Sunday, 9 July 2017

Saturday 8 July - Saksenvik and Vassbotn

Where's Bertie? He's 3 miles up a dead end road, in a small parking/picnic area next to a lake. Incredibly, this off-the-beaten-track location has a toilet (composting). (Exact location: 66.97536, 15.40050)

Yesterday's glorious weather disappeared overnight, to be replaced by rain at about 7 this morning. We put it down to being a passing shower, but with a limitation on the 'passing' element due to there being no wind.

View from last night's kipping spot

Our need for diesel was approaching urgent, so it was convenient that Saturday is one of the cheaper days of the week on which to buy it. Fauske is well supplied with fuel stations and we made good use of them* and were just on our way out of town when we saw a self-service LPG station at a garden centre, about ten yards off route.

We didn't need LPG, as we had enough on board for around 38 days, but by filling up again when such an opportunity was right before us, gives leeway to be more frivolous with hot showers.

Onwards! I perused the Tourist Office's brochure for this area the other day and marked a few things that I thought may be of some interest. The first stop today was a location where 'millstones were hewn from the garnet-mica-schist rock from around 800 until 1850' and I thought, if nothing else, the walk in might be pleasant.

It was that, although certainly nothing special. It took us first through an oddly deserted small settlement, where there were signs of people in residence (a bicycle on a doorstep, a window open, a hosepipe unreeled, a car outside) yet no sound was to be heard nor any sign of movement. Mick's theory is that we stumbled upon a set for The Truman Show.

I reckon the house in the foreground is the Norwegian equivalent of an English cottage with roses around the door

Beyond the settlement came a surprise picnic spot, complete with an indoor option...

They know how to do good picnic areas up here

...and a pair of stilts...

Not much further on I would merrily have
walked straight past our objective if Mick hadn't pointed it out:

Interesting! When you look carefully, you see that a surprisingly large number of millstones have been taken from just this face

I was all for walking a circuit, and maybe visiting the other, older, millstone site, but Mick was eager to move on in the hope of getting out for a run, so back we went to Bertie.

A row of beach huts opposite where Bertie was parked

Our drive up to tonight's kipping spot didn't start with promise, with one of the worst road surfaces encountered yet in this country (the state of repair of the roads generally being far better than the UK), but no sooner had Mick exclaimed "We have five kilometres of this?!", it improved. With all other obvious kipping spots in the rough area where we wanted to spend tonight being adjacent to the E6 trunk road, it was worth the drive for such a nice and quiet spot.

The road has been run, running kit has been washed, and as there is no one around for us to offend by our being so residential, we have the rotary airer out. Continuing the mundane chores theme, carpets have been bashed outside, the floor has been swept, the bathroom cleaned and I've even done a bit of dusting, all of which was overdue.

Bertie is on the far right of this snap

And now, at 7.30pm, the sky has cleared. Lovely! Ah - except the sun is just about to go behind the hillside opposite us. (Post blog note: as fast as the clear sky appeared it went again and half an hour later we had to rush out to get the washing in as the rain came down.)

(Incredibly, considering what a sparsely populated country this is, today is the first time on this trip (35 days on the road) that we haven't had a phone signal at our kipping spot. There is one a couple of hundred metres back along the road, but it's not good enough to post photos, so I'll defer sending this until the morning, when we're back in range of a 3G signal.)

(*the first one only dispensed three quarters of a tank before cutting off and refusing to fill any further. In other circumstances we would have left it there, but with fuel being relatively cheap today (35p per litre cheaper than we saw it yesterday), after a trip to a supermarket we stopped at another station to top it up.)

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