Day 5: Glomfjord to Camp Lofoten,
Mileage ridden today: 253.4km
Mileage so far: 1946.6km
If riding motorcycles to long and foreign lands is all about adventure, then at some point it all has to go a little bit wrong. We left our hostel at Glomfjord at 7am to make sure we got to the ferry port at Bodo two hours before boarding. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time, as the next ferry went at 4pm. You can guess what’s coming next…
For some reason, despite us being in line at the ferry in plenty of time, they wouldn’t take our entire 40-strong group of motorcycles on board, and left nine of us stranded for seven hours until the next boat. With a four-hour ferry crossing once we got on, a short 200km ride to get us prepared for a big ride the following day, soon turned in a long and laborious day at a ferry port that made Dover look glamorous. Finally we’d found Norway’s ugly side. Apparently, booking doesn’t mean anything and some ferries will prioritise cars over bikes as they’re more profitable.
You can imagine we weren’t that amused, but there was nothing else to do but wait for seven hours, and ensure we ignored the marshalls and rode on to the next boat, to secure pole position. It helped that we had our own straps too. A top tip, if you’re touring on a motorcycle, carry at least one of your own tie down straps, or a ratchet strap and use it to secure your own bike just in case the ferry company don’t have any.
The waiting for the boat sucked, as did the four-hour ferry crossing, knowing we wouldn’t get in to camp until 10pm at night, but man was it worth it when the craggy mountain tops so prehistoric looking came in to view, making me feel like dragons are about to fly down and swoop off with nine Africa Twins.
It’s one of the most remote places I’ve ever been too, and leaves you wondering what people actually do for jobs, the answer is that they are mostly cod fishermen, or eke a living out of tourism. Wooden racks used for drying out fish are proof that Lofoten is still a viable fishing community, they stink of cheap fish food when you ride past on a motorcycle, but reminds you why you’re on a bike, not removed from the world of smells and senses in a car.
Once we’d got to the island of Lofoten the roads were narrow and twisty, but the view was even more spectacular than some we’ve seen this week. Just before 10am we rode into Sun Kiss Beach, so called because the sun never sets in the summer, it just kisses the beach and then goes back up again for nine months of the year. At 1am, it’s as light as it is at 1pm in the afternoon, which is why myself and MCN’s Richard Newland declined the offer of a cosy tent, grabbed our sleeping bags from the panniers, found a few reindeer furs laying around the main camp tent and bedded down on the beach for the night in the sand wearing most of my bike kit and a woolly hat, with the best room view on earth of the Atlantic, the sun and the sky.