Towards the Arctic Circle & Beyond: 68 North! (continued)

If you missed Part I of this blog post, please follow this link 🙂

Otherwise, let’s continue:

Saturday, August 22nd: 

Itinerary: Moskenes –> Svolvaer (including a bazillion stops)

Events: Oh man, another eventful day: we woke up early once again, packed up our tent for the second time and hopped into the car.

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The plan was to make it to Svolvaer (which lies at the other end of Lofoten) at the end of the day and backtrack our way back to Moskenes over the remaining days.  However, we also planned a morning hike to a beach, which turned out to be gorgeous!!! and stopped at a few more locations for random nature gorgeousness.

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Once in Svolvaer, we had a nice dinner in town and camped for the night.

Highlights:

DEFINITELY a big highlights day. Where to start?

First off, Vale and I took a dip into the North Arctic waters in our bikinis. Yup, the water was freezing, but I’ve always wanted to do it, and if not now, then when? 😀

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We thought this would be the highlight of the trip but then the craziest thing happened…

20 mins away from Svolvaer we stopped to take a picture and 2 minutes later hopped back into the car, and guess what? It wouldn’t start. We looked at each other crazily and decided to give the rental company a call. The guy goes, uhm, you left the lights on; it’s probably the battery. We told him that we didn’t turn the lights on one single time because guess what? There’s light out!! He didn’t believe us and told us to stop a car and ask if they can help start ours (which we were planning to do anyways.)

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The good news is that four girls have a great chance of stopping a car. I mean who wouldn’t want to stop and help four stranded girls? Well, noone, except one German tourist (we assume he’s German :D) who saw us waving and waved back smilingly while continuing his drive 😀

But seriously, a few cars did stop for us: first, it was a Norwegian lady who didn’t have a cable but offered to call the rental company and yell at the guy to send us someone to help (which worked). Second car that stopped belonged to a Norwegian couple who decided to stop because they got stranded in the same spot last winter and were helped and decided to pay it forward (melts my heart). The guy called his friend because he decided that it was definitely not the battery but something else (the fan of the car was working even if the car didn’t want to start..) At that point we weren’t planning on stopping any more cars, but all of a sudden we found one more car stopping for us. A young Norwegian guy stopped and asked if we needed any help. He talked to the other guy and they both decided it’s the “start engine” (?) that was broken; the car had 280000 kms and it was old… At that point the car rental was already sending someone, so we said thank you and bid our helpers goodbye. 10 minutes later, we found the young guy returning with his friend to help. At the same time our real help also arrived. Those Norwegians!! ❤ The guy started the car for us, and we agreed with the rental company to drive back to the other main town and exchange cars. What a day! You’d think we’d be pissed, but all we could do at that point was to laugh, thank God for helpful people, laugh at the guy who just waved back, and tell each other: “Just imagine what would have happened if it were raining?!” (the motto of our trip)

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Sunday, August 23rd: 

Itinerary: Svolvaer –> Unstad (including a bazillion stops)

Events: Sadly, the weather today was iffy. Not too bad because thankfully it didn’t rain too much, but definitely cloudy and mostly grey. We still decided to complete the hike that we originally had planned, so we woke up early as planned and packed all of our stuff including our tent and drove to the base of our hiking spot.

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Afterwards we decided to get a coffee in town and write our postcards before we drove somewhere to have our lunch picnic. It’s pretty awesome where you can end up having lunch on Lofoten!

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Originally, I was planning on going diving on Monday, so we were going to camp nearby. Sadly, the diving shop emailed me in the afternoon to cancel my dive because the divemaster had an ear infection. I tried calling the other dive shop a little further out but unfortunately they didn’t have a dive trip planned for that day.

Given the last minute changes, we decided to drive north and camp in the town that would be the base of our hike the morning after.

Highlights:

The best part of the day was definitely our camping site. This was our first night wild camping; in Norway you are allowed to camp mostly anywhere for free instead of paying for a camping site. We found this gorgeous beach in this tiny town and decided to set up camp.

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We had a dinner picnic, enjoyed the champagne bottle that was gifted to us by Karianne and her husband, created the hashtag #champagnecamping and hung out in our sleeping bags on the beach while watching the sunsets and looking at the goats on the farm closeby!

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Monday, August 24th:

Itinerary: Unstad –> Bodo (including a bazillion stops)

Events: Another early morning which included a breakfast picnic at the beach! For those of you who wonder why we had so many picnics, I would advise you to take a look at the restaurant prices and tell me you’d go for something else as a student. Also, I bet you $1 that you can’t find a restaurant that has as awesome views as the ones we came across while picnic-ing 😀

After breakfast we went on a hike by the coast which was gorgeous and eventually headed back to camp to pack our stuff and slowly make our way back to the other part of the island where our ferry was leaving that night.

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Highlights:

Another day full of highlights!

On our way out of the beach where we had camped for the night, there was a tractor and two guys (who didn’t look older than 18) who were blocking the road and already working on breaking it apart. We had to stop the car and ask if we could pass. The one goes: “Now?” We say Yes, and then he goes we would take 3-4 hours to be done. 😀 So Julia goes, we have a plane to catch, and he responds: Oh if so, let us make a road for you 😀 which takes 5 minutes and then we were off again.

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During our search for a lunch spot, I came across my favorite lunch spot in Lofoten: this awesome tiny beach that was surrounded by mountains and white sand.

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Since we were taking the ferry back that night and had wild camped the night before, we were searching for a shower to clean up. We decided to drive back to the first camping ground that we stayed at in Lofoten and that was the only one that charged for warm water. We figured they wouldn’t mind if we’d use the shower since we would pay for it anyways. Sadly, there was not much going on, so the owner saw us as we drove in and when we asked if we could use the showers really quickly, he refused. Definitely broke the chain of friendly Norwegians we had come across during our trip.

But we soon forgot about him when we experienced a gorgeous goodbye sunset!

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Last highlight included our ride from the ferry terminal to the airport. We were arriving at the ferry terminal at 12.30AM, and we knew that if we made it to the airport by 1AM they would allow us to sleep there. (Bodo Hostel was fully booked for the night). Sadly, arriving at 12.30AM meant that we couldn’t catch a bus to the airport located only 2kms away from town. While waiting in line to get on the ferry, we asked around if anyone was driving to the Bodo airport and found ourselves a ride! Thankfully, we got to the airport in time, and I had a great 7 hours sleep on my sleeping bag and four chairs! Like a true student backpacker!

Tuesday, August 25th:

Itinerary: For the girls: Bodo –> Home

For me: One more day in Bodo, and tomorrow off to Bergen 🙂

Highlights: The girls and I said our “See you laters!” and agreed that none of us expected the trip have gone so smoothly and for us all to get along so well. We were seriously all blessed with how it all turned out and how many memories we now have together. Discussions of future trips are in progress. 🙂

Until the next time!

Dom.

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