[ blog » 2022 » 07_Tour_Norway ] d06: Aboard the MS Vesterålen (by Philipp Gesang, location: The lounge of MS Vesterålen)

Not the least stressful night, to say the least. Between the noise of motocyclists arriving and leaving at any hour and the incessant rain, contiguous sleep wasn't really possible. Each time I woke up my anxiety of missing the boat in the morning increased and I gradually moved the alarm forward and forward until I had set it at 3:00 h which left a sizable buffer during which I could not only take care of dismantling the tent and packing my gear but also fix say a puncture on my way to the pier.

Taking down the tent was every bit as awful an experience as I remembered from touring Scotland. Nevertheless, I managed and arrived at the Honningsvåg port early with a big margin around 4:45 h so I spent an hour in the Hurtigruten waiting room munching on apples.

Boarding was uncomplicated but compared to the streamlined process of that Genova-Palermo ferry I took last year it went glacially slow because the loading bay elevator can only take a single car at a time -- for the n-th time proving that bicycles are the more efficient means of transport!

Two other tourers, both from different corners of France, boarded at Honningsvåg after completing their trip north. Due to my fragmented itinerary I seem to be the only one who'll be heading south on the bike.

Booking breakfast on the boat turned out to be a fantastic move as it started only an hour into the ride and was served as buffet so the food was replenished ad infinitum. Sustenance! I must have downed about a carton of eggs and half a kilo of smoked salmon. The waiting staff seemed to have noticed my ravenous behavior as they were sneakily trying to steal my plates when I left them unattended. No problem for me as there was no shortage of plates either. Upon gorging myself to the physical limits of my stomach I set up shop in the lounge on a worn but ultra-comfy couch to finally cover these last days in blog entries, watching the fishing villages of the Atlantic coast go by. Next stop: Skjervoy. Final destination: Finnsnes on Senja.

Apparently there's construction work going on on a segment of the main road from Tromsø to Senja so the north road on the island is blocked -- the kind of construction work that involves heavy pyrotechnics. Fortunately the next stop after Tromsø, Finnsnes, is the furthest trip one can book on the Hurtigruten from Honningsvåg without taking a cabin. From there I can cross Senja on the south road which is unaffected by the explosive blockade so I'll be disembarking there early in the morning.


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