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Day 73 ..... Salstraumen to Leknes......101 km ......(total 6,046 km)

WOW WOW WOW! So many good things happened today but before I get started I am just going to throw in a picture from yesterday that I forgot to include in yesterday’s blog . It typifies everything about a free spirit.

As I struggled up a another hill in the pouring rain yesterday I could hear the mechanical thud-thud of a tractor behind me. As it got closer I looked behind to ensure it had enough room to pass and almost fell off my bike doing a double take. There closing in on me was Magnus from Sweden driving an open topped tractor pulling a caravan. That’s one way to go about doing a driving holiday. Love it!

Back to today.

In stark contrast to the previous umpteen days today dawned bright and clear with zero wind. What a difference it makes to the psyche when setting off st 7.00 am to ride the necessary 30 km to Bodø in order to catch the 3 hour ferry to the Lofoten Islands.

Like alot of riding here you are often quite close as the crow flies to where you want to be but have to get there by travelling deep into a fjord or bay and then around the other side to your destination. The ride from Salstraumen to Bodø is no different . 15 km heading east and then 15 in headin. West. The views on a stunningly clear morning were a delight .

Crossed numerous bridges and this typified Many of the views .

Mountains that we had crossed yesterday and barely caught a glimpse of through the rain and cloud were today brilliantly illuminated by the morning sun which at 7 am had already been up for 6 hours .

Beautiful churches were passed enroute.

Lofoten island ferry car queue . Do we think it’s a popular destination for driving holidaymakers?

As we awaited the ferry’s arrival the two Belgium gentlemen , Robert and Paul , who we had last seen in the waiting hut at Vassdalsvik ferry wharf turned up. Yes they said the ferry finally arrived and they made it to Ornes but pressed for time they put their bikes in a bus and made their way to Bodø for the ferry .

Over the course of the 3 hour ferry ride he Lofoten Islands gradually get bigger and bigger in the front windscreen.

Entering port you’re faced with enormously high cliffs that almost seem to want to fall into the ocean. Thankfully the engineers built the road around the base of the cliffs and not up and over them.

No words nor pictures that follow will do justice to the magnificent beauty of the scenery. It was simply staggering. The average hourly km covered almost got halved due to the number of photo stops we were inclined to take.

Under a summers blue sky in some of the cleanest air in the world the views were spectacular.

Franck had been at the same camp as me last night and now we were riding a second day alongside each other as we passed one beautiful fjord after another .

Just another postcard picture type scene.

.... and another .

Farming fish is a big industry here and these circular pens were teeming with fish.

Interestingly we passed countless number of drying racks adorned only with thousands of fish heads. Perhaps waiting to be used as fish stock or soup . Whatever their purpose the sheer number of racks we passed was phenomenal.

Just when I thought I had seen it all we came across a surfing school. Yes you read right. A surfing school. Water temperature was 11 degrees so little wonder the students were wearing 5mm wet suits with booties , gloves and head gear.

As I passed this student I shouted out... “and I thought I was crazy !” ... she responded ..” I did what you’re doing last year, this is much more crazy !”.

No disagreement here .

I could think of very few places that would better this view to lay down for your final rest .

One moment my riding companion of the last 2 days was with me and the next he was gone. Not even an “au Revoir “ . I had been riding ahead of him and stopped to allow him to catch up. After 10 mins Robert and Paul rode past and confirmed what I had thought. Franck had taken a turn off to find a camp spot . I am sure I’ll bump him into him somewhere before Nordkapp. The gents from Belgium were my riding companions for the final 20 km and what a pace they set. Both aged around and above 70 there were some hills where I struggled to keep pace.

Cannot think of a better place to stop for the night. The hamlet of Napp.

As I rolled down into camp the scenery gave me a glimpse of what is due to come tomorrow.

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