E39 layby SW of VestnesJuly 24, 2017 in Norway
We made a good start to the day by completing the second leg of the short but scenic Atlantic Ocean Road running between Kårvåg on Averøy and Vevang on the mainland. The blue sky was slowly revealing itself as the sun burned through the lingering cloud. The sea calmly lapped at the many low lying islands and skerries over which we drove or by which we passed. We were once again transported into 'picture-postcard land' with charming little wooden board houses of burgundy, white or pale yellow nestling individually in hollows that would protect them from the elements on wilder days than this.
Beyond this idyll we began to see more and more signs of the high density human habitation we'd been used to in the rest of Europe. Towns with concrete houses, factories and large shops are becoming gradually more frequent as we head south but there is still a whole lot of unpopulated countryside.
By lunch time the sun was fully out so we found a layby with picnic benches that had views down a tree lined valley and over its fjord. Will found an electric socket in the toilets which he was able to plug his shaver into (a lot easier than trying to charge our bulky and heavy power pack from the 12V socket then hoping it would have enough electricity to last until the end of the shave!). Poppy had sat out with us but the older she gets the less well she copes with heat. She ended up being very grateful for the cool blown air when we once again set off. We are still north of Scotland's Shetland islands and have been surprised at how hot it can get on a sunny day up here.
We'd already passed through many tunnels and over many bridges and it was near the end of the day's drive that we came to a queue for a ferry. Although we'd programmed the route into the sat nav and seen there were ferries, we are covering so much distance and passing through so many regions that we can rarely keep the names of places in our heads. So it was, that we boarded the ferry in a town whose name we didn't know and travelled for an unknown length of time to a port whose name we didn't know. We are getting a lot more relaxed about taking ferries and bought our 403 NOK (£40) ticket on board when we happened to bump into an official who sold them.
After disembarking we drove for a while along the busy E39. We hadn't seen any good overnight spots for a while so settled on a layby a little way off the road. It was noisy and the larger vehicles rocked the van slightly as they passed but it did the the job for the night.Read more