It was 8am and Id missed the first two ferries. I got myself ready, wished Sebastian a safe journey and rode the 200m to the ferry, parking next to a red motorhome in the queue. The next moment Jess appeared next to me. He had got new tyres and left Ettiene at the tyre shop.
The rain was threatening to make it a wet and windy day as we boarded the ferry.
Olderdalen to Lingseidet was only 20 minutes and then a short but impressive ride saw me arrive at Svensby for a slightly longer ferry ride to Briedvik. I told Jess I’d wait for him. At the ferry port I had a quick chat with the two cyclists I had met the night before and let the ferry sail whilst I waited for Jess.
I got a coffee and sat in the waiting room, which of course was a stunning little cafe with a great owner who talked about the whales and dolphins he sees each year. He made me laugh as I had been outside and he came out to say I was welcome into the cafe to wait. His words, “Ahh you are British, you can come in to wait, although you guys like the weather a bit shit!”
Jess duly arrived as did another Sebastien (Sebastian 2) cyclist. This one German. He had limited time and had flown to Finland then cycled to the top and was now headed for Lofoten before flying home. He said he had been cursing the headwinds all day and now the rain was coming in hard. We all sat inside and Jess supplied boiling water for Sebastian 2’s noodles, which made him very happy.
Jess showed me a parking place he was going to spend the night and I said I’d meet him there. I rode off first and headed the short distance to Tromsø. It was heaving with rain and I decided to park up and find a place to dry out and eat. Hey look a car park and an all you can eat pizza place. I was sold, obviously. It was mid day and the buffet finished at 3pm. I put my gloves on the heater and all my wet gear on spare seats at my table overlooking the harbour and my bike.
I went to get my second plate of pizza and on return a small yellow tag was hanging from the left hand grip. I wasn’t going to look but sure as hell it would be a ticket.
At 3pm I settled my bill and took a ride round town. I was still wet and cold. I made my way to the place Jess was camping. It was high up in the cloud and even wetter. I spent some time looking for a place to pitch my tent, nowhere!
I looked up campsites. Of the two closest one was closed and the other didn’t exist. I started looking for places to wild camp but again the quiet places I found were waterlogged. Jess had mentioned a place near the airport but that didn’t appear as I searched. Then I found a hotel. Dripping wet I went to the door and it didn’t open. The whole hotel was closed for a refurb. There was nothing for it Booking.com found me the cheapest hotel in town, about 2 minutes from the pizza place.
After placing everything in the room to dry out I took a walk through the town, before bed