Yesterday was a bit of a nightmare for us weather wise. A funny nightmare, but a nightmare non the less. Today however turned out to be a really enjoyable day. Arriving at our campground near Brønnøysund means we have started out trip up Helgelandskysten. I’ve been through here once before, and the two main points here are scenic view and ferries.
So we packed up and left Mosheim Camping to head something I had missed the one and only other time I have driven through this part of Norway, Torghatten.
Torghatten is a mountain that juts up from the landscape, containing a natural tunnel through its centre. The hole was carved during the ice age, but legend has it that the hole was created by a troll. The troll, Hestemannen, was chasing a beautiful girl (Lekamøya). But when the troll realised he couldn’t catch the girl, he fired and arrow towards her, but a troll king threw his hat in the way of the arrow to save her. The hat turned into the mountain we know today with the iconic hole through it.
There are two marked hiking trails at Torghatten. One leads to the hole and is 800m long. The other goes to the top of the mountain, and I imagine it’s a little bit more strenuous than the one to the hole. The trail itself is clear and easy to follow, but after rain it turns into a bit of a creek in places. So make sure to wear appropriate footwear to not get wet.
As we were getting closer to the hole, we started to really grasp the size of it. Pictures don’t really give you a good indication of how massive it really is. It is massive. Cresting the hill and getting our first glimpse of the hole was a whole other experience. The view is simply stunning.
We spent some time at the lower part of the tunnel just admiring the view, watching the clouds roll by. Thankfully we had nice weather for this part of the trip.
After we got back down from Torghatten it was time to get back on the road and start covering some distance. Helgelandskysten is part of the 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes. It’s the longest at 433km long and includes 6 ferries.
We haven’t really mentioned any details about ferries in Norway on this trip. Now is a good time to do it…
Ferries are everywhere along coastal Norway, and generally the crossing time takes between 20 minutes to an hour. Most are operated every 30 minutes but this really depends on the crossing. And they’ll be operating from early morning to late evening. Incidentally we missed the last ferry we were supposed to take today, and since the next departure was over an hour away, we decided to just camp instead. The prices also vary a lot, but you can expect to pay between 100 NOK – 200 NOK for a car plus one (driver is included in the car).
One of the great things about the ferries is that it provides you with a break in the trip without having to just sit around at a random rest stop. Get to the top deck and take some photos. Or get inside and have lunch. We opted for the most common and typical ferry food, “Svele“. Perfect with brown cheese, jam or even sour cream.
The trip continued north with very changing weather. One moment sunshine, the other overcast or rain. We got really unlucky as we were approaching Levang Ferry Wharf. We missed the ferry by less than a minute… It pulled away as we got there.
Had I known the departure time ahead of time, I would have stepped on it. This set us back a bit, and ultimately made us late for the next ferry as well. But when you’re surrounded by this gorgeous scenery, who cares!
A few hours later we arrived at Kilboghavn, and due to the ferry not being for over an hour we decided to just spend the night at the nearest camp ground. I am sure they depend a lot on tourists missing the ferry here.
The facilities were great and we both had a well deserved shower. After the recent rain the actual ground in the tent area was pretty soggy, and we almost got the car stuck while looking for the best place to set up. It was a lesson in making sure to scout by foot first.
Tomorrow we’ll be crossing the Polar Circle and officially enter the arctic! It’s going to be a good day.