Day 178 Moskenes to Rolvsfjorden, Lofoten Islands.

fullsizeoutput_9323Both of us slept like logs last night, after our disrupted night the night before. Whist trying to warm up in the campsite’s restaurant / bar, there was a sudden influx of humanity just as the World Cup football match between Belgium and Brazil started. They all huddled around the TV, and most seemed to be supporting Belgium. By half time, I could stand the whooping and cheering no more, and headed back to Oscar to have our tea. Howard listened to the rest of the match on the radio iPlayer – it seems we had seen all the goals before we left.

This morning, we decided to move on from our very friendly campsite in Moskenes. We wanted to explore more of the Lofotens, and it made no sense to be constantly driving back to the tip each evening. So we headed northwards, past beautiful Reine, which today had much less appeal in the dull flat light than it had done two days earlier.

This morning, before leaving the campsite, we had purchased a proper map of the Lofotens, having previously been navigating on a large scale map of Norway, which showed little detail. The joy of this new map was that as well as pointing out places of interest, it also marked coffee shops – a stroke of genius. So that was how we found ourself headed for the tiny fishing hamlet of Sund, in search of coffee stop number one! There appeared to be only two things in Sund, apart from a small harbour – a blacksmiths and the delightful Kafe Stampen. What a find it turned out to be! The charming girl who served us persuaded us to try her homemade waffles, with brown cheese, soured cream and jam on top. It sounds odd, I know, but it was absolutely delicious. Howard asked her why the cheese was brown. It turns out it is a mixture of milk, cream and whey, warmed until it caramelised. This brown cheese is a speciality here in Norway, and despite it’s rather off-putting colour, I would thoroughly recommend it.

We then headed on, taking a look along Selsfjord, at the north-west side of Flakstadoya, the second island up the chain. We stopped for our lunch in a wonderful little lay-by, that had put out picnic tables and chairs covered with a grass-roofed canopy, and the WC likewise was decked in a turf roof. So we sat and ate our cheese rolls looking out across the fjord – very pleasant.

A little further on we diverted again to a place called Vitken, to visit a glass-blowing studio called Glasshytta. There we watched the glass-blower skilfully produce a beautiful multi-coloured vase, and ridiculously purchased a small glass heart. The insanity of our decision will only be obvious to those of you who have seen at first hand the minute size of our living quarters, and the lack of storage. I suspect we will have to send it home with Oliver, when we meet up with him in Tromso in a weeks time.

Continuing north, we passed into Vestvagoy, and turned off the main road and headed to a series of beaches. Our first stop was Vik, recommended by a photographer friend for displaying lots of patterns in the sand at low tide. Unfortunately, the tide was up when we arrived, so Howard duly obliged with the sand patterns by excitedly writing the score of the England : Sweden match in the sand. He thinks he’s funny! It was a lovely beach though, and had it not been so cloudy, we may have been tempted to wild camp and wait for the midnight sun.

Our final stop of the day was at another beautiful beach called Utailiev. As well as lovely white sand, at one end of the beach is a series of rock layers, interspersed with rock pools. I spent half an hour or so taking some photos, whilst Howard went off for a brisk walk, leading me with the other ‘photo geeks’ on the rocks. In truth, the rock pools were amazing, filled with fluorescent green weed and some amazing rock patterns – he doesn’t know what he missed!

By now it was getting late, so we headed to our campsite. The reviews for this place were pretty mixed, but it was within a reachable distance, so we decided to risk it. Amongst the reviews, one person said, and I quote, ‘The camping owner drinks too much, he lets the pizzas burn … is ashaming.’ Another said, ‘It is the only place I have stayed where you cannot adjust the water temperature in the shower and it was burning hot’. Well luckily, we have had none of these problems. We were greeted by the owner’s young daughter, who was charming, and definitely not drunk. However, she informed us that the electricity had ‘broken’, and there was no hot water in the showers – confirmed by a New Zealander who had just discovered this to his detriment! So, we will not be scalding ourselves in the shower tonight! And it goes without saying, no WiFi or 4G coverage – so this post will not go out tonight either. It is ashaming!

But at least England won the football! Or, if you’re reading this, and Scottish, change to – and to top it all, the final straw is that England won the football!

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