Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Tuesday 4 July - Henningsvær

Where’s Bertie? He's in a small parking area, below some climbing routes, a couple of kilometres before Henningsvær (exact location: 68.16874, 14.22393)

Late into last night we sat in Bertie and, without the aid of artificial light, read our books. There was a bit of people watching too, as plenty were milling around, waiting for the same thing as us.

Just after 1am we ventured out into the cool night, with 0109 being the time we had been waiting for: lunar midnight. At that hour the sun, sitting due north, got as low in the sky as it was going to get before it started rising again. The level it reached was higher above the horizon than we had expected, but it was (as we had hoped would be the case) low enough by just after midnight to be visible below the layer of cloud that was sitting over us.

People started settling down for the night soon afterwards, our German neighbour stopped flying his peace-disturbing drone, and off we went to bed too.

I'd like to say we had a bit of a lie-in this morning to compensate, but I was awake at 0730. Nevertheless, a slow start to the day was had and it was approaching 11 by the time we wended our way, past much prettiness around the settlement of Eggum (if there had been any suitable pull-ins we would have stopped for a snap) back to the E10.

Not far along the E10 a stop was made for a chemical toilet emptying point. A vastly over-engineered one in our opinions. All that is needed is a sewerage drain in the ground and a tap with a bit of hose for flushing. What we found here was an automated machine, into whose clutches you entrust your cassette, hoping that after an age of whirring it will give it back to you duly emptied. With relief it did, complete with a dose of water and toilet chemicals. Aside from the unnecessary amount of time the machine takes and the risk of it malfunctioning (there's not too much to go wrong with a simple drain point and a tap), it has always seemed to me to be an unnecessary waste of toilet capacity to start by putting a couple of litres of water into it to dilute the chemicals (footnote 1).

A vastly over-engineered toilet-emptying point. On the plus side it was free and did include a dose of chemicals

We would have had lunch at the same rest area as the service point, if the slope hadn't dictated that we park away from the view (footnote 2):

Pleasant view from the rest area

Through more glorious scenery we went, the jagged ridges around us being a dramatic backdrop to the settlements of wooden houses (of various colours, but predominantly red) dotted around on the flatter parts of the landscape - and everywhere is so startlingly green. Averaging just under 1km per minute (even the E10 arterial road is not fast), we trundled on towards our main point of interest of the day: Henningsvær.

Henningsvær is recommended by both of our guidebooks. The Tourist brochure describes it as 'the Venice of Lofoten', being a series of islands connected by bridges. We were underwhelmed. The best bit was this view seen from one of the bridges on the approach...

...and we wouldn't have been able to appreciate that if we hadn't opted to park a couple of kilometres short and walk in (the car park in the village is large, but known to be very busy and chaotic).

"one of Lofoten’s most picturesque and beguiling seaports" says the Rough Guide. "Really?!" we replied.

Not far back along the road from where we are parked we spotted lots of people heading up a hill and whilst the map I'm looking at doesn't show the path that is in clear sight, it does confirm that it goes up to a lake. If the weather is fine in the morning we will go and take a look.

Bonus photo of the day

1. Whilst we don't follow the manufacturers instructions, we don't put the chemicals in undiluted. We just hold off adding chemicals until there's a quantity of liquid that has been added to the cassette through its normal use.
2. Bertie has a slight natural tilt down towards his front end. This can come in quite handy for cancelling out slight slopes in car parks, but as all of his main windows are at the front it can be inconvenient if you want to enjoy a particular view.)

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