Sun and Mountains
01 July 2013 | Rorvik
Much if the way north I have been teasing Anne that Norway is pretty much like the west coast of Scotland and it was a long and cold way to come to see what we'd lived, sailed and climbed amongst most of our lives. However, the reality is that Norway delivers simply stunning mountain scenery on all horizons in, for us, great weather (with a few grey rain days thrown in to keep mass tourism away).
According to the pilot book, which may have been written by a Shrek fan, we are in the "Far North". Not, "The North" which is of course south of here or indeed, the "Farthest North" which is naturally, way oop north. All of it is mightily impressive and the glaciated mountains and snow fields capping the mountains just go on and on.
Lofoten is more of the same, just further out to sea. We have been anchoring in desolate bays, tucked in through the rocks.
Two nights ago we weaved in through the skerries to find the recommended anchorage and dropped the hook with rocky islets on all sides. It felt pretty tight but we dug in the anchor and rowed ashore for a walk along the beach. Surprisingly this was white coral and, but for the temperature it could have been the Bahamas.
However, daft as it seems after all the effort and time to get here we've brought this Norwegian odyssey to a close, at least as far as making ground northwards is concerned. Fortified by a celebratory dram to the accompaniment of the Kintyre Schools Pipe Band (drawing quizzical looks form the nearby Polish and Norwegian boats) we decided to draw a close to this adventure and head south and make sure life comtinues to be worth living by getting to Fiona's wedding on time.
It was or is a wrench to leave, however without deadlines and commitments (name that song!) you get velcro'd into places and our wee girl's wedding is a cracking reason to turn south.
From here, Rorvik, it's something like 1,050 miles to Largs and 700 to Orkney an average of about 45 miles a day. The current plan is to sail when we have wind and cruise the Norwegain islands before crossing the North Sea to leave the boat in Kirkwall for Fiona's bash. We will then return and spend a week or two or three making our way to Largs then onward south in August. We may then hit (not literally) the Isles of Scily before cruising the French west coast and north Spanish coast and Rias. We also need to make the start line of the 2013 ARC nearly 3,000 miles away.
Tired just thinking about but boy...... I can feel the warmth already!
P.S. this photo is of the towers outside Svolvaer in the Lofotens. It's famous for climbers who climb and jump from one tower to the other.
As we were leaving, Anne turned back and took a long lens photo of the towers. Amazingly, if you can zoom in, there's a climber on the top of the right hand finger! Now that's scary stuff. We didn't see if he did the jump.