Autumn (Fall) begins here in late August, with colours peaking in mid September. Here are some pictures from north Senja. Two trips in one Sunday. This was the journey out to Botnhamn, where even the sea weed looked autumnal:
Family service at Botnhamn old people home, including the presentaion of confirmands and presentation of books to 6 year olds:
Continuing the walking theme back in September, we had another very pleasant walk up Tortenli on the east side of Senja. The first half of the route follows the ski track which I often use in winter, but then the path cuts up to a hill top through the woods. The view from the top takes in Gisundet (the sea seperating Senja from the mainland), with Kistefjell in the background. To the north is Gibostad and in the far distance are the mountains around Tromsø. It was a beautiful sunny autumn day with the only sound for most of the journey being the sheep bells.
September continued with sunny autumnal weather, and we used a free couple of hours before a service at Rossfjord old peoples home for a walk up Kvitfløya, a ‘vantage point’ above Rossfjord church (300m / 1000′). The colours were beautiful, although suprisingly difficult to fully capture with a camera.
The second Sunday in September included a trip to Husøy on the north of Senja for a morning service. About 3/4 of the outward journey was in the most amazing low cloud / sea fog. There was literally no horizon as the flat calm sea and lakes merged completely seamlessly into the fog.
On the final leg of the journey, the road rises. Once clear of the clouds it was a beautiful sunny day. On the way back I stop to snap a couple of the wayside attractions put in place for the Arctic Race – a bit like the Tour de France, but colder – which swept through a few weeks ago.
Susanna has begun her studies at Birmingham Conservatoire (England). She flew out early in September and is enjoying the student life. She also achieved her main goal in life: to move from her parents before they moved from her (a reference to the fate of her big sisters).
Here she is with her bereft mother . . .
. . . her new coat, and all the worldly posessions she could fit in 2 cases weighing less than 40 kgs:
So now we are, as one of our retired clergy commented, in English, “Back to basics”.
We have a spare room if anyone is interested . . .
Now that the this new blogg is up and running, there’s rather a lot of ctaching up to do!
Here is a selection from late August.
Shining clouds over Husøy on the north of Senja:
A harvest moon:
Susanna prepared for her final concert in Finnsnes. This was the press picture:
Colourful sunsets came back:
And the northern lights returned (well became visible again). As well as the aurora, another thing that is very special here is the way that for a few weeks in the spring and autumn the sky can be graduated from very light on the horizon to completely black overhead:
This is part 2 of my annual camping trip with our youth minister / catechist. Part 1 is here.
You can see a proper interactive map of the route here, otherwise this small map shows the rough route:
After a night completely zipped into our sleeping bags to avoid mosquitos, we awake to a beautiful day:
A great view for breakfast:
After breakfast we broke camp, setting off in search of water for drinking and washing. First stop was Lutvatnet, for a ‘refreshing’ swim and a spot of washing up:
Then onwards towards Reinlivatnat for lunch. On the way we met our photocopier technician, out for a spot of fishing. Tempting as another swim was in the heat of the day, a slightly chill wind and the presence of snow right beside the water decided us against bathing.
After lunch it was on toward Finnskardvatnet. We gained some height and looking back we could see Sørreisa where our wives we otherwise engaged with a wedding.
There were many small un-named lakes along the way, some with the most amazing turquoise colour:
The view now opened up again with the islands out towards Andeness:
Apart from the breeze, the only sound was an occasional bird:
The rest of the walk was pretty much downhill, through woodland and in the company of a river which was also heading to Storbunkevatnet:
The wind dropped, leaving the lake like a mirror:
Not wanting to be too sweaty in the car for the hour drive home, it was obviously time for another swim. Frank also claims that he now knows how to avoid feeling cold: just keep yelling “Det går bra” (It’s going great)!
And finally to Olaheimvatnet, where Sarah picked us up.
August meant it was time for my annual camping trip with our youth minister / catechist. We continued we picked up where we left off last year on the main north – south walking path on Senja. You can see a proper interactive map of the route here, otherwise this small map shows the rough route:
The first day was from Tranoybotn to Selfjordvatnet. As ever, we set off rather later than we had thought we would, but at least we were spared the heat of the day! The first couple of hours we retraced our steps from last year, through Ånderdalen nation park to Åndervatnet (a lake). Much of this section is over wetland. In order to protect the environment (and to avoid visitors sinking in the mud), there is a plank walkway:
At the lake we stopped for sandwiches, although flies kept us from sitting too long! Then we set off across more wetland (this time without the aid of planks), before walking up beside a river with waterfalls and a great view back over Åndervatnet. As evening fell and we got higher, the mountains were revealed in ‘layers’:
Despite the path being the main tourist walking route on Senja, there were many sections where the path was not obviously worn, so we were very grateful to the people who go out and paint red spots on trees and rocks, to keep us on the straight and narrow:
From the highest point of the first days walking we could see south to the bridge from the mainland to Dyrøy, and west to the archepeligo between Senja and Andenes:
As we began to descend towards Selfjordvatnet we encountered a former relative of the reindeer (no it wasn’t the remains of our dinner!). Frank thought it would be good to get a couple of pictures we could use on Christmas cards; you’ve been warned:
The antlers were very heavy.
As we approached Selfjordvatnet it was nearly dark and it became quickly apparent that there was no way down to the lake from the path, so we found a flat spot with enough space to make a fire and set up camp. We didn’t have a tent this year, but we both had ‘military’ grade sleeping bags with water proof and heat reflecting outers which simplified life. During the last hour of walking all the streams we crossed were empty (suprising give it’s been a wet summer), but thankfully we had enough water with us to make soup and a cup of tea. And of course we had a view . . .