We’re island hopping today, linking and following two recommended drives through Loften. Having toured the southern parts extensively, this second drive will take us to the northern islands of Hadseloya and Langoya.
The mountains are draped in cloud today, set low with the peaks poking through. Regardless of weather, it seems impossible to ruin the view. We pass a rather fabulous church, but our focus is on the ferry. We can see the crossing on a couple of maps, but are taking a gamble that it will be a car ferry vs a passenger one. Odds are good I think, but there’s always margin for error.
This part of the island is more in step with the rest of Norway’s countryside – either forest or farmland. We do see some fishing activity but they seem to be contained to fish farms, kept in enormous hooped nets in the fjords, some covered, others not. I’m presuming the covered ones are in areas with seals – looking perhaps for jobs as official tasters, resumes in hand.
Our luck is in, it’s a car ferry, and we’re soon across. Langoya is quite similar to Hadseloya. Our drive takes us up one side then the other one of an enormous fjord. It’s a key shipping lane and plays host to a great number of the cruise ships as well. Ducks and geese seem to prefer this island and waddle about in large groups of differing breeds from time to time.
The whole day is spent in transit and by late afternoon we done and need a place to perch. Unlike the other islands, this one is quite limited with fewer places to stop. Our luck is in again though. We round corner to a spectacular spot beside the fjord. The colours in the late afternoon sun are iridescent.
A few like minded motorhomes have already stopped for the night. Our nearest neighbour, a lovely German man draws Chris into conversation. There’s something about him that’s intensely engaging and I pop my head out to join in. He tells us of his travels with his wife of 55 years and speaks of her in such loving terms it’s hard not to be utterly charmed. It dawns on me after a while, he reminds me so much of my father that I can’t stop beaming as we chat. His infectious joy in everything he describes, his innate “Europeaness”, even many of his gestures and phrases are similar. It’s a memory my Buc, before arthritis and pain robbed him of his joy, when my father was strong, vibrant and happy.
Chris sees it too, the similarity, whilst not physical, is uncanny. It gives me much joy for most of the night, then the inevitable sadness and loss hits. That’s the thing with greif. Battle and shoulder it as you might, it rips your heart out without warning.
I miss him so much.