Day 8. Blokhus to Hirtshals.
Distance 66.7km Average 14.6 km/h.We awoke to be greeted by a sunny and dry morning. There was little wind at the site so we happily ignored the idea that we might get a headwind today. We fiddled and ate breakfast in the sun, and got going properly when the sunshine started disappearing behind the pine trees.
We also had looked at our route for the day and realised that we had the opportunity to cycle along the beach for around fifteen kilometres. We headed back to the route and pretty soon were at the Saltum Strand. It was of course still very sunny, with both sky and sea a lovely deep blue colour. This was a incredibly long beach that made Long Beach on Vancouver Island seem ordinary. It was also a couple of hundred metres from the dunes to the shoreline, as the tide was out that day. Cars and campers were driving on the beach and people were still arriving, picking out their spot for the day.
At first we tried to cycle on the track made by the cars but the sand was just way too soft. In the end we headed to the damp sand right next to the water and found a surface hard enough to cycle on. I tried not to think about the effect of brine on a combination of aluminium and steel and got on with pedalling. We had by now also noticed the headwind.
The view was tremendous (see picture and video*) 'amazing' was how Damae described it, and to be honest it was. The sun was up and the sand beach stretched off into invisible distance. Maybe it just went on forever. Damae was really enjoying this section but the chronicler was finding it tough going. Maybe a combination of the last couple of days cycling and general tiredness. I had woