Goodbye Flakstad and more Aurora

Friday 27 September 2019

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Left Flakstad beach with some sadness. It’s been a good place to spend time there. Fiona and I had a great time here and on my last visit I met some great, interesting people with whom I exchanged contact details.

Stopped at Kilan and walked along the banks of the fjord but though it looked like an ideal setting I just couldn’t find a composition I was happy with. 

However a few kilometres further on I found a small lake where the reflections of the trees on the bank was just perfect. 

Beautiful autumn relections in a still lake

I also photographed a house by a lake because occasionally I see a house that to me is in the perfect location and this was one of those houses. It was by a lake, in the mountains, surrounded by trees and in what can only be described as a beautiful part of the world. 

The perfectly located house….I wonder what it’s like to live there??

Making my way now to the campsite at Sandsletta but changed my mind and booked into the site at Brustranda Sjøcamping. I stayed there with Fiona about a week ago. Lovely setting and good facilities. 

As the sun began to set, the reflection of the cabins on site, built in the style of the traditional rorbu fishing huts, just had to be photographed.

Brustranda, the perfect place to spend the night

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I got the van all sorted out, had a shower and a meal and now I’m parked in a lay-by up the road because there was too much light pollution at the site to watch  and photograph the aurora that’s happening right now. 

The two images above were taken just over a minute apart and you can see the Aurora changes shape very slowly. Twenty minutes later and it looks like the mountain is engulfed in green flame.

By 9.30pm the show was over and it was time to return to the campsite and turn in for the night. Another great day supplied by the landscape of northern Norway.

Iconic Hamnøy

Thursday 26 September 2019

Up at 6.0am, sorted the van and down through the tunnel into Hamnøy before breakfast and before sunrise. I parked next to the bridge on some spare land where there were already a number of photographers making preparations for the sunrise shoot on the bridge. I joined them and got myself a spot where I thought I could make a good composition. The weather could not have been better for a sunrise image and as the sun made its way over the horizon it lit up the face of the cliff overlooking the harbour. I was so pleased that my plan had worked out and all the elements had come together as I planned. I am so pleased with the resulting image. Yes I know it’s been done thousands of times before, but this is my interpretation.

Hamnøy sunrise

I then moved down the road a little way and got a reasonable image of the tiny island of Sakrisøy with the rising sun now creating some great contrast and side lighting on the mountain above the village.

Sakrisøy village

The Reinebringen Trail is a short, steep climb up 1560 stone steps to the top of the 448 metre high mountain of the same name. The reason why the steps were built (by a Nepali Sherpa team between 2016 and 2019) was because so many people were trying to climb the very steep mountain side to get the view from the summit. And what a view! It took me around 45 minutes to climb the staircase and when I got to the top I realised why so many people made the effort. It’s estimated that around 800 – 1000 people a day make the climb in summer, but on this day I had around twenty people around me at the summit.

The view from the summit of Reinebringen
A good view of Hamnøy and the Lofoten Islands from the summit of Reinebringen

So, after the serious effort of making the climb up to the summit of Reinebringen and the very, very steep decent of all those steps, I made my way back to the van that was parked a couple of kilometres away. There was some indication in the Aurora forecast that there may be a Northern Lights show tonight so I decided to return to Flakstad Beach where I might get a good view if the Aurora did show.

I set off back to Flakstad via Ramberg and decided to give it one more go at a composition there. I did make one image that I’m actually quite pleased with, so Ramberg is in the bag!

Ramberg Beach

I arrived back at Flakstad just as the sun was going down and managed a couple of shots before it got really dark.

Then I waited. This time I was more or less on my own and it was much colder on this evening. Unfortunately on this particular evening, although the Aurora did show for a little while, it was nowhere near as intense as the previous occasion. Well, some you win and some you lose and so I retired to bed.

It’s still an Aurora Borealis 🙂

Flakstad to Hamnøy

Wednesday 25 September 2019

A bit of a lazy day today. I made a slow steady drive south from Flakstad towards Hamnøy. I wanted to stay the night near Hamnøy to get some images of the classic rorbu huts/houses in Hamnøy in the early morning light. The forecast was good for the following day so I headed south down the E10.

I called in at Ramberg that has a long white sandy beach but it’s one of those places that just doesn’t inspire me. All the buildings at the end of the beach a very modern and I really don’t like the look of them. Anyway I tried a couple of shots but to no avail.

