Would You Stay On This Island Paradise In Norway?

by jpc_touring-bicycle

I used to be just a little nervous about staying with Rob’s pals, Kjartan and Ingeborg, after the 2 of us completed our bike trip throughout Norway collectively. Kjartan and Ingeborg had graciously provided to host each Rob and I after our tour was over – not only for one evening, however for a number of… and I used to be afraid I is perhaps overstaying my welcome.

However Kjartan and Ingeborg (and their complete household) have been unimaginable hosts, who not solely allow us to sleep at their house for a number of nights, but additionally hosted Rob’s girlfriend Carey and my pal Katelyn as effectively.

Sooner or later throughout my stick with Kjartan and Ingeborg, they started to ask about my journey plans as soon as my bike tour with Katelyn was over, and I defined that the plan was to spend the subsequent month simply randomly biking round Norway and Sweden – however that I’d must be in Umea, Sweden on the fifteenth of September in time for my flight again to america.

It was round this time that Kjartan and Ingeborg talked about that they’d a summer season home positioned on an island just a few hundred kilometers north of Bergen, and that if I needed, I might go and keep there for some time.

At first I assumed, “Wow! That’s wonderful. However there’s no approach I can settle for such a gracious supply.” However the extra I considered it, the extra I noticed their supply as one unimaginable alternative. In any case, when was the final time somebody provided you a free place to remain on an island in Norway? Isn’t it the dream of so many to dwell on a abandoned island… a minimum of for a short time?

And so, after only one evening of excited about, I instructed Kjartan and Ingeborg that I’d prefer to take them up on their supply and keep of their summer season house for about two-and-a-half weeks. This might require than I modify my plans for biking throughout Norway and Sweden just a bit, however I used to be okay with that. I might commerce one alternative (biking throughout Scandinavia) for an much more distinctive alternative (residing in a home, on their own, on an island in Norway).

So, after my bike tour with Katelyn was over, Kjartan and I drove Katelyn to the airport for her flight again house… after which Kjartan and I drove for a number of hours to the north, earlier than taking a ferry over to the island, driving for an additional half hour, after which lastly arriving on the place that may be my house for the subsequent two-and-a-half weeks.


When Kjartan and Ingeborg have been telling me about their island house, I assumed it is perhaps just a little tiny cabin on the sting of the water. However after I bought to the home, I noticed it was an entire lot greater than I had imagined. It was unimaginable!

The yellow principal home was three tales tall; with a basement on the bottom ground; the lounge, eating room, kitchen and loo on the primary ground; and 4 small bedrooms on the second story.


Kjartan stated I might use one of many bedrooms upstairs, however I spent most of my time in both the kitchen or the lounge, the place I spent hours engaged on my pc and catching up on all of the tasks I had been unable to do whereas I touring throughout Denmark, Sweden and Norway on my bicycle.


Along with the primary home, there have been quite a lot of small outbuildings close by. There was a wood-cutting and wood-storage constructing and a big boat home down by the water. The home, in spite of everything, was positioned simply steps from the water on a small, picturesque bay – with views of mountains, water and fjords within the distance.


Kjartan stayed on the home with me for only a couple hours earlier than he jumped again in his automobile and drove again to Bergen. When he left me standing there on the entrance of the home, on their own, it felt actually unusual – like I used to be being left alone on a small abandoned island. Would I be capable of survive?

The primary evening in the home was just a little scary. As soon as it bought darkish, it bought extraordinarily darkish. The whole lot exterior the home was utterly pitch black and peculiar creaking noises made me marvel who or what else is perhaps in or round the home. However as the times glided by, I grew to become extra comfy there and as I continued to discover the home and the island itself, I actually started to really feel fairly at house.

Darren Alff lives on an island in Norway

Throughout my first full day on the island, I rode my bike up the highway a brief distance (about 2 km), hid my bicycle behind a big rock, after which hiked on foot as much as the highest of a giant mountain overlooking the western-most level of the island. From there, I might see the little yellow home the place I used to be staying and all of their neighboring homes. I used to be additionally handled with a spectacular view of the encompassing panorama – mountains, ocean, fjords and extra! It was a very unimaginable view – one which isn’t actually captured right here in any of the photographs I managed to take.


I assumed that being on their own on an island would make the time go slowly. I assumed I’d even get bored being there on their own on my own. However life on the island wasn’t like that in any respect. The truth is, I stored extraordinarily busy and the times handed far too rapidly.


Nearly each single day I’d stroll, run or bike away from the island on the highway main from the home the place I used to be staying to the ferry touchdown on the opposite facet of the island. Then, someplace alongside the highway, I’d minimize off into the rocks and bushes to my facet and proceed climbing off into some extra distant a part of the island. There have been a whole lot of small, lovely locations to discover. The truth is, I used to be there for two-and-a-half weeks and I solely noticed a small fraction of what the island needed to supply.


