[ blog » 2022 » 07_Tour_Norway ]d08: Sortland to Hov (by Philipp Gesang, location: A beach on Gimsøya)


I left the comfy hotel room in Sortland at noon so despite sleeping according to my regular circadian rhythm I was already out of sync rith my touring habits again. On the upside, all my clothes were washed and dry after a night with the heating turned up higher than necessary.

At Stokmarknes I passed by the Hurtigrute museum with its enshrined cruise boat; no museum tour this time though as I wanted to keep riding and not get cold. A bit futher to the south I reached the Melbu ferry with minute precision, which also precluded looking out for bay watchers and real reactionary police chiefs in the area.


After leaving the main road for the scenic coastal route I looked out for the Grunnfor bicycle shelter. I found two guys hanging out inside, both of them heading north. The shelter itself is a wood construction held together by an aluminum frame. Due to the glass top floor it was cozy warm inside there in the sunshine. The view from up there is amazing too and as much as I would have like to spend a night there I was only at kilometer 90 at that point with most of the afternoon still ahead of me. I plotted a route towards the south coast of Austvagøya and continued on my way.

At a panoramic view just outside Svolvaer a Norwegian family and I spontaneously started chatting and they ended up inviting me to dinner. Steaks with sweet potatoes and salat -- not something you get to eat often on a camping trip! They were great company as well. As a family they've been trying to get into bike touring as well so they were quite curious about my setup, what I eat, etc.

The southern coast of Austvagøya is lined with tall rocks which at that time of the day threw long shadows to the south in the low evening sun. As a consequence it was quite chilly down there and made me reconsider my itinerary for the day: I knew if I wanted a relatively warm and dry spot to spend the night I'd have to get to the north coast. At the mall in Svolvaer I filled my panniers to the point where they wouldn't close to cover my needs on Sunday when shops will be closed and then set out to find a suitable camping spot.

The remainder of the island turned out just as dark and cold, definitely not great for camping, so I crossed the bridge to Gimsøya and headed north. The northern coast of that small island has a few beaches but most of them were already occupied by the campervan community and the tidy lawns of a lgolf club that caters to the night owl golfer crowd of the world. Obviously, I'm not a golfer. So I ended up pitching at a beach campsite with less than ideal conditions but a nice location down at the beach with a view of the sea right out of my tent.


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