My next stop was just a few kilometres down the road at a place called Sandvika, that is, I wasn’t actually at Sandvika but I could see it across the fjord from where I parked. I made a couple of pano shots and they look ok but need a bit of working on before I publish them anywhere

So eventually I made it to a rest area just before Hamnøy tunnel. I’ve stayed there before whilst Fiona was with me and we found it ok. Decent heated toilet facilities and hot water (a big bonus when washing up the pots and pans!)

Whilst sorting the van out for the evening I noticed in the distance a large ship passing by and then saw that the mountains in the far distance were visible. I got the 100-400mm lens out and stretched it to its full extent and took this image. I’m really pleased the way it’s come out.

So not much else to report today. Get my head down ready for an early start and hope for good weather and light in the morning.

Reflections, fishing boats and the great aurora light show!

Tuesday 24 September 2019

I had spent the night at a campsite called Sildpollnes Sjøcamp in a tiny community called Valan, which sticks out on a small peninsular in the area of Vågan, Nordland. It was a really pleasant site and the location was very picturesque. There was a white church a few metres from where I parked the van and later, as I prepared to leave, I put the drone up to get an aerial view of the site. The water was completely still and the reflection of the mountains in the fjord was stunning.

Superb reflection of the mountains behind Valan

I left Valan but stopped about a kilometre up the road at a rest area that gave a great view over the fjord and the harbour I had just come from. I spent more than two hours making images from all kinds of angles and perspectives. I watched as a small fishing boat returning to the harbour was dwarfed by the huge mountains in the background where it had been fishing.

The tiny fishing boat is dwarfed by the mountains behind

The weather was perfect. I’ve been so lucky with the weather, it could have been so different had the weather not played the game for me.

Passing a tiny harbour called Nappsvågen I noticed three large trawlers moored up in a row with the afternoon sun lighting them up. Well I couldn’t miss an opportunity like that.

Tied up in the afternoon sun

I had decided to spend a few more days on the Lofoten Islands before I had to start thinking about heading south, so I headed for Flakstad beach where Fiona and I had really enjoyed our time a few days previously. Also the Aurora forecast promised a bit of a spectacular this evening.

Trolldalsvatnet mountain lit by the setting sun

On arrival at Flakstad I headed straight for Skagsanden Beach (its real name) and the colours of the dying sun did not disappoint. The setting sun was lighting up the west face of Trolldalsvatnet mountain and using the 16mm lens I was able to get an image using the foreground rocks on the beach as leading lines pointing straight at the mountain. I really like this image.

There were quite a few people on the beach and many of them were on road trips like me. I met and got talking to a couple from Luxembourg/Belgium who were travelling together with no end date for their journey. There were also two German guys, one of whom was married to an Australian woman, who were all travelling together on a long holiday from their home in Munich. She was an excellent portrait and wedding photographer. Take a look at her work here. She was also a great talker!!

As the evening wore on and the sun sank lower creating beautiful deep yellows and then reds in the sky, everyone was getting more and more excited at the prospect of a really special Aurora show.

Sure enough around 11.0pm the Northern Lights spectacular began! It was just awe inspiring! The Aurora seemed to fill the sky and wrap itself around everyone. It was like a multi tentacled green monster about to devour whatever it felt like. Yet it also seemed that I could just reach out and touch it, even though it was many miles high, because it filled the sky it felt so close. This was certainly something I shall never forget.

And then it was all over. After around 30 minutes, everything just faded away. But everyone on the beach was just speechless. We all then went back to our vehicles to ponder on what we had just witnessed and how we could describe it to our friends and families. What an end to an unforgettable day.

Swamps and Flying Boats

Monday 23 September 2019

Today was a really interesting day so far as my photography was concerned. Looking for landscapes to photograph, I find, is like waiting for a bus, you wait for ages and then three come along at once.

The journey took me from Bjervik, where I’d spent the night, along the E10 and past a small settlement called Herjangen. Just past there I came across what looked like a huge area of swamp land. The area contained deep brown and tan coloured swamp grass islands that I photographed from as close as I could without falling into the swamp! I put the drone up to see if I could see the depth of the water, but it looked down into black water that seemed quite menacing, so I decided not to go any further into the area.

There were a number of small beautiful plants covered in the morning dew that made really good subjects though.

Just a kilometre up the road there was a very photogenic lake, I later learned was Lake Gállojávr. On the banks of the lake the wispy reeds were covered in the morning’s frost and in the distance I could see a small fisherman’s hut. It looked idyllic.

