Daily GPS track:
As the sun got up, the weather improved dramatically from the storm we had during the night. We waited a bit before leaving, and when we finally did the sun was shining. During the ride towards the first ferry the roads also dried up, so no worries about them being slippery as well.
So far we had been very lucky with all the ferries, the maximum waiting time had only been something like 10 minutes at max. For this one though, we had to wait for about 40 minutes. Not really a problem, the weather was perfect so we could just hang out and enjoy the morning sun watching fish in the fjord.
This was one of the big ferries (Jektvik - Killboghavn), so the cars were put below deck and the people could go into the cafeteria on board.
"I don’t think there’s enough room for all passengers in there!"
I found out later this ferry actually crossed the arctic circle (well, at least the coordinates 66° 33′ 44″).
Even though we didn't know at the time I still like the idea of having done this with friends.
After another section of nice riding we came to the intersection between route 17 which went south-west, and route 12 which went back east to Mo I Rana. This is where we would split ways, as Bart and Jasmin were getting back to the E6 to get to Trondheim on the same day. I wanted to follow and finish the 17. We exchanged phone numbers, promised we would try to meet up in Oslo (which we did later), and Bart set up the camera for a group pic:
Finnish people are not that small, we Dutch are just big people .
Jasmin and Bart would go the left here, I would turn right.
I remember thinking, in neither a positive or negative way, ‘so, we’re alone again’ (Even though the bike has no name, and I don’t talk to it or something like that, I tend to think of doing the trip as a ‘we’, e.g. ‘We made it!’, ‘We need to find fuel’ etc.). I never felt lonely during the entire trip, in a sense that I needed company or someone to talk to. But it still was nice to ride with someone else and share the experience while it was happening, instead of only telling about it later and show the pictures (which is still nice, that’s why I’m doing it here
Another ferry was coming up at Nesna, and I got some groceries and fuel in town first. After that, the waiting time turned out to be almost one and a half hour. Not really a chore, since the weather was amazing, so I just put the bike on the center stand and laid back on my luggage while reading my book.
After the crossing the landscape opened up, and I started looking for a place to sleep. There were fenced lands everywhere, but I eventually found a resting area at the remains of what I at the time thought to be some kind of Norwegian-Soviet prison camp. There were stones with Russian names carved in them placed on the ground, and a statue with the communist hammer and sickle was standing there as well. The place in general reminded me a bit of a concentration camp I had visited in the Netherlands some years ago, because outlines of buildings appeared visible.
I didn’t take my camera with me while checking it out, so sadly no pictures
. I wanted to come back in the morning for that, but that didn’t work out as I’ll explain in the next entry.
This 'camp' was not very far from the sea, and I found what turned out to be a cattle track going around it. I followed it and ended up pitching my tent between the camp and the sea.
This place was amazing, definitely another highlight of the trip. I’ll just post the pictures:
Not too close to the 'prison camp' to feel uncomfortable about it, and still slightly covered by trees but with a great view of the coast. Had to watch my step though as there was manure everywhere.
These sheep visited as soon after setting up camp, and there were no fences between me and them. So when I got spotted…
…one started running and they didn't stay for a chat.
Normally I’m not really into black and white, but is seems appropriate here.
Self-portrait in the water surface mirror.
I think I kinda like these black ‘n white edits (these were taken in color), so I’ll try to do it every now and then from now on if it seems appropriate.
Yep, this place was without a doubt another highlight.
The shallow water between the stones was mirroring the skies amazingly.
As it got later I got another visit from some more sheep, these reminded me of a Dutch sheep race, the ‘Texelaar’.
They were not afraid at all, and just passed by grazing.
The sheep were passing by, but some bad weather was approaching.
These dark rainclouds were coming straight for me so I quickly prepared and ate dinner. The winds picked up and soon became stormy, so after securing everything I got into the tent.
The rain soon started, and kept going strong throughout the night. In combination with the strong winds the tent was violently shaking back and forth, but again I had no trouble falling asleep through this (I always have difficulty sleeping at home, so I’m still surprised because of this
). Because rain and winds had been common almost every night so far, I wasn’t really worried about the next day…
Because of the ferries I only traveled 200km, with 02:30 in the seat, averaging 80 km/h. Currently 1620km away from home.
When I got home I found out the 'camp' was actually a Russian war cemetery with over 7000 dead. There were hardly any signs or anything, you would think something like that can hardly be overlooked and would be better explained on site. Or maybe I just missed it, which could easily be the case after a day of riding.