And so the next part of our journey begins. In the rain of course. And a couple of days later than planned. But we made it – out of Gatwick airport at 5:50am with all the Great British Travellers going to places like Alicante and Lanzagrote. Needless to say our flight to Oslo was probably less than half full. It was a relief to arrive in Oslo airport and find that the travellers there had chosen sturdy hiking boots and heavy duty jackets over shorts, flip-flops and sunhats. It never ceases to amaze me how the English seem to think they can get away with travelling to the airport in the attire they are expecting to wear on the beach at their destination.
We had a busy afternoon in Bodo checking out of the marina, picking up books we’d ordered and doing some last minute shopping. Our lovely harbour master Joanna was there to greet us and take our money in exchange for endless advice on the Lofoten’s. I think she would’ve waved us off if she wasn’t run off her feet taking care of other visitors. Bodo appears to be an important port for tourists exploring the north and fishermen going about their daily business.
We set off for the Lofotens after a delicious dinner at the Big Horn Steak House. There are’t many great restaurants in Bodo so i feel this one deserves a mention. The 60 miles from Bodo to Reine was spectacular. It was freezing cold but we had amazing scenery – first through the islands off the coast of Norway and then as we pushed out to sea, we could see the mountains and valleys of the Lofotens off in the distance. From there it was just watching them grow bigger and more dramatic until we passed through into Reine. Well actually the clouds got there first, so our initial entrance to Reine looked a bit like this:
Almost guarding the entrance to the harbour was a pod of killer whales. Capt Haddock woke me up at about 5am practically ready to swim in after them. It was amazing to see them cruising around us, probably checking us out as much as we were watching them.
And of course, we had 24 hour sunlight! I saw the midnight sun at about 1am, dipping to maybe a hands breadth above the horizon. Interestingly, in one direction it looked like dawn, while the other direction looked like dusk. And straight up the sky was blue as day (and a bit cloudy).
We pulled into Reine, a small fishing village on one of the most southern islands, Moskenesoy. It is known primarily for it’s specacular views, which I think we would’ve appreciated more if we weren’t exhausted and it wasn’t cloudy and raining! We spent ages mooring up and were finally in bed at around 6:30am.
It is easy to imagine losing all track of time up here. It’s taken no time at all for our body clocks to become completely confused by the daylight. Night watches could be day watches and morning could be evening. while i am sure that people who live here all of their lives have ways of adjusting, I think we’re going to find it difficult to maintain a normal sleep / wake cycle. For example we’ve just finished dinner and it’s 23:45!!