A little further up the road I came upon the small village of Lødingen where there’s a memorial to those killed in the crash of a Shorts Sunderland Flying Boat, the “Kvitbjørn”, in August 1947. The remains of one of the engines serves as the memorial centrepiece. Very poignant.

As I continued along the E10 I came to the Vesterstraumen Bru (bridge), a fine example of the design and engineering achievements of the modern road engineering that has taken place over the last forty years in Norway.

Vesterstraumen Bru

That evening I made my way to a campsite I’d been to before at Sildpollnes Sjøcamp in the Vågan area of Nordland and settled in for the night. This site is in the most picturesque of surroundings and is very close to a really pretty little harbour where you can watch small fishing boats go in and out all day to their local fishing grounds.

A small local fishing boat makes its way out to the fjord
Sildpollnes Sjøcamp is on the end of the peninsular you can see centre right
The local fishing boat dwarfed by the surrounding mountains

Meandering Southward

Sunday 22 September2019

It had snowed a little during the night but nothing major and I went for a walk a little way up the mountain. As I mentioned yesterday, this was after all, a National Park.

The beauty of this country never ceases to inspire me and I’ve just run out of words to describe it. It seems that around every corner there is another piece of landscape that seems to be competing with the one I saw previously. This mountain forest was no exception and the weather was behaving itself for a change so I took the opportunity to make some intimate landscape images.

I’ve decided that I’ll spend a few days back on Lofoten and then head south so I made my way off the island and joined the E10 south and hoped to capture some good images on the way. I would stop when and where the opportunity arose. 

I eventually found myself in a small town called Bjerkvik, a placed I’d visited on my way up to Tromsø. On that occasion I had camped on the marina but the facilities were extremely basic and they charged 150NOK for the priviledge. This time I decided to wild camp and found a rest area a couple of kilometres outside of town with a tremendous view overlooking the fjord and, to top it all, this evening’s sunset was very pleasant, as you can see.

Ships and helicopters!

Saturday 21 September 2019

0924hrs

Up at 6 to the sound of sleeting on the van roof. Looked out of the window to discover I had camped next to a large ship. It doesn’t look like fishing boat but it is working at something. 

Honestly, it wasn’t there when I went to bed!!!

After breakfast set off to photograph the mountains just up the road, looking moody with sleet and cloud. 

Super landscape to spend the night in

Drove past Sjøtun and got a picture of a house with a fishing boat and the mountains behind. Looked typical Norway. 

Just so Norwegian.

Then continued in the direction of Sommarøy island. Stopped in a rest area just before the bridge to get some panos of bridge and nearby islands. 

Such beautiful modern bridges

1020hrs

A bit of excitement when an air ambulance landed at the Sommarøy Hotel together with a road ambulance. Patient taken away by road. 

Brought back a few memories of a previous career

Brought back a few memories

With the excitement over I headed south to a small bay and got pics of the distant snow covered mountains of Kvaløya   

1130 

Took some shots from under the Sommarøy bridge with boat passing under, but the light was rubbish so they’ll probably go in the bin.

During planning about 6 months ago, I had seen a place called Oteren and I decided now would be the time to go there as it is more or less on the way to Lofoten and I’ve decided that I will spend a few more days exploring the Lofoten islands before I begin the journey south. 

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I can’t find anywhere to park the van to get good shots of the mountains around Oteren, so I’m going to find a place to stay for the night and make some detailed plans for the rest of road trip. 

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I’m now back at a place I camped at about 4 weeks ago called Lullefjellet Naturreservat at Skibotn just off the E6. It’s in a forest, surrounded by high mountains and very quiet. This’ll do! 

Saying Goodbye to Fiona!

Friday 20 September 2019

This is the day Fiona flies home to the UK from Tromsø. We spent the night (and most of yesterday) at the Tromsø Camping which, even though it looks like a car park and is very clinical, has some excellent facilities, including a sauna.

We packed everything up and sorted the van out then headed for the centre of Tromsø to a bakeri coffee shop called KaffeBonna. http://www.kaffebonna.no/ We had coffee and cake (delicious and a bargain at only £22 !!!!) We had a quick look around the street market that was happening and then headed to the airport. 

Norwegian priced coffee and cake at the kaffe bonna

1230 

Said goodbye and safe journey to Fi and off she went. 

SAS Flight SK4423 takes off from Tromsø with Fi on board after a brilliant holiday with me.

