Wild Camp on Vestvågøy, Lofoten IslandsJuly 12, 2017 in Norway
We didn't intend to go far today but we did need to move on because the toilet was getting full. Luckily Will had found a nearby restplace with another of the space age toilet cassette emptying machines. There was a boardwalk a few hundred meters long that ended at a vantage point over the fjord. When we pulled in there were only about 3 other vehicles but as we were emptying the place filled quickly with cars, vans and two coaches. There was a business in the air and people conveyed a sense of being rushed, something we had largely escaped further North. The Lofoten Islands provide fewer toilet and bin facilities, meaning there is some litter. It is also the first time since entering Norway that we have encountered signs asking you not to stay overnight. After we'd managed to avoid a third coach reversing at an unnerving rate towards us as we tried to exit, we reflected that these islands, famous for their scenic beauty, probably get deluged with visitors in the height of summer.
The scenery certainly was pretty. Small, low islands nestled in inlets, their grey rocks topped with thick moss, low growing heathers and wild berry bushes. Behind them, mountains rose precipitously into the clouds. We stopped just before the arching Gimsøystraumen bridge and took a short stroll through a delightful shoreside meadow brimming with yellows, purples and whites. Familiar Campions and Vetches grew beside plants we'd never seen before. On our return we saw a group of people photographing the ground. Upon further investigation we discovered they'd stumbled upon some Cloud Berries, a fruit that looks a bit like a pink blackberry and grows very close to the ground. There weren't many so we didn't pick and eat any, even though we were tempted.
Crossing Sunnlandsfjorden onto the small island of Gimsøya we soon came to another, shorter bridge that took us to Vestvågøy, where we turned off the main road, allowing us to slow our pace and find a small area of rough ground, overlooking the Straight between the islands. It was a tight squeeze to get in but the views were worth it.Read more