Lofoten Islands (Part 2)

The Lofotens really are as picturesque as the guide books suggest. We’ve spent the last few days trundling around admiring the scenery, and have found some fantastic free overnight parking spots. Here’s our campsite on Friday night, right by the beach:

We had a lovely night’s sleep… until the early hours of the morning that is when we were awoken by some pesky sheep. They all have little cow bells round their necks so make a right old racket….

In general terms, since our last post we’ve driven from Andenes on the Northern tip down towards Å, the most Southerly town. You don’t need to use ferries to drive around the Lofotens; there are bridges and tunnels to link each island to the next. I’ve marked where we’ve spent the last 3 nights and our current location on the map below:

On Saturday night we stayed by a little road on the edge of Raftsundet (sometimes the best way to find a good free camping spot is to turn off the main road onto a minor road and see where it takes you). This is a sound that’s popular with cruise ships. We saw a Hurtigruten ship pass by, then later a big German cruise ship.

This was the scene of Mark’s moment of glory: He’s finally caught a fish! and a very tasty fish it was too!

Mark chucked the fish head in the shallows. We’d just finished our tea when Mark commented that the seagulls had got the fish head and taken it to a big rock. The next thing we knew, a white-tailed eagle swooped down, stole the fish head and flew off, far too fast for us to get a photo 😮

We spent last night at a picnic spot above the town of Leknes, then ventured down into town this morning for a bit of shopping and some diesel before continuing on our way. The picnic spot (and particularly the bin thereof) and the petrol station reminded us of things we’ve noticed but haven’t mentioned here yet:

One thing that’s really stood out on the Lofotens has been Norwegians pulling up at parking areas, hopping out of their cars, shoving a bag of rubbish in the bin and driving off. We’ve noticed that the bins all seem to have “for tourists only” labels on them. It was once rumoured at home that our local council were contemplating starting charging for rubbish collections by weight: is this what we would have been reduced to, driving round the countryside with carrier bags of rubbish in the boot of the car, on the prowl for an unguarded bin?

Petrol stations are also a bit odd. We assume that almost everyone must pay by card at the pump. If you press the button to pay in the shop, you find that when you go in, the staff will just happily carry on faffing around stocking shelves with overpriced crisps or whatever they were occupying their time with… You can easily stand there for quarter of an hour before they get round to taking money off you….

We did some food shopping as well. Tomatoes are now off the menu as they’re double the price here that they were further South in Norway. There’s been good news and bad on the food front since our last post…

The bad news is that we’ve lost the last jar of “Sally Jam”. Sally Jam is the crème de la crème of the jam world… and it’s hiding from us…. and when Sally reads this she may decide we’re not to be trusted with future supplies 😥

All clouds do have a silver lining, though, and in this case, on emptying the Ikea cupboard (as it’s known) looking for the jam I found a tin of Morrisons new potatoes lurking at the back. I never thought I’d be excited at the prospect of a tin of spuds, but there we are, that’s what Norway can do to you 🤣  I managed to fob Mark off with some honey to meet his immediate need for something jam-like to go on his bread. Only half an hour later, he suddenly announced “you only gave me the honey so I wouldn’t eat the peanut butter” (we’re on the last jar and it’s precious…). Damn, he’s learning 🙄 Five years ago it would’ve taken him at least a fortnight to work that one out 😁
From Leknes, we’ve driven an hour or so South to our current location, a picnic spot in a particularly windy spot on the coast. A lot of the picnic spots in this Southern part of the islands seem to have “No Camping” signs up. This one doesn’t: perhaps it doesn’t need one 💨 💨 Time to move on, before Kampington does a Mary Poppins….