Monday, 10 July 2017

Monday 10 July - Osen

Where’s Bertie? He's in the large car park of a picnic area just off the E6 at Osen. (Exact location: 66.04891, 13.61010)

Pitter patter, pitter patter, pitter patter. After lying and listening to that for a while it was clear that we weren't going to opt for the 'big hill' walk today.

We did, however, manage to drag ourselves out of bed, whereupon we relocated back around to the National Park Centre car park. If we were going to spend the morning indoors waiting for an improvement in the weather, then we may as well do it with wifi available.

Eventually the rain did stop and at around 11 we stirred ourselves to go and take a look at the Kjemafossen, described in the walks leaflet as being one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Northern Norway.

This is it, as seen from a distance:

During the season of snow melt, and after a few hours of heavy rain: a good time to see a waterfall at its best

The waymarked route took us away from it for a while, along a very fast moving river, in order to cross a bridge...

...before taking us back along the other side.

Having seen a lot of waterfalls on our travels, if we're on a long walk I am seldom moved to go out of my way to see another. However, I have to concede that this one was very impressive indeed. What a quantity of water!

Completing the circuit through pleasant woodland, the day was really showing signs of brightening up, but it was too late by then for much of a foray onto the big hill, so after lunch Bertie's nose was pointed south, with our next stop being the Arctic Circle Centre, which sits right next to the E6 road.

As its name suggests, the Centre sits on the line of the Arctic Circle (66 degrees 33' north) and it was thoroughly uninteresting, comprising a shop full of 'Arctic Circle' tourist tat, and a restaurant. The best thing about the place was its location and the view:

The drive to get there, across the high land of Saltfjellet (the Arctic Circle Centre sits at 2200'), was spectacular in a different way to the dramatic scenery we've been experiencing over the last few weeks. Rushing rivers, a considerable amount of snow and a whole lot of nothing surrounded us.

On reflection, we should have called it a day early on and spent the night at one of the many car parks dotted along the road up there. Or, perhaps better, have detoured to look at the off-route car park which was signed specifically as having walking routes. What we actually did was to set the SatNav for a place just outside of Mo-i-Rana (80km and a few sets of major roadworks away), only to arrive and find it not to our liking.

That caused a bit of a problem as there's a lack of options for a distance beyond Mo. We tried, without success, another couple of possibilities I'd dredged up, then over a cup of tea I plumbed the depths of my resources, looking at the app and using Google Translate to see which of the walking/skiing routes shown on there had car parks that sounded like they may meet our needs.

We didn't get as far as driving 3km down an unpaved road to the one I'd selected. Instead we pulled into this picnic area where the signage indicates that the authorities would prefer that you didn't park overnight, without actually banning it. As it is such a huge car park, our presence certainly won't be stopping any weary drivers from using it for its intended purpose and pulling in for a rest during the night. Its not a bad location either. Despite being adjacent to the E6 road, it sits slightly above it, so we can't see the carriageway between us and this fine view:

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