In The Land of the Midnight Sun. 18th July.

I’m sitting beside my tent over looking a golden sandy beach not five metres from me. Many small outcrops of rock protrude from a quiet sea. A shaft of light reflected from the sun runs across the water and cuts through the wild flowers next to me. There is a gentle breeze and mercifully nothing flying that wants to eat, drink and annoy me. On the right a dark jagged line cuts the horizon. The high rock reminds me of The Alps without the altitude. I’ve just had an evening meal of creme fraiche potetsalat, chicken, cheese and biscuits and a can of rubbish Pilsner’s, (oh, for Yorkshire draught bitter!).

Another day of around 100km and another stunning one. The landscape had changed from Melbu and continued to be more open with the mountains less dramatic, but no means less impressive as I rode towards Sortland. From Sortland I took the 82, through extensive road works and on northwards to the island of Andoya, where I took the longer west route. The scenery was stunning.

And another architectural masterpiece for a public convenience.

Today developed into a day of variety, so much happened. Here is a selection of some events.

The bridge over the sea from Dragnes to Risoyhamn had the steepest ramped access to its apex to date, though not apparent from the photo. Beautifully engineered, the experience of cycling up it was further enhanced by one of the Hurtigruten ships setting ‘sail’ and going under the bridge with many on board waving. It was made all the better for knowing that in a few weeks time Anne and I will be going under the same bridge on a Hurtigruten ship. I wonder whether an old git with a white beard on a cycle will be waving from it?

From Bo, yes that is a place and takes twice as long to write as A near Moskenes, I really didn’t want the day’s ride to finish. The museum at Risoyhamn had been impressive, where again I met up with two brothers on their annual cycle trip from southern Norway.

Arriving at the pretty little town of Bleik I was unexplainable drawn into a cafe super market. This was something out of the ordinary. The calories on offer exceeded those in Willy Wonker’s Chocolate Factory. The cheesecake was exceedingly good and so much better than anything Mr Kipling could make. Similarly, the coffee was good and refills were permitted. This necessary delay resulted with me arriving at the Space Centre Aurora to late in the day to do it justice. Anyway, by which time my senses had be overloaded for much of the day.

And the sun still remains high on the sky in a land that for now never sees it set.

Tomorrow I take the ferry to Gryllefjord on the island of Senja. Again I am a couple of days ahead of schedule, so Anne has booked me into a hotel in Tromso for two nights. This will be an opportunity to clean and service the bike and deep clean it’s rider, before setting off for the final week of this adventure.

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