I headed off to an island called Kvaløya to the west of Tromsø and had a good look around before I found a place to wildcamp for the night. It was at the head of ….fjord. Snow is forecast for during the night so I hope I can get away in the morning! 

PS

1.0am

Message from Fiona to say that she was home safe 😊

Washing and Packing

Thursday 19 September 2019

(Most of this post written by FIONA Illingworth, whilst enjoying her well deserved holiday with me here in Norway)

9.05 am

We stopped in a rest area last night, shared only with some sort of tanker. It was bitter cold and windy, so we slept with the roof down. We had a good meal of pasta with sausage and tomato sauce and managed to catch up on some writing. John’s blog has not had the same attention since I arrived and he has used a lot of text from my journal to update the days we have shared. He will have to get back into the habit of doing it more regularly when I go home.

It has snowed in the mountain tops overnight and they look spectacular this morning as we drive along the E8 with the Balsfjorden to our left. The E8 was traditionally a track built for reindeer and sled, built along the borders of Northern Norway, Sweden and Finland for market trading. It was only navigable in the winter. It has a number of border crossing points along its spine into Sweden. It was the Germans who built a road for traffic when they occupied Norway during the Second World War. Now it is open all year round and is an impressive road, it must be said, stretching for 622 kilometres.

We don’t have far to travel today and our plan is to spend most of the day in the very expensive campsite at Tromsø, where I need to pack my bag and John needs to use the laundry facilities. It will be good to get a shower as it feels like it’s been a while!

The cooking gas finally gave up this morning. I think it has done really well to last this long given the amount of usage it has had, particularly whilst I have been here. It was a bit of a struggle to get the new bottle in the locker. The trick, we learnt, is to put it in head first. The new bottle should last John the rest of his trip, with a bit of luck. He won’t cook as much as I have done for a start!

5.30 pm
Well, I have managed to pack my rucksack without much of a problem. There is something rather depressing about packing dirty clothes into bag, not nearly as much fun as packing clean clothes in a bag to set off somewhere. I managed to get everything I needed for the plane in the little crappy black rucksack that John brought with him. He is pleased about that: I can leave him the far superior orange rucksack that I brought out with me.

I wasn’t too sure about this campsite as it seemed expensive and looked huge and rather regimental. I thought it might be somewhat impersonal. But actually the facilities are brilliant. We have eaten boiled eggs for lunch, had a shower and John has done one load of washing. We’ve also enjoyed a fabulous sauna, all included in the cost Great site!

Tromsø Camping

So we’re all packed and ready to take Fiona to the airport tomorrow. It’s been a great three weeks and it’ll be back to talking to myself tomorrow afternoon!

Bergsfjord

Wednesday 18 September 2019

(Most of this post written by FIONA Illingworth, whilst enjoying her well deserved holiday with me here in Norway)

8.30 am

We are up and have had half our breakfast. We will also have toast but John has gone to ask the Norwegian air stewards if he can take their photo whilst they have their breakfast outside. It is quite cold this morning and we are both full of admiration for them. They are made hardy here if nothing else. 

There are two caddy vans here too and I am amazed how much they manage to cram into the small space. They have to cook mostly outside or from the back of the tailgate. We have seen both extremes: huge mobile homes and then these small caddy vans. I think we have got it about right. John and I have shared this space of ours, with two lots of camera kit and a drone. It has been a tad squashed at times but mostly it is fine. Having said that, I am sure John will be glad of the extra space when I go back. 

It is colder and breezier today and there is a real threat of snow tonight so let’s see how today goes. John wants to have a go taking a time lapse this morning. If we are going to potter about on the beach for any length of time then I am going to have to put on some more layers. Packing the rucksack tomorrow and deciding what to take and what to leave in the van will be an interesting one. John suggested I leave the tripod but I am reluctant to do that because I may want to use it at home.

4.15 pm

We are on a small road between two mountains, just off the 854, and on our way to Storsteinnes and have come upon a perfect little lake, Ytre Fiskelaus-vatnet, by Furudal. The mountain peaks have a covering of snow.  I had a go at shooting the mountains and the water using my cokin filters. Not sure how successful it will be but time will tell. It is freezing cold even though the sun is shining; the car dashboard says it is 6 degrees. 

On our way back over the mountains we stopped at a place called Bergsbotn where a viewing platform has been built to enable visitors to view the whole of Bergsfjord and the mountains in the background. The mountains in the background include Hesten and Segla that we visited and hiked up, Hesten, a few days ago.

