Distance covered by:
Plane: ~ 3000 km (1865 mi)
Ferry: ~ 220 km (137 mi)
Bike: ~ 200 km (124 mi)
Foot: ~ 40 km (25 mi)
Bus: ~ 10 km (6 mi)
~ 300 € plane tickets
~ 55 € ferry tickets
~ 120 € bike rental
~ 95 € camping grounds
~ 10 € bus tickets
~ 330 € food/camping Gas/shower etc.
(despite of bringing 6 days worth of food myself!)
On the morning of the 15th of July I took the plane from Hamburg to Bodø via Oslo. Where I then took the ferry to Moskenes on the Lofoten islands. When I stood on the ferry, watching the dark and gloomy looking ridges of the Lofoten archipelago rise on the horizon, I still had no clue what I was going to do when I'd finally reach Moskenes at 9 pm.
My initial plan was to camp the first night at the camping ground directly opposite the ferry pier, take the bus north to Fredvang Kryss the next day and from there backtrack it to Reine with camping stops at Kvalvika and Horseid beach.
But when I looked at the weather forecast it was obvious that I could call myself lucky if there would be no rain for the next 24 hours. After that there was rain for at least two days on the forecast. As I didn't want to "waste" what seemed to be the only night without rain for the next couple of days ahead, I decided to use the time until it started to rain as good as I could, so when I got off the ferry I headed straight for munkebu hut. Which is approximately a 7 km (4.35 mi) hike. Which maybe doesn't sound too hard, but it's pretty steep in parts and with a backpack of about 20 kg (44 lb) it turned out to be way harder than I'd thought it would, to be honest.
Nonetheless I managed to get there in a little over two hours (at around 11:30 pm). If there had been a chance for some nice light of the midnight sun, I might have ascended the summit of munken then, but it still was gray in gray so I only got a quick bite to eat and then settled for my first night of wild camping since I was a child. (If you wonder why I didn't sleep in the hut. It's because you will need to get a key from the tourist information in advance and I didn't want to do that.)
The next day I woke up to a slight drizzle, but nothing too dramatic. So I took my camera stuff and some water and headed for the top of Munken. On my way up, the clouds even broke for a few minutes, but when I reached the summit it was overcast again. I took some snapshots and then got back down to take a break at my tent.
Unfortunately you don't have any cell phone connection near Munken so I didn't know if the weather forecast had changed for the better so I decided to descent again in the direction of Sørvågen.
On my way down my knee started to hurt a little from the unfamiliar weight on my back. So I dropped the plan of hiking from Fredvang to Reine as described above and instead decided to take the bus from Sørvågen straight to Reine. My plan was to rent a bike there so that I could move around the islands, set up my tent somewhere and then be able to hike some more without having to carry around all my luggage and instead leave a big part of it in the tent.
But the weather forecast hadn't changed in the meantime, even worse. When I sat on my bike and thought about where I would go next it had already started to rain and the forecast said it would rain for the next two days. So I figured the best thing to do would be to drive back to Moskenes and set up my tent on the camping ground and wait for the weather to improve.
And it was a long wait. Because the forecast was spot on. It rained for the next ~60 hours. So the next three nights I was stuck there. As you can imagine it's not overly comfortable to sit and wait in a small tent for that long and as the camping ground only offered a small kitchen, which due to the weather, was pretty crowded, for most of that time I set in the small waiting cubicle at the ferry pier reading or surfing the internet on my smartphone as it was dry in there, there was a socket to charge my phone and most of the time there was somebody waiting for the next ferry with whom you could have a small chat about the shitty weather :-D
The only thing worth mentioning in that time happened during the second night when I woke up at around 4:30 am in the morning with the impression of laying on a water bed, as the spot where I had set up my tent was now just a big puddle. So I jumped out into the pouring rain with nothing on but my underwear and moved my tent to next best spot I could find (see the pictures below). But my tent held up pretty well and all was still pretty dry inside so I slipped inside again, muffled up in my sleeping bag, wishing for the rain to stop.
On the following day the rain stopped at least for a few hours, which I used to drive my bike to Reine to get some groceries and take some pictures in Reine and Hamnøy.
