Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sunday 25 June - Mo I Rana and by Flostrand

Where’s Bertie? He's at a picnic area just W of Flostrand on the N side of Sjonafjord (exact location: 66.31978, 13.31103)

The town of Mosjøen was our first stopping point this morning. It was an unremarkable 2.5 hour drive, through grey raininess, to get there, during which we passed into the north - a difficult fact to miss:

On arrival in Mosjøen, in the continuing rain, we didn't trouble ourselves to look around the place (although we may well stop by on our way back south), instead heading straight for the service point at a petrol station just out of town. We found it out of order, which was a bit of a nuisance as our primary need was for drinking water and we knew the water at next service point along the way wasn't potable*.

After a quick elevenses in the petrol station car park, I managed to beat Mick to the driver's seat (for the first time in Norway) for the one hour drive to Mo i Rana, involving the longest tunnel to date at 9km.

Our arrival in Mo was just in time for lunch, which we took in the uninspiring location of an empty supermarket car park (elevenses at a service station, lunch in a supermarket car park, we were maximising the stunning scenery today!), before walking the short distance to the harbour to see the Anthony Gormley sculpture there.

On first sight it looks like it may be sitting on land, just beyond the harbour wall...

...but, no, it is actually out in the water:

As the harbour wasn't sufficient a leg-stretch away after a whole morning spent driving, we continued on along the nicely developed waterside walkway, past some modern, colourful houses and to some more traditional residences. Many of these sported turf roofs, which are in full bloom at the moment:

Our night-stop was only another hour or so further on and, after a whole week of driving on it, we finally left the E6 trunk road, which runs the length of the country, to take the coastal route.

Suddenly, after a day of driving through trees, albeit with some views of snowy mountains, we were in a wonderland of scenery. The fjord was a greeny hue, gushing streams ran down half-pipe shaped rocks, rubbed smooth by erosion, and the huge snow capped lump of rock of a mountain next to us was something to behold.

In amongst all of this scenery, we had two choices of places to stop. Having overshot the first (the coordinates we had were a little out), we went to the second, just 900m further on (where we found toilets and a service point where the water wasn't labelled as not drinkable). The parking there was right on the edge of the fjord and, on a sunny day it would probably be an attractive spot. However, this afternoon was every bit as grey and rainy as this morning had been, and we agreed that the picnic area up the road, whilst having limited views, was nicer.

Having been developed from an old quarry, it is immaculately presented, with seven parking slots laid out in such a way as to make it look just like a small campsite:

As I type this at 8pm, the final slot in this picnic area has just been taken. The two vans who have set up an extensive camp arrangement in the middle are both Norwegian; with Bertie in the slots around the edge are six Dutch vans. All of our neighbours were Dutch last night too. Is this because the same places appeal to them as to us, or because there are a huge number of Dutch people touring Norway?

I'm rather glad we opted for this place, as on arrival we spotted a way marker pointing up an adjacent track, so I consulted a map, donned full Paramo, left Mick to chop some veg, and went out exploring. Wow! What surroundings I found!

I walked up there - not to the top but to just before a delightfully located hut

Arriving back, I recommended the outing to Mick, who left me to cook the veg he had prepared, donned his running gear and trotted off to the same location, returning with the same opinion that it was an incredible route.

I shall write more about it (including more snaps) at

*Actually, I strongly suspect that the water there is fit for drinking but that because one of the taps is provided for the purpose of rinsing toilet cassettes and the other for flushing the grey water drain, it is marked as not fit due to possible external contamination. We almost always bleach taps before we use them, because even when clearly labelled as drinking water, people will use them for unsavoury purposes, but we didn't take the risk of my theory as to the safety of the water being wrong.

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