get on the boat. I did try and take a picture of the beacon denoting the Arctic Circle but it was too windy and ended up blurred.
Soon after we got off we managed a view of the Svartisan Glacier and decided to stay the night hoping that if the weather cleared then we would drive up to get a better view the next day.
Figure 1 Svartisan Glacier
Svartisan to Lofoten 19/06/2016
The weather was still not good as so we drove straight to Bodo to catch the ferry to Lofoten. We cannot really say too much about the journey as the visibility was about zero. We took one picture.
Near Bodo we think
We managed to bag ourselves a space on the first ferry out of Bodo without a reservation and finally confirm our ferry theory. Which is. Take all your long ferry crossings and therefore expensive ones in Norway at weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays the ferry companies employ school children to take the money who have no idea about length. We have managed to travel as a car on all these journeys claiming we are under 6m and saving us about £400 in the process.
On the way to Lofoten Tracy had double sausage, bacon, egg and chips and I had a salad. I wish I had what Tracy had. The weather broke as we approached Lofoten and we took a couple of pictures.
Our first Glimpse
Love to All