Besides that I had I nice chat with Adam and Ashley, two Americans I had met on the campground that I was bound to meet again later on at the beach of Horseid.
After the third night on the campground, which by the way cost 130 NOK/night, the weather forecast finally was encouraging enough to continue my journey. So I set off north to what would be the most strenuous day of the whole trip.
From Moskenes I rode to the camping ground in Fredvang where I arrived at around 4 pm. I set up my tent (160 NOK/night) and then was back on my bike with little more than my camera gear.
My plan was to hike to Kvalvika beach and Ryten at around midnight to take some pictures. And as there are two ways to get there, one via Innersand and one via Torsfjord (see the map above) my intention for was to quickly find out where the paths would start and which one I'd use later on before getting sthg. to eat and some rest. I hadn't eaten much to that point and the only things I took with me were some nuts and my water filter screwed on to a small plastic bottle (0,3 liters) filled with water.
But when I stood at the starting point of the path from Torsfjord to Kvalvika I checked the forecast again, which didn't look too promising for the night (no rain but no sun either) I thought "what the heck, why shouldn't I check out Kvalvika right then, it shouldn't take too long, right??" Which is true, depending on your pace you will need a little more or a little less than an hour to get over the pass to the beach. But: the beach itself is nice but it was pretty crowded (Tip: Go there later in the day or at night during summer and read this if you intend to drive there by car) So i didn't manage to take some nice photos there and after an hour or so just strolling the beach the sun started to break through the clouds and I thought to myself "Hmm maybe I could get a nice photo from Ryten?", which is the mountain right next to the beach.
Water wasn't a problem. There is a stream right next to the pass up Ryten and as I told you I had my water filter with me but the only thing to eat I had in my backpack were some nuts so when I finally made it to the summit I was pretty much starving and worried about the way back. As I'd had to go down to the beach and over the pass again to get back to my bike.
But on the summit on Ryten I met Beatrice and Martin, also from Germany but currently living in Sweden, who offered to drive me back to my bike from where they had parked there car, which was near Innersand. I gladly accepted and so I only had to go down Ryten on the northern side which is less steep than the way up from the beach. And I didn't have to go up the pass again.
Back in my tent I quickly fell asleep, exhausted, but not without setting the alarm for around 01:00 am to preserve the chance for a sunset shoot at the beach. But the sun never really showed itself, just a little streak of orange was visible at the horizon.
But then there was Utakleiv.
When I got out of my tent the next morning the sun and blue skies greeted me and it stayed that way for the following three days. I even got a sunburn on my ears :-)
From Fredvang I rode my bike to Utakleiv all the way mesmerized by the beauty of the landscape around me. And when I got there, I set up my tent right next to the ocean. Can't get much better then that. At least that's what I thought, but after enjoying the afternoon sun I actually got a nice sunset on top of that.
The next day I rode back to Flakstad where I set up my tent at Skaksanden Camping and after a short detour to Auster Nesland, witnessed another nice sunset.
With only one night left before I would have to go back to the camping ground in moskenes to get my ferry back to Bodø, I decided to drive back to Reine, take the ferry to Kirkefjord, hike to Horseid beach and stay there for the night.
Of course I still didn't want to carry all my luggage so I asked the guys from Reine Adventure, where I had rented the bike, if I could leave some of my stuff there that I wouldn't need, which wasn't a problem, for them at least. Personally, maybe I shouldn't have left my first aid kit...
The hike from the ferry over the pass to the beach took me about one and half hour, here and there through pretty deep puddles and mud and when I arrived there was a pleasant suprise waiting for me as I met Adam and Ashley again.
They had been there for the previous night and decided to stay for a night longer, so we spend the day together, enjoying the spectacular scenery and in the morning hiked back to the ferry together.
Perfect. Aside from one small thing: I twisted my ankle while jumping around the rocks trying to get one last shot of the midnight sun shining on the surounding mountains which led to a throbbing, aching foot.
Adam and Ashley already had gone to sleep and because my own first aid kit was in Reine I didn't get much sleep that night. Luckily it wasn't too bad, so that I could walk back to the ferry on my own after taking some pain killers from Adam and Ashley in the morning.
And after one last night on the camping ground in Moskenes my little adventure was already over. :-(
Can't wait to go again.
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