We departed for Norway on 11th July and visited during a period of fine weather that has not been witnessed in Norway for many years. The trip was almost a month long and we have close on a thousand photos. Here is a small intro to our tour and a separate page on the Blog Menu will link to a longer article.
We took the Ferry to Kristiansand and immediately started our journey to the West coast. Our route took us North and through the mountains to our first destination Bergen
The drive North took us through beautiful scenery in fantastic weather, as the sun went down the colours were amazing.
There were plenty of places to get off the road to rest and eat. This rather idyllic spot was also host to a Scandinavian midge with teeth like vikings. We had ‘all the kit’ ‘Boots insect repellent’ cream, a mozzy repellent spray called “OFF” bought in Italy and of course our headnets ….. but were just a little slow deploying all the resources, a big lesson learnt.
Our journey continued, and the weather changed we soon found ourselves in thick cloud at the tops of the mountains.
We were expecting to find sunny weather again as we descended from the mountains into Bergen, but the weather just got worse pouring rain and poor visibility. We spent a day in the rain trudging round Bergen and then decided to use the wet weather to drive further North to our next stop situated on the Vilnesfjorden
Just a day and a half after the rain and mist of Bergen we found ourselves in brilliant sunshine. The forecast was good and we looked forward to a good few days on the Bulandet archipelago.
At Grytoyra we find a nice harbour and a small Marina. Parking at some places in Norway can be difficult, and we found asking always was well received and with positive results. There are a few small businesses here and a request to top up our water for a three day trip was again met with a genuine willingness to help and interest in our trip
We set out for Vearlandet the largest island in the Archipelago, where we would take lunch before continuing to Bulandet. Above on the far left is the Bulandet archipelago and the large island more centrally to the right is Alden.
The two peaks of Alden give its its local name of the Horse’s Saddle, it is a great landmark at 480 meters high and can be seen for miles in all directions which makes navigation amongst the hundreds of small islands much simpler.
We pulled into a small gully at Vearlandet and tied up on a clump of rock. The tidal range here was just 80cm and of no concern at all. It meant that we never bothered hauling out the heavy loaded boats. We continued our journey to Bulandet after lunch.
There is a right in Norway to wild camp on any unfenced land at least 200 meters from property (and for a max stay of two days) and whilst this is most generous, in the Bulandet archipelago it is very difficult to find somewhere that fits the criteria AND is also easy to land a kayak. From a trip four years ago I knew there was a small beach with a good patch of grass for camping, with a little search on google earth we soon came across it.
We quickly set up camp, and after supper took a walk up the local hilltop to be rewarded with a great view over the archipelago
This first shot faces NE and overlooks our camp site located at the small left hand bay of the large lagoon. In the background is mainland Norway. Bulandet is is the most Westerly inhabited commune in Norway.
This photo looking East shows how easy it is to identify Alden, just to the right the next large island receding in the distance is Atloyna
Despite its remote location, Bulandet is a surprisingly lively community. Still very much a thriving community of fishermen. The small private harbours and jettys accommodated all manner of boats from very traditional wood fishing boats to sleek modern cruisers. Despite the number of boats here it was never intrusive, and the waters were delightfully peaceful.
TO BE CONTINUED…