Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

Lofoten in the rain

By Stuart Lowe on

I didn't sleep well on the lumpy ground. I woke to rain at 6.30 and went back to sleep. At 9.30 it was still spitting but I packed up my tent anyway. At least the rain kept the flies at bay. I only had a banana for breakfast as I was lacking water (yes, I know it was falling from the sky) and didn't fancy cooking in the wet.

light rain near Melbu

pink bales

I headed to the ferry at Melbu. I didn't even know if it'd be running on a Sunday. I happened to get there perfectly as they'd started boarding. It was only 25 minutes across to Fiskebøl but it was raining so I stayed inside.

I was tired today. I nearly fell asleep on my bicycle. I got my feet wet filling my water bottles in a mountain stream. I decided to stop for lunch. Finding a sheltered spot is hard though. Eventually I found a small bus shelter and used that. I'm not sure what I'd have done if a bus stopped.

A nice place to stop on a different day

I pressed on towards Svolvær. That would make 83 km (including the ferry ride). But first it was over a hill. A hill of only 45m but my gears are getting really stiff and changing down is getting hard. Over that I reached Austnesfjorden where there was a view point. The light rain had eased off and I dodged around the Italian tourists to get a picture whilst also taking one for them.


On to Svolvær I headed. Getting there around 5pm. All the big supermarkets were closed as it was Sunday. Eventually I found a Kiwi Mini Prix that was open. It was just the basics and was full of foreign tourists like me desperate for any shop.

I was going to do another 30 km to get the miles in, so to speak, but I saw a sign for a youth hostel. Dilemma. It was more than my budget but I have been in a tent for 16 nights. Oh for a proper bed. I found I could pay with my UK card and that they had "free tea and cake" so I was sold. I ate a lot of their cake.

I met a retired Dutch couple who had cycled from Bergen. They were able to tell me that it was 1522 km from Bergen to Bodø. I have 18 days for that (130 km tomorrow). That's 80km/day average. I can reach my flight.