A whole day is what! A day of walking and sunshine and puffins and sheep and sleep and rain. I’ll keep it brief but it would be a shame to miss out on the photos… Started the day with a lovely breakfast.

We left Alesund early to go to a little island called Runde, just round the corner. Sunshine feels like a distant memory now… 

Runde is apparently the (a) place to see puffins in Norway (apart from Svalbard that is). Not that we haven’t seen puffins before, but why pass on an opportunity to see more?! So we motored into their lovely little Marina and walked around the island an up a steep hill to see the puffins on the cliffs. There were lots of sheep… 

And lovely scenery. This is looking back down on the village we passed at the start of the walk: 

It was only about a 200m climb then we were on a lovely plateau of grassy fields. 

With more sheep

And here are the cliffs: 

Fortuntely we’d been pre-warned – the puffins spend the day at sea. They’re only on the cliffs at night. Best time to see them is around 21:00. This was 9:00. So we weren’t entirely expecting puffins, maybe hopeful for the odd couple left behind. Unfortunately no such luck, but we had a secret weapon in hand. After spending some time looking out over the cliffs we made our way back to Hal. 

 

Everyone kept telling us the best way to see the birds by day is to take a boat trip. And these need to be booked well in advance. Not for us though. We modified our route slightly and set off to see the birds aboard Hal. 

Unfortunately without super telephoto lenses, they don’t photograph well, but in the water, trust us, all those black dots are birds. And the white on the cliffs behind are evidence of birds. We got up just close enough for Captain Haddock to get a bit nervous. 

Not quite as brave as the tourist boat… Then we headed south again towards Stat. I mentioned this in the last blog. Stat, or Staland, is meant to be the most protruding part of the coastline. In order to get past, you have to go out to sea. Looking at the charts, there are a lot of wrecks to avoid. Apparently in foul weather there is also a guide boat to help people around. So we approached with some trepidation. Fortunately, while it was raining, we had calm seas all the way round. Unlike the following day! We managed a brief sail but the wind did that thing it always seems to do where it turns on the nose just as we round a corner.  

Anyway, we had a wet but otherwise uneventful afternoon, which I may have mostly slept through but there’s no clear evidence. We arrived at our penultimate stop for the day fairly late, around 8pm, just in time for a quick dinner (mmmm tacos) and a visit to an 8th century monastery, St Sunniva i Klostervagen. 

Unfortunately we couldn’t stay as the lovely little pontoon was reserved for the daily ferry bringing tourists from Stat. 

We left Selja and motored to Silda, which was a beautiful quiet Marina with a mermaid guarding the entrance. 

Unfortunately we arrived late and left early so didn’t see much of the village, but managed an excellent night’s sleep ready for the storms ahead… 

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