Bergsfjord

Not sure where we will stop tonight but its about time we started thinking about our night stop before the weather deteriorates

The Northern Lights at last!

Tuesday 17 September 2019

(Most of this post written by FIONA Illingworth, whilst enjoying her well deserved holiday with me here in Norway)

Up with the lark this morning in order to catch the ferry to Skrolsvik.  

We were alerted last night by the campsite warden to say that the northern lights were visible. It was a cold night but we went out and were finally treated to a bit of a display. They weren’t very bright to be honest; it was just our luck that the campsite was well illuminated and the lights of the town didn’t help either. But we DID see it and, of course, the camera saw it better than our naked eye. It was something at least and I can always say now that I have seen them.

The Northern Lights at last!

We stayed up at least an hour or so hoping for more. There were faint murmurings but it didn’t amount to a great deal.  Nonetheless, it was exhilarating to watch, wait and hope.

8.30 am

Complete fail this morning!  Turns out the ferry terminal we first located only goes to Sørrollnes and not Skrolsvik.  So then we googled the terminal and we ended up at Stornes where, despite the indications of a ferry line on the map, the ferry does not go to Skrolsvik but only to a small island called Grytøya.  We simply turned round and took the return ferry journey of approx 10 minutes. No charge and we both benefitted from the toilet facilities!  The ticket man told John that there hasn’t been a ferry to Skrolsvik from Stornes for years. Such is life!

I am still convinced that there is a ferry terminal in Harstad that would take us to Skrolsvik but I doubt we will ever find it. Instead we are reverting to plan C, which is to go back to the ferry terminal we first visited at 7.30 am and take the ferry to Sørrollnes. It doesn’t look as though it will save much time on our journey to Senja but it will be an alternative route and open up the possibilities of new photo opportunities!

I see no ships!

So here goes … let’s see how we fare with Plan C. Just about to dock on the island of Hinnøya once again!

9.20 am

On board ferry number two to Sørrollness. We were lucky … we just rolled on as the last vehicle before the ferry shut its door. They really don’t mess about here. Doors open and shut, vehicles drive on and off with impressive speed. I guess catching a ferry is so much a part of daily life for many here. 

At least we’re on a ferry going somewhere!!

It is another promising day. I hope the weather holds as the forecast doesn’t look great for the next few days. 

11.40 am

We have driven up the tiny road from tunnel linking Rolla to Andørja, in search of a spot to have a snack. We had to drive quite a few kilometres but found somewhere just as we were about to give up and turn around. Just beyond the lay-by I spotted a small path leading to an old picnic table looking out onto the bay. It was completely invisible from the road and perfect in every way. It was so still you could have heard a pin drop.

Island life must be hard a lot of the time I’m sure but there is part of me thinking that they have it sorted. They know how to live the good life: no rushing and living on top of each other.  They have space to spread out.  Many have wonderful views from their homes, a couple of outbuildings, probably one of which is a winter sauna.  Many have a small boat (probably a must in most places around the small islands).  Children start school at 6 years old.  They leave their bikes unlocked outside their house.  It seems pretty idyllic to me.

I wonder – have we forgotten to actually enjoy life’s simple pleasures in the UK? John had just started to listen to the UK news last night (when we heard of the damning indictment of the Luxembourg PM on Boris Johnson) when we heard a knock at our window. It was the campsite warden telling us of the Northern Lights. Suddenly the news didn’t seem that interesting (not that it was to me in the first place to be honest). It takes a holiday to remind you to focus on the small but at the same time increasingly important things in life … nature, quiet, time with loved ones, space to simply be. The Danish have a word for this: hygge. I need more of this in my life for sure although I do think, as I get older, I focus on this more. Long may this development continue!

1.35 pm

We stopped along the 84 road to try and capture some of the autumn colours in the trees but it is so much more difficult than it looks. The trees look incredible from a distance but when you get up close you lose the canopy of orange and yellow; the trees take on their individual nature. So it doesn’t make for the great sweeping swathes of colour, which is what I was hoping to capture. Instead, I have gone in very close and shot the red ferns that carpet the floors of the forests. It is beautiful, sure enough, but not really what I was after. I think, now, we have lost the best of the light but who knows what the rest of the days will bring, forecast notwithstanding.