Every single day I’d exit and discover the island, typically taking photographs and typically leaving my digicam again on the home. If the solar was out, the island would look inexperienced and luxurious. The sky could be bursting with colours and the place would appear like an iconic island paradise.


On different days, darkish rain clouds would cowl the complete sky, turning the island grey. I stayed inside on a lot of lately, opting to work on my pc and keep dry, fairly than enterprise out into the storm and get moist. However there have been just a few days after I went operating or mountain climbing within the rain, and the surroundings was simply as spectacular then as on another day.


Climbing throughout the island I got here throughout dozens of huge spiders constructing webs throughout areas the place tiny bugs may fly. I additionally noticed quite a lot of grazing sheep and even a small sea otter, which ran out in entrance of my bicycle sooner or later. It ran in entrance of me for about 10 meters after which darted off right into a small creek on the facet of the highway. Essentially the most wonderful factor about seeing that sea otter was that he wasn’t anyplace close to the ocean. He was really about 1 km inland, excessive up on the highway, however in an space with a small pond (the place I imagined he was residing).


Most individuals don’t know this, however I really began bicycle touring as a result of I was an enormous runner. I used to be the primary particular person from my highschool to run 4 years of varsity monitor and it was the film Forrest Gump that first inspired me to contemplate operating (not biking) throughout america.

Whereas most individuals know me because the “Bicycle Touring Professional” I really take pleasure in operating quite a bit, however I haven’t carried out a lot of it currently as a result of I’ve been doing a lot biking. However right here on the island in western Norway, I discovered that I had the right highway to run on. It was quiet, lovely and nearly solely car-free.


So I spent a number of days on the island operating – each on the highway and on a few of the rocky terrain that lined the island. Someday, I ran 12 kilometers within the rain to a close-by village and again. I used to be soaking moist after I arrived again on the home, however I wasn’t in any respect out of breathe. My calves have been a bit sore, however I might have simply stored going. That run made me notice I’m in so much higher form than I typically know.


Earlier than I left the island I needed to get some photographs of me on my bicycle, so sooner or later I loaded up my touring bike and pedaled down the highway a brief distance. I had spent a number of days mountain climbing to the highest of the close by “mountains” and I assumed it might be wonderful if I might get my loaded touring bicycle up there so I might take some photographs.


What I didn’t notice, nonetheless, was how troublesome it was going to be to push and carry my heavy touring bicycle up that steep and troublesome terrain. There have been a number of elements the place I needed to leap over small streams or carry the bike down a pointy, harmful ledge. My ft bought soaked within the moist, swamp-like terrain, and by the point I bought the bike as much as the highest of the hill, I used to be close to exhaustion.


As soon as I bought my bike up there, I noticed how troublesome it was going to be to get a photograph of my really using my bicycle in that terrain. I set my digicam on my tripod and arrange the 10-second time, which I take advantage of to take most of my photographs. However operating throughout the rocks, getting on my bike, using it in entrance of the digicam, and doing all of this within the allotted time was extraordinarily troublesome.


Not solely was it troublesome to take photographs of me using my bicycle on the island, nevertheless it additionally made me want I had somebody there with me – somebody to truly maintain the digicam, focus the lens, and place the picture for the very best shot. You’ll be able to solely accomplish that a lot while you’re alone and dealing from a tripod.


I did handle to get just a few photographs of me using my fully-loaded touring bicycle on the highest of the rocky terrain that covers my distant island paradise in western Norway, however I don’t suppose I used to be capable of actually seize simply how spectacular this place actually is.


Throughout my final evening on the island I walked from the home, only a quick distance up the highway, after which climbed some rocks to get a greater view of my village and the encompassing panorama. I timed my climb to the highest of the rocks simply completely, as a result of as soon as I arrived there the solar started to set and I used to be handled to a spectacular view of my little island paradise.


Packing up my issues and leaving the island wasn’t straightforward. And it wasn’t straightforward as a result of I had fallen in love with the place. I’ve usually dreamed about proudly owning a home like that… and residing in a distant/lovely place like that… and I noticed after 2.5 weeks of residing there simply how particular this place is. I additionally knew that it was most unlikely I might ever be again. So, because the solar set that evening, I attempted to seize the essence of the place and soak all of it in.


The next morning, I awakened early, packed up my bicycle, shut off the water to the home, locked the entrance door, and pedaled away from my island paradise in Norway. I cycled up the highway I had spent a lot time strolling, operating and biking on… and at a sure level, I cycled previous the realm I used to be accustomed to. With the home now far behind me, I continued biking east… and I didn’t cease… till I bought to Umea, Sweden about 9 days later.



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