A Race Against Time

EUROPE 9

21/06/2011

A RACE AGAINST TIME

I had an early start this morning – awake at 6, sandwiches for breakfast, and on the road for a little past 7. It had rained all night, and was still going when I started peddling, but it was light and not too much trouble. The wind was the real challenge, roaring along the island, bending trees and pulling at the low hanging cloud. As luck would have it, I had the wind at my back for most of the day and flew along, enjoying the assistance. Every so often, however, I would turn into the wind and slow to a crawl, invisible hands resisting my progress. This was not the greatest challenge the wind posed: crossing the high bridges that link the southern Lofoten I was faced with fierce crosswinds that threatened to blow me off by bike, and made the steel railings groan. It was all I could do to lean into it with all my weight and try to stay on course. After a couple of hours riding I saw a Viking museum that I visited when I came here on a family holiday about 10 years ago – designed in the shape of a longboat it was hard not to remember.

I raced the clock all morning, as I had to get to Moskenes – and the ferry to Bodø – for 2.00. I rode the 75 miles wihout pause and arrived with an hour to spare. I passed the time talking to a Swedish family who had just finished cycling the length of the Lofoten islands. Once on board I had some lunch, and dozed for the remained of the three hour voyage.

The rain on arrival in Bodø was far heavier, but the wind not so fierce: I found this to be a marked improvement, but arrived at a campsite in Ripnes a drowned rat non-the-less. Ripnes is the site of the worlds largest whirlpool, so that’s something I’ve go to look forward to tomorrow – I just hope it stops raining!

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