We woke this morning to the sound of waves lapping on the breakwater and had breakfast as the rest of the village slept. During these long days no one goes to bed early it seems. We left our free campsite at the crack of just before nine and turned Thor south for the first time on this trip. The village appeared deserted as we headed back to the main road for the final leg of the scenic route around Senja to the ferry at Gryllefjord.
Andenes is a bustling place, mostly fishing-orientated but latterly it has made a name for itself as a whale watching centre. The sperm whale feeding grounds are a thirty minute boat ride away and we toyed with the idea, but the sky was now somewhat leaden and we have had good whale watching trips before so we decided to poke around the town a little instead. There is a small central shopping area with a busy bakery, and further out a tourist information centre with a young man who was anxious to help us with something, but none of us could think of what. There was a slightly odd museum in the building which had face-casts of many of the people who lived in Andenes in the 1990s, but which reminded me of a room full of death masks.
And so southward down the west side of the island of Vesterålen, through little villages surrounded by low, grassy dunes. The character of this area is quite different from Senja’s drama. The mountains are further off and the road winds through flatlands that were once sea. We turned off at a little beach behind what looks like a (closed) community centre. The sun came out and we all ran up and down the white sand and climbed the rocks. It was so nice we decided to stay the night. There is a cold wind coming off the ocean now but outside our window the sun has begun the long, slow journey towards the horizon and we can hear the surf. Tom is curled up in “the best bed I’ve ever slept in” and P and I are watching long pink streaks form between the clouds.