(Most of this post written by FIONA Illingworth, whilst enjoying her well deserved holiday with me here in Norway)
Sunday 15 September 2019
We stayed half up/half in bed until about midnight last night hoping to see the Northern Lights. It was freezing and we sat up in bed/tried to have a nap. All to no avail.
Today looks like it could be a good day and the sun is shining through the side window. I am so looking forward to the hike today. Visibility looks good and John is considering taking the drone up the mountain instead of his camera. We will try his wide angles lens on my camera body … see how we go!
So much for our top ten hike – we got lost somehow (don’t ask me how!). The route was not exactly well marked to be fair but, in all honesty, we should have had a proper map! Not to worry. We had a good walk up through a pretty valley and half up one side of a mountain but we were heading in the wrong direction. Doh!
So we gave it up as a bad job, retraced our steps and have driven over to Stø to do a bit of the walk from the other end. Before heading out the second time, we stopped for coffee and a cinnamon bun in the cafe at the nearby camp site. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest as we had read some poor reviews on the campsite and had no intention on staying there. But, actually, the cinnamon buns were good and you also were welcomed to free coffee refills, which is unusual here.
Stø was a small fishing village with a place to book whale watching tours. But it looked as though they only ran until the end of August. There was a huge building looking rather run down just at the place where you joined/finished the Queens Hike and it was covered in really excellent murals of sea life. John took some photographs of them. Apparently, murals on the side of buildings are a bit of thing here but we haven’t seen many.
Both fishing villages looked quite authentic rather than for the benefit of tourists and I wish we had had more time to look around, but we were keen to get on the walk at either end and so we missed the chance for a proper look round. The road to Nysksund was dreadful and a difficult road to navigate. I am glad that John was driving, put it that way. Thankfully, the road to Stø was much better and wasn’t a problem at all.
On the coastal path from Stø. All we have to do is keep the sea to our right. Surely even we can manage that? We have stopped at a quiet bay to take a few photographs and John is attempting to fly his drone to the light out in the bay. What could possibly go wrong?
We had a great walk along the coastal path at Stø. John put his wide angled lens on my camera whilst he used the drone. In the end he didn’t fly it right out to the light in the bay; he didn’t dare due to a wind blowing the drone slightly off course. But he did fly it over the water. It took me a while to adapt to the wide angled lens. Everything seemed so far away.
Typically, there seemed to be a plethora of path makers (red T) on this side of the path. (Though we did find some towards the end of the walk at the Nyksund end, proving that we had started on the right path but then lost it very quickly).
On the coastal path, we could relax more because even we couldn’t get lost. We spent a good hour or so just messing about on the rocks, taking photos and drone footage. It was great to take our time doing nothing much (from my point of view anyway).
There was an abandoned building on the waterfront and someone had drawn a number of murals of sea creatures around it, giving it another life.
Our ultimate aim is to drive south to the bottom of Langøy, eventually heading for Bø where there is a interesting looking sculpture as part of the Skulpturlandskap Nordland. But we will reach there tomorrow; tonight the plan is to wild camp somewhere along the route.
We’ve decided to knock the idea of whale watching on the head. The whale watching at Stø appears to have stopped for the season and I’m reluctant to drive all the way back up to Andenes to try there.
Perhaps we will start to head back to Tromsø via Senja on Tuesday. Let’s see!