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Old 10-06-2012, 03:09 AM   #35
Thijs_B OP
Keeps on dreaming
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: That floaty bit just north of France
Oddometer: 84
Thumb Day 10 - The Narvik area

That day I left the cabin late, giving me a bit of the morning off and a chance to sleep in. Since the camping was near a military training zone I woke up to the sound of choppers coming over. As I left I saw some amphibious vehicles being transported on the back of trucks, guess there was a big training going on today.

GPS track:

That day I would have to make the decision if I was going to the Lofoten or not. From what I understood of the weather report, the predictions for the coming days were absolutely not favorable and remembering the weather of the previous day I decided not to go. I followed some smaller roads in the general direction of that region, hoping to get at least a little taste of what I was missing out on.

Beautiful country

Hardly had any rain that day. But since the Lofoten stretch out into the ocean I figured if there’s gonna be rain somewhere it’s definitely going to be there, and probably loads of it. It was hard to make the decision to go south instead of west.

In the area around Narvik there had been a lot of fighting in WWII, and there were memorials scattered everywhere. These provided some nice resting stops, and some reading material on the many battles that had taken place there.

Fire in tha hole!

The E6 runs right through Narvik, the first city-like area I’ve seen since Rovaniemi in Finland, and it provided some variety with busy traffic lights and well lit modern tunnels. Was happy to get out of there though, city riding is not for me.

A bridge just south-west of Narvik.

I following the E6 when I soon came through this area:

It was a fjord, but looked more like a lake.

I remember thinking ‘It would be nice to camp here…’. It was not that late, but this was such a nice area that I found a resting stop on a small island and started to check out the surroundings for the possibility of putting the tent. The ground was a bit marshy, but there were definitely possibilities around. The next section of the route would take me towards the open fjords again so it would be harder to find something there, might as well do it here then. When I came back to the bike there was another one parked nearby, with a strange plate. First thing the guy said to me (in Dutch) was that I was the first Dutchmen he had met in quite a while.

His name is Bart, and he had come riding all the way from China with his Finnish girlfriend Jasmin two-up on a 250cc Yamaha they bought there. They were en route to Oslo and wanted to settle there for a while. They apparently had seen me earlier taking pictures and were kind of chasing me, it was purely coincidence they drove down the same resting area where I was, looking for a toilet break.

We ended up camping there together. There were park benches, and a fireplace near the water’s edge and even a toilet up at the resting area. I’m not sure this qualifies as ‘wild camping’

We put the tents on the small path that was there, the surrounding area was either too muddy or the soil too wet.

While Bart was working on a campfire, I prepared some cheeseburgers for all of us. After the fire was finally going Jasmin made some pasta pesto, which was very salty since she tried to enhance the flavor by adding salt water from the fjord.

The amount of pesto in there was also a bit high, but it was very nice nonetheless.
Again bad focus here, I need some practice in low-lit photography

As darkness came over the fjord we waited up for another chance to see the northern lights, as the skies had completely cleared up.

Jasmin trying to get warm at the fire. Being a Fin she didn’t really understand why us Dutchies wanted to see the lights so bad.

While waiting I played around with some long exposure shots.

Truck driving past on the opposite shore. The interruptions are trees next to the water.

Aircraft on approach to Narvik airport. Even though the area was amazing here we were directly under the approach route, so we had multiple aircraft flying over throughout the evening.

It was nice there with the fire, and some friendly conversation. No luck with the northern lights though, and it was almost midnight so we gave up and got into the tents.

I forgot to check the TomTom before midnight, so I don't have the exact stats. The GPS track is 290 km long though, it was an easy-going day.
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