Beautiful autumn forest colours

4.25 pm

We stopped at a traditional bakery and cafe to have a cinnamon bun and coffee and the lady who served us told us that it would snow on Thursday. It has prompted me to reconsider our plans to stop in Senja for two nights. I would be happier if we drove back onto the mainland tomorrow night; I don’t want to risk having to drive over a mountain in bad weather. Maybe I am over reacting; we are in Norway after all. But I don’t want to take the risk in any case.

So now we are at Ersfjord and the light is quite flat at the moment. Out to sea the clouds look interesting so it may well develop into a promising sunset. It is raining very lightly but I am sure it will only last a short while. This is a beautiful country and we come across fantastic scenes around every corner.

8.55 pm

We have had an uneventful evening at Ersfjord.   I attempted to take the sunset but the sun refused to play. However there were some quite dramatic clouds overhead and I hope I’ve captured those.  I reduced the exposure by 2 stops for a more dramatic effector.  I do hope it works!  It looked good on the back of the camera, but then it usually does. 

Whilst I was waiting for the sunset, John got talking to one of a group of four young women who were setting up campy on the beach. They had two tents between them. Turns out they are all air stewards for Norwegian Airlines. They had four days off together so just decided to head up to Senja. They were most impressive … building a log fire and setting up their tents etc. It is raining hard now so I hope they manage to heat up their food before the downpour. 

Hardy women these Norwegian Airline staff

Our plan is to slowly make our way back to the mainland tomorrow. It seems crazy to have driven all this way for one night but I would rather not be negotiating mountains roads in sleet and rain on Thursday.  

The Man of the Sea

Monday 16 September 2019,

(Most of this post written by FIONA Illingworth, whilst enjoying her well deserved holiday with me here in Norway)

10.00 am

Gosh, it is 10 am already. Half the morning is gone. We were up and at a viewpoint just by Ryggedalen Tunnel this morning, before breakfast. It is a stunning view. I did a bit of yoga whilst John took some footage with the drone. The landscape is looking amazing, resplendent in autumn colours, but so difficult to capture on camera. I spotted loads of cepes growing amongst the bracken and ferns, and what I think were blueberries, which are in season at the moment.

The plan today is to drive down to Bø and then take a circular route via Staumsnes. We saw some beautiful scenes as we drove down the 820 road last night.

We were the only vehicle at the rest area by Ryggedalen Tunnel last night. I think this route is off the main tourist trail. Given the stunning scenery, I suspect there will be a lot of stopping and starting along this road this morning. We’ve only just set off and we’ve stopped already!

12.12 pm Bø

We found The Man of the Sea sculpture and he was certainly worth the drive.

He is made from cast iron and crystal and looks very poignant, with rather sad eyes and enormous feet!

The piece was created by Norwegian Artist Kjell Erik Killi Olsen. He stands 43 meters above the bay at Vinje looking out to sea.

The bay itself is beautiful. It is so quiet here and you can just hear the gentle hum of traffic on the 820 road nearby. In addition to the sculpture, there is an exhibition about all the art works included in the project. I must say, I like some better than others, but then it would be a boring world if art spoke to us all in the same way. I also think that it is highly likely you would change your mind about a piece when you saw it in the landscape and in the flesh, so to speak.

1.40 pm

Still in the carpark by The Man of the Sea having had some lunch and now researching about where we go for the next few days. We are considering a drive to Harstad, followed by a ferry crossing to Senja first thing in the morning. It sounds fun!

We could, of course, simply drive along roads we have already travelled to get to Senja, but it feels more adverturous to take a different route.

6.40 pm

We have driven via Sortland to Harstad, which is still part of the islands of Nordland though I am not sure if they still form part of what is known as the Versterålens. I don’t think they are by the looks of the map. Good old google says that Harstad is located on the island of Hinnøya, and is the third largest town in Nordland.

We are only camping here overnight and catching the ferry across to Senja in the morning; we must be up early. It feeels right to return to Senja. The place where my trip to Norway began and now the place it will end.

7.55 pm

Amazing how the campsites vary. We are in Harstad and compared to some of the others we have tried, this does not compare well. The campsite near Myre, where we stayed on Saturday was fantastic compared to this. It had excellent kitchen facilities and free showers. This one, on the other hand, charges for a shower and the kitchen facilities are poor to say the least. A couple of hot plates is the best they can do and they seem to be taking forever to heat up the food! The campsite warden is friendly but this place certainly lack a woman’s touch for sure.

Cooking facilities!