Friday, 7 July 2017

Friday 7 July - Sommerset

Where’s Bertie? He's in a picnic area just off the E6 by Sommerset (exact location: 67.55286, 15.68616) He's at a road end, about 2 metres away from the edge of Leirfjorden at Sommerset (exact location: 67.54817, 15.66361)

With the weather being so much nicer than yesterday, I started today with a joggette around the end of Morfjord, exactly as I had done on arrival yesterday. This time I took my phone and stopped for lots of snaps, none of which capture what it was I wanted to show.


Bertie's bonnet was then pointed towards Lødingen, where his northwards progress was to come to an end. From there I had intended us to continue beyond the town to the road end for a walk and probably to spend the night. However, as we sat in the supermarket car park, next to the queue for the ferry, I considered the fact that it was ideal weather for a ferry-hater to go on a ferry ride today, and there was no guarantee that it would be so tomorrow. Plans changed and we joined the queue (with bad timing, just as there was an hour and a half gap in the schedule at lunch time; they usually go every 45 minutes).

We nearly didn't go to the Lofoten Islands for fear of it being too busy on its limited road network and in the car parks, to make it enjoyable. Eight days later (and I think we could easily have spent longer) we are glad we did go. The only time the roads and parking were troublesome was on the first day, when a ferry full of vehicles was battling with tour buses to get to Å, and to find space to park in the huge car park there. Conversely, last night we had our stunning kipping spot to ourselves. As for the roads, there are few places where the E10 is too narrow for two vehicles to pass, and on the minor roads I can only think of one occasion when we had to reverse up to a passing place, even if we did occasionally flinch as something passed a little too close for comfort.

The one regret I think I will have about the Lofotens is not getting enough photos that really capture the essence of the place, but then I'm sure there are plenty available online that I can peruse.

Disembarking the ferry we found ourselves in a long line of traffic (mainly motorhomes) all heading south.

Seen on the drive south from the ferry. How are you meant to keep your eyes on the road when there are spectacles like this lump of rock right next to the route?

Most of the traffic passed us as we stopped at a service point. The rest must have done so when we stopped to allow me to fulfil an outstanding item on my wish list: to take a wild swim inside the Arctic Circle:

Mick declared me mad for this little side trip. Those were also possibly the thoughts of the sea kayaker who pulled up on the beach just as I was approaching.

A few more tunnels (we have gone through a lot of tunnels today, the longest being 6.4km) brought us to our night stop. It's not fantastic, and is lacking a view, which is unfortunate considering how attractive this area is, but it will do.

From the view point behind the parking area, unfortunately hidden from us by trees.

...After I'd typed the above and had a cup of tea, I set out on foot to try to find an alternative kipping spot. It was one for which we had coordinates, and we had tried to drive to it after we first arrived at the picnic area, but only finding a nasty roadside layby we reverted to the picnic spot. On foot, an overgrown grassy track took me down, down, down to the fjord where I found the place, with two vans already in residence. Not wanting anyone else to arrive and claim the remaining space, it was a superfast climb back up to Bertie and now here we are (having arrived via road, not via the steep, overgrown grassy track!), in a glorious spot. When the sun has moved to a better position I'll take a snap of what we can see from Bertie's windscreen.


  1. Hello - it has been very interesting following your trip through Norway - We found the Lofoten Islands a place where you need to have more time to wait for the weather to change (sometimes only a few hours) before lots more photo ops appeared. If you want some good photos then try looking at (there is a gallery for Europe/Norway and Scotland as well...)

    It seems as if you are heading south - perhaps going back to Sweden for more (cheap) food - I was looking forward to you getting as far as Nordkapp for a summit bid. We did the Hurigruten Coast Cruise in February but it sounds as if you may not have liked that! We had great weather and many fine views of the coast from the comfort of the viewing deck trying not to drink too many £10 beers.....


  2. Hello Mike! Whilst we have decided against going to Nordkapp, we won't be leaving Norway just yet, not even for the lure of cheap food in Sweden (I paid £2 for a cucumber yesterday and it wasn't even a big one!). Having rushed up to the Lofoten Islands, we are planning a more leisurely journey back down the west coast.