Life on the road in Lofoten 

As each day passes the unfamiliar is becoming familiar.  A routine of a different kind is asserting itself.  The faffing in pannier bags is becoming a little less arduous as I remember what goes where.  Stove, tools and water – front pannier left, food and waterproofs – front pannier right, sleeping bag and mat – back pannier left, clothes – back pannier right. Tent on top. My current worldly possessions in 45 kilos on 2 wheels. 

Whereas before the road ahead seemed impossibly long , it was when I got to Tromso that I was able to see a small dint in the tarmac down to Spain and I could feel myself relaxing into this new life on the road. 

The Lofoten islands are heralded as one of the jewels in Norway’s crown. A string of islands off the West coast that provide dramatic unrivalled Tolkeinesque style landscape.  Huge towering mountains drop straight into the sea, like a mouth of jagged teeth with the last few vestiges of snow clinging on like plaque in the losing battle against Summer sun.  

The weather has been somewhat erratic.  I can start a day with full waterproofs and head down into the rain but finish in glorious sunlight.  The wind can feel like an invisible hand against my helmet so that even going downhill I feel cheated. But when the sun shines Norway sparkles – it is like everything is in glorious high definition technicolour .. On steroids. 

After the undulating Lofoten islands, I am now on the mainland again following the Kystriksveien – a winding, hilly coastal road which is interspersed with ferries, bridges and tunnels.  I take my hat off to Norwegian engineering – today I went through 4 tunnels – all of which were over 3km long.  

Having spent most of my time here cycling on my own I have been joined by a couple of Germans for a few days – Roland and Lother. I’m in good company – Roland has written books on how to pack light for cycle touring and Lother is 75, has cycled most of Europe and speeds ahead of both of us. There’s hope for me yet! 

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20 thoughts on “Life on the road in Lofoten 

  1. Lovely to hear about the beautiful Norway and reading this I imagine you as very much part of the landscape somehow- I guess that is what two wheels and pedal power does- you really get to know somewhere. Only way to be more in touch is on foot…. NO! Don’t! even think about it! Much love Anthony and Coxes from Dorset xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  2. Phil it’s wonderful to be with you for the ride – in mind and spirit of not in person! I’m really enjoying your blog- I had no idea you were such a good writer – you dark horse

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  3. Aw wow Phil, Lofoten looks so so gorgeous! Its where the enviro movement of Norway holds a summer camp every year hosted by Friends of the Earth Norway and looking at your amazing photos you can see why! The top picture of your view over the snow topped mountains behind the glassy water is absolutely epic. SO SO happy for you that you’re doing this thing, what an amazing, awe inspiring adventure. Love you xx

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    • Hi Jon – thank you!! It’s been quite a journey so far!

      You can track me by going to the where am I page on my website and click on the link. Every day I try and upload where I am.

      Thinking and missing you all xx

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  4. You are amazing ! What beautiful prose and pictures, Phil 😉 I’m glad you have some company and such veteran cyclist folk as they…
    Huge love from us all here in Woodchester, xxxxxxx We are SO proud

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  5. Wow it all looks and sounds so so wonderful- you are amazing for making this happen you wonder-Phil, power-phil woman! I’m impressed and envious. I’m coming next time. So much love coming your way! Cara xxx xxxxxxxx

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  6. See you did the hike near Reine.
    Great ! 🙂
    Enjoy the ride south. I’m leaving Irani, Finland today in that direction.
    Mosquitos are terrible here, hope you have better luck near the coast.

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  7. Beautiful Philly! You are an amazing creature and I’m both envious and in awe. Thank you for your descriptive tales and gorgeous photos. Sending you a warm hug… xx, Shanna

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  8. Hi Phil! The photos are amazing, Its great to see you camping on the waters edge, makes the view at the bridge to bridge campsite slightly less impressive! Hope you have been having some fab swims too.
    Stay safe and keep on peddling! Xx

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  9. Awesome prose – Mini’s right, we didnt know how brilliant a wordsmith you actually is – look you is it/ see… Do they play darts out there – I would imagine there might be a following for a game of arrows in Norway, I bet that lake water is freezing!!! That’ll wake you up more than all your brothers and frinds in the playroom for late night cheese and ham slabs after a lock in at the Ash! Glad to see your having an unooosually sociable time with the bikers Xjmrra

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