Week 9 : Lofoten – Kabelvåg – Vesterålen – Tromsø

Tuesday July 17
Lofoten ride 2 – Leknes – Kabelvåg  (66 km – 687m D+)

We stayed for the night on a parking lot in Leknes because I needed to take my bike to a repair shop to have the spare gear handle installed. When I went back to pick up the bike, the technician said another part of the derailer was flawed as well which he didn’t have. There are two more villages on the Lofoten trajectory where I can try to have it repaired. Meanwhile, I cannot shift into my smallest climbing gear, which is not funny when cycling in hills.

Fortunately, most of today’s slopes were mild and the scenery was once again breathtaking.

#cyclingtonorthcape #womencycling #reachoutforbubaque #fundraising#bubaquestudentproject @ Kabelvåg

Midnight in Kabelvåg

Wednesday July 18
Lofoten ride 3: Kabelvåg – Hadsel Kirke  (55 km)

Kabelvåg is a very pittoresque village 8 km before the city of Svolvær. We stayed for the night on a quiet parking of a museum. At 10 o’clock I departed for the Sport 1 bike repair shop in the city. The technician did not have the required spare part, but he referred me to the Scandinavisk outdoor sports shop. The technician there repaired the gears in 5 minutes without needing any spare part at all! I was delighted that he had been able to fix it so easily!
During the repair work, I also found a friseur (hairdresser) who had time to cut my hair, after several vain ‘fully booked’ attempts the days before,
Around 13:30, we left Svolvær for the ferry in Fiskebol about 35 km northward. It was very hot (31°) and there was very little wind, so I rode at my ease. On the little white beaches along the road, many people were sunbathing and swimming.
We camped at a parking lot near the little ‘Hadsel’ church in Lekang with a splendid view over the mountain range at the other shore of the fjord.

#womencycling #reachoutforbubaque #fundraising #bubaquestudentproject@ Lekang, Nordland, Norway

Thursday July 19
Lofoten ride 4: Hadsel Kirke Lekang – Dragnes  (84 km)

No colourful pics today because of rain and low-hanging mist. The first half of the trajectory along FV82 before Sortland was fairly flat. After Sortland bridge, there where more slopes. The landscape became very desolate and reminded me very much of Scotland.

Friday July 20
Lofoten/Vesterålen ride 5: Dragnes – Andenes (61,5 km – 355m D+)

On Friday morning the sky was blue and sun shining brightly again. The mountains had all shades of green, gray and warm earth colors with the bright blue water of the fjords in the foreground.

After some kilometers I already had to cope with a steep clmb to a bridge, luckily I had the wind in my back. On the other side of the fjord, the Eurovelo 1 route followed an unnumbered white road on the map that ran mostly parallel to the coastline and was fairly flat. The mountains on the Vesterålen, a part of the lofoten, are less steep and they are flatter towards the sea, which provides an easier and more accessible trail. Only the wind slightly spoiled the ride today: all the way I had a tight headwind, which made the pedaling quite heavy. On a llama farm which had a farm-pub, I took a little rest around noon with a glass of fresh milk and a piece of rhubarb cake.

This is an outstanding route for lovers of rocky coasts interrupted by white beaches and desolate, straight roads with on one side the fjords or the wide sea and on the other side swampy meadows crossed by mountain streams with impressive mountain ranges in the background. The colored houses from the coastal villages contrast sharply with the dark green mountains, and deceased residents can not wish for a more idyllic resting place than this.

It is still clear and at this very moment (something after 11:30 PM) I try to shoot a timelapse movie of the setting and ascending nocturnal sun. I hope it works, otherwise there will hopefully be other opportunities to try again.


Saturday July 21 : Andenes to Gryllefjord (ferry) – Skaland

Saturday morning we had nice weather again in Andenes. By noon we drove to the ferry port and immediately placed the camper in the queue, so we had an hour to walk to the village. Around 13 o’clock the ferry left for Gryllefjord on the island of Senja, a journey of 1h40.

Senja is a much rougher island than the Lofoten and Vesterålen. The mountains are higher and sharper and they go down very steeply into the fjord. As a result, the cycle route consisted once again of short climbs over ‘mountain roots’.

After about 20 km the Euroveloroute follows the FV862, a smaller and quiet road with a rough and uneven surface. That route started immediately with a climb of 300m altitude and a gradient of 8% over 3.8 km. Moreover, it started to rain quite heavily halfway, which did not exactly make me look forward to the equally steep descent once I would have passed the pass …

The descent started with a badly lit tunnel of 1.8 km. Fortunately, I had set up my Petzl headlight, which enabled me to see the state of the road surface several meters ahead of me. When I left the tunnel my glasses were immediately completely fogged with condensation because outside it was a few degrees warmer than in the tunnel. Not exactly pleasant …

Past the pass I saw that the sky above the sea was still open and blue. The combination of mist, clouds and mountains on the one hand and the blue sea on the other hand produced very special light effects over the fjord. After the fairly long descent, I had completely cooled down and I was glad I to be down the hill so I could start pedalling to warm up.

In the meantime Els was looking for a place to stay overnight. She found a place 2 km off the route, at the fishing port of Skaland. While she was waiting for me, she suddenly saw a group of dolphins passing through the fjord. Spectacular! Shortly thereafter we also saw a seal and another animal swimming by that looked more like an otter. It certainly had a long narrow tail, so it certainly wasn’t a seal.

The warm light of the setting sun produced very beautiful light effects on the port in the foreground and the dark green mountains in the background. Meanwhile, it is midnight, and everything is covered with fog, which was the end of our free nature movie …

#cyclingtonorthcape #reachoutforbubaque #womencycling #ontheroad#Bubaquestudentproject #fundraising

Sunday July 22 : Salland – Sinnøvjordvegen (Kvaløya island) (65 km – 633m D+)

Sunday was not a photogenic day because of low-hanging mist. The trajectory started with a climb to a tunnel and then followed the shore of a fjord with many short but steep climbs. Overall, there were five tunnels on the trajectory.
About 15 km before Botnhamn (ferry) it was a mild pass with a 7% climb for 1 km.

Ferry Botnhamn – Brensholmen.

Beyond Brensholmen I followed the shore of a long fjord with small ramifications and multiple steep climbs over ‘mountain roots’. We found a free camping place on a beach at the end of the fjord, accompanied by our small but annoying, buzzing friends the mosquitos.

Monday July 23 : Sinnøvjordvegen- Tromsø (min 10 km auto Tromsø)  (33 km – 993m D+)

It rained in the morning, but by the time I left for Tromsø (33 km), it was and remained dry.
When I approached Tromsø on the cycling track of a very busy road, I suddenly saw a raindeer 50 meters in front of me. It disappeared behind the fence of a school, so I quickly put my bike aside and went to the fence, but it was already walking further into the residential area.
On my way through wooded areas, I saw countless road signs warning for moose crossing the road, but I never saw one, and then here in this busy urban area, I almost bumped head-on into one.
What a country! 🙂

#cyclingtonorthcape #reachoutforbubaque #womencycling #ontheroad #wildlife#Bubaquestudentproject #fundraising