Nolsoy – Torshavn – Klaksvik – Havannasund – postboat round Fugloy andSvínoy- Havannasund – Klaksvig – Torshavn – Nolsoy 10.08.16
My limbs ache. Mostly from yesterdays endeavours but i have also been aware for some time of a much deeper underlying heaviness in my body. Its like wading through mud much of the time and of course, having mentioned parkinsons yesterday, my google doctor tells me that a heaviness, immobility begins to set in. The internet can be dangerous at times. I think im just missing regular supported walking with poles. When i nordic walked regularly, whole body exercise, i felt much more flexible.
The day is bright and sunny again, i caught the sun on my nose yesterday. My whole being sways continually and my body knows not whether i am on land or sea. I remember lying on very solid rock yesterday and feeling the rock move with the swell of the water. It was very strange but not unpleasant, i could hear the crashing waves and feel them too. All travel has this tendency to confuse my sense of balance but i actually really rather like this swaying.
I have a day of travel waiting, seventy five minutes here, forty there and will not return home until ten thirty this evening. Just over three hours of waiting time. I sit in Torshavn transport hub, bus station and ferry terminal. Technically i have internet but if i actually want to use it i have to stand close to the desk window. It occurs to me to buy reading material, Jack Kerouac, On The Road is something i noted during my Australian journey. I like the sound of it, would like to read reviews but leaving my seat and standing by the window to do so feels frustrating. Is that laziness?
I am actually carrying a notebook and pen today such that i can write when on the post boat. It is a three and a half hour journey servicing the islands. Yesterday i watched as double glazed window units were offloaded at Mykines, a taster of things in store today. With a rough swell, getting people on and off the boat required care, moving the units was precarious. This morning i shared the Nolsoy ferry over with two dustcarts, Nolsoys dustbins have been emptied. Heavy concrete barriers were being transported over, in readiness i presume for this weekends festival.
Done, i shifted my butt and discover that Kerouac is rather a classic in terms of travel literature. I still have six hours left of reading the shipping forecast but suspect Kerouac may replace that. Im beginning to be able to read more efficiently using kindle, though still havent really grasped all the essentials, whether i will buy travel guides or not im unsure. I have missed my Faroes one, having sent it back to Norwich with Carla, not expecting to return here, but have missed it more in terms of learning about places than actually needing it.
Sometimes there is joy in not knowing and perhaps i will move through Denmark, not knowing, just existing. Ive checked maps, if i were to move to Finland it would take me past many islands and Turku, an area ive not seen. I need to be carful though, ferries may seem very easy but moving across borders on ferries every few days would be expensive. Ten minutes to my bus, time to move.
Wait number two and the prize for the filthiest loos in the Faroes goes to Klaksvig. I am surprised that with this the second biggest town in the Faroes that there are no food facilities here. With a forty minute wait i have plenty of time to walk into town and find something, i buy my second hot dog since i have been here. It is a common site to see people walking around eating them. That and ice cream. Ice cream everywhere but surprisingly, as its one of my weaknesses, ive bought little. I just made an error, matching a name to a picture and thinking i was getting chocolate drops in a chocolate icecream only to find myself eating liquorice flavoured ice cream with a plasticky liquorice coating. I love liquorice but not this thanks. My hot dog is stashed in my bag for i will need food on my return journey but will only have a ten minute wait here.
I have pondered many things as a sight seer looking out of bus windows. Today i wonder about seaweed, the girls in Nolsoy cafe have explored seaweed icecream yet ive not heard, seen or read anything of it elsewhere. Yet it grows so abundantly one might imagine that it would have been a natural crop for ancient people. google helps me to establish that they used it for sheep fodder and to make black salt which they used for curing but has no reference to its use as a foodstuff. As i watch the jagged rocks and mountain tops disappering into the clouds and distant islands fading in and out of the haze i realise how i have come to take this landscape for granted and just how exquisitly beuatiful it is…. especially when the sun shines!
I think i have found myself a new sitting spot and yes, i have a beer in front of me. I thought i was going to avoid drinking tonight but in this land of maybe maybe things didnt quite go to plan.
I should have arrived back in Torshavn with just fifty minutes to wait for my ferry to Nolsoy but…. my awesome post boat experience took way longer than it should and we arrived back too late for the bus from Havannasund to Klaksvik, not a problem as they had laid on a taxi for the same price BUT it meant i had also missed my connection from Klaksvik to Torshavn. if i took a later bus i would be stuck in Torshavn for the night so there was only one thing for it…. stick out my thumb fot the eighty kilometre journey.
Two quick lifts later, befriending both an 85year old Faroese guy and a young Slovakian, on the road for two years, i end up in Torshavn over an hour earlier than the bus. It is cold this evening and two hours on the street didnt sound fun.
Im sitting at a first floor window in Sirkus, a quirky bar, most reminiscent perhaps of Gonzos Tearooms in Norwich. Bowls of popcorn, a decoupage feel to the environment,mcurved staircases and ambient atmosphere. Later it will become alive with music but for now offers me a small round table with candle and flowers looking out on to a tiny square and colourful old four floor merchant houses sitting opposite the fish stalls. The square seems to be a pokie spot, eating a chicken kebab packed full with salad. youngsters dribble visit, noses to the ground to find their pokie. I understand that this is being promoted as a health kick, getting kids off gaming machines and out in the fresh air getting exercise. Hmmm maybe maybe.
