During our Travels in the Americas we wrote a couple of posts entitled ‘the people you meet’. The last few days have given us cause to pick up on this theme again. We seem to meet a lot of interesting people when we travel. Is that pure luck? Perhaps, but we do always try to be open to people. It may be as simple as engaging a total stranger in conversation waiting for a ferry or just standing and having a gander at our maps beside the bike (always guaranteed to get someone to come over and take an interest in us). The world map and the stickers on our panniers are also a good conversation starter. Then there’s pure chance meetings.
Pure chance meetings are by definition the ones you don’t expect and nearly always involve kindness from someone. So we weren’t expecting anything in particular when we stopped for a coffee break by a fjord. Then a chap in a yellow reflective tabard strolled down the path and joined us. Magnus was out for his Sunday cycle ride and we’re not sure if he’d stopped for a rest or just seen Bertie and came exploring. We ended up talking for ages about all sorts of things and as we hadn’t even decided how far we’d go that day or where we’d stay we weren’t in any rush to move on (the best way to travel by the way). Then Magnus told us he had a family cabin about 2 hours further south and said there’s no one there at the moment and we were welcome to use it. Amazing, he didn’t know us at all and he trusted us – bearing in mind his ‘cabin’ (like others dotted around fjords here) was actually a 3 bedroomed holiday home. He gave us instructions where to find it (it’s well tucked away off the main route), how the heating worked and told us to feel free to use it and help ourselves to what we needed for a comfortable stay. So that night we stayed in a very comfortable Norwegian cabin with all the mod cons and a stunning view, for free. Needless to say, we were careful to leave it as we found it. What kindness and trust from someone we had only just met.
On the way down to Magnus’s cabin we stopped at a layby to have a break and admire a glacier when a guy from Swansea and his family turned up in their campervan. We ended up chatting for ages about all sorts of things (including of course, rugby).
A few days before this we’d been walking on a beach next to our ‘campsite’ on the Lofoten Islands when a couple from the Czech Republic turned up on the beach. It was rather bizarre because she was wearing a full white wedding gown and he was in his suit. Not something you usually see on the beach.
Turns out Dalibor Konopac (Instagram) is a professional photographer from the Czech Republic and Pedra was his bride, they’d been married a month. They were going round the islands taking ‘wedding’ photos in different settings. They got us taking shots of them so I became a temporary pro photographer – ‘unpaid’. Dalibor gave me plenty of ‘direction’ and I got to use his rather expensive Canon DSLR. Hopefully he got some useable shots out of it. Meanwhile Jenny snapped away with her smartphone and I think you’ll agree she got some pretty good shots!
An interesting few days. The people you meet, who’d have thought it ……