We left the Premier Inn at 06:15 to ride back to the airport, found the SAS check in desk and prepared the bikes. Our luggage only just fitted into our flight bags, I took a rear pannier as cabin baggage. As always, we used Cycling UK plastic bags, available from Wiggle. We had to take the flight bags as well as the bikes to excess baggage, four heavy items plus our cabin bags between two people as it’s not permissible to leave luggage unattended. Not for the first time, our bikes wouldn’t fit in the scanner so the operator had to call security to scan them by hand. The operator then had to go away to check the results, all this took time but we managed a muffin and coffee before proceeding to the gate.
The flight attendant explained that hold luggage must be collected from baggage reclaim and checked in again for an internal connection. There was also a “Connecting Norway” facility for people bearing only cabin baggage to have it cleared in a separate security channel leading to the departure gates. The bags were already on the carousel and the bikes propped up at the far end beyond carousel 10. We then had to drag it all via two lifts to the departure check in desks and thence to outsize baggage but we had plenty of time. After passing through Norwegian security, we collapsed exhausted to eat our lunch and wait for our connection. The airport was very busy, an unusual feature was a grand piano for the use of passengers, one of whom made use of it.
We landed at Bodø after our 90 minute flight, reassembled our bikes and rode into the nearby city for the Scandic hotel, leaving the bikes in their store room.
The ferry to Moskenes didn’t leave until 16:30 so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, a self service with a great choice of coffee, fruit, cereals, nuts and seeds, and cheeses. We looked round the city, the 15th largest with a population of 40,000 and the locals don’t even lock their bikes when they go shopping. Banners commemorated Bodø achieving town status 200 years ago. It was extensively bombed during World War 2, there’s no architecture of note but there’s a nice relaxed air and the harbour area was a pleasant place to sit in the sunshine, being a calm 17°C. A nice easy day after yesterday but we were left with the sense of having missed a perfect day for cycling. We were itching to start cycling through the islands but tomorrow’s forecast was for wind and rain.
A young cyclist from Bristol accompanied us on the ferry to the Lofoten Islands, he’d ridden up from Trondheim en route to the North Cape, an ambitious first ever cycle touring holiday, solo and wild camping. A number of backpackers were on board, a few in cars and some commercial traffic but few people in total. We lost the sunshine as evening approached and the road was wet at Moskenes though we stayed dry for the 5km to the Hostelling International hostel at Å. The Bristol cyclist was camping at Moskenes but we just had to start from Å which also marks the western extremity of the road in these islands. We were too late to check in, the warden had emailed instructions on finding our room so we took our bikes up, showered, cooked and ate.