But i must speak of my day. I tried Jolly, Faroese coke, it wasnt good, mostly as a result of having litle fizz and i just needed fizz. I read last night that in Scotland they are also using old oil tankers as fish farms as are having the same problems with lice and other pests as their Faroese counterparts but i also read that they are using fresh, not salt water, having developed the tankers to also be desalination plants. I wonder what the life of the poor salmon who surely wants to be in salt water and think i must increase my endeavours to find wild salmon.
Potatoes and hay have been natural markers of time for me over here, the potatoes were little more than sprouts coming through the turf when I arrived but are now in full bloom with lush green growth. Sometimes it has seemed as if they have changed overnight from brown plots to green. And watching the hay process has been rewarding, I started out fretting that it wasnt being cut and now I witness scarred landscape throughout the islands with green striations indicating water channels.
Streaks of jagged silver tear down the hills as the sun glints on endless waterfalls that sprout miraculously after days of heavy rain. With the sun shining strongly the whole landscape is lit up with reflected light.
One of the advantages of travelling in a bus is having a higher view point. I am able to look at fjords carefully and sometimes notice a frill at the edges. I come to understand that where one of these waterfalls enters the fjord, it brings down alluvial silt, and tumbling rock so short spits develop out into the fjord.
Ive been taking a series of photos just concentrating on grey, ive no idea if i will create any textile work around the faroes but grey seems to be the colour. today ive decided perhaps silver comes in. And blue. They are after all a kind of grey. Todays pictures are very very different from yesterday’s but therein lies the interest.
As the bus drives through Klaksvik it reminds me in a sense of old Australian towns, a broad street with low rise uniform coloured development running along it. In my wonderings i have explored reasons that houses are mostly detached when it would make sense from a building materials and warmth point of view to build terraced or semi detached. It is of course that the land is rarely level and finding a spot on which to build does not neccessrily mean the next house will be on the same level or even in the same line which has resulted in the attractive but somewhat haphazard building lines across the islands. This long broad street then looks a little unusual, out of place and i wonder whether it might have been built on reclaimed land. I have asked several people about concerns for global warming but they are few, it seems not to be discussed as a topic, not on the political agenda. I find this surprising but very interesting.
A clothes line sports bright coloured cloth which strikes me as unusual but i am unable to understand as buildings obscure the view and the wildly flapping colour line has gone. We pass fences on which have been placed, what i think are pelts of sheep. It is not the killing season so i am a bit surprised to see these but would love not to explore more closely.
We pass an occasional cyclist. Biking up long hills feels incredible hard work. It was bad enough yesterday trying to walk uphill with strong winds trying to push me back down and i am in awe of all but around town cyclists here, and there are few of those. Two young girls get on the bus with bikes safely stashed in the luggage hold. Everyone seems to wear helmets making concerns for safe cycling greater than concerns for safe driving. Our bus driver wears crocs and talks on his mobile. This is not uncommon and seatbelt use is inconsistent and appears unenforced. I remember my only car journey with Marit, she became frustrated that her phone wouldnt work while driving. We were going through an undersea tunnel at the time but i was unable to persuade her that this might be the reason.
I saw a very tempting, fishermans smock type jumper in Klaksvik today but thankfully when i touched it to establish the price, it was itchy itchy wool so i didnt have to fret about buying it. It was clearly new generation knitting and looked exciting.
My second lift today, the eighty five year old ex teacher, regaled many stories of war time and boats, i missed thinking about how many changes he must have seen in his lifetime and would now like to ask him more. He told me the contribution Denmark makes to the economy is 65 million, i check this later with my revered friend google who suggests 3% of GDP and this figure makes sense. That is lower than i expect. He is in favour of independence, although unable to find the words to say why he wants the Faroes to be a European country in their own right, not tied to Denmark.
Inevitably conversation comes around to Brexit and how damaging it is for the whole of Europe. He asks how i like our new prime minister and i am ashamed to say i have no idea who it is. Now, i know of course, Theresa May, but in the moment and feeling so distant, i had been put off by his use of the pronoun ‘he’ and couldn’t for the life of me put a name to the job.
I waffle. Much. Yet haven’t begun to explore the beauty of today and soon must go for my ferry. I remember this morning that i had planned to sleep on my 90 minute bus from Klaksvik to Torshavn, no wonder i struggled responding to questions from the lovely old guy. I am tired tired tired, my calves dont want to move and my whole body is weary. I will be pleased to climb into bed tonight.
Ive still not started on today. I wont do it justice. The postboat services the two most northerly islands, just three small villages yet it does this trip three times a day. ‘Post’ can mean anything from a new screwdriver to a ladder, second hand furniture or rusty cars for the scrapyard. The landscape was stunning but perhaps ill let pictures tell the rest of the story.
Sometimes pictures say more than words. If i were a techowhizz kid i would be using a platform where i could easily upload words and pictures but im afraid im a basic user and my photos in the main are uploaded to facebook.
Ive seen a very impressive wordpress blog trianglianorfolkbroads.wordpress.com but struggled when i tried to use wordpress. I actually think this blogger platform may have the capacity to perfom like that, the user is just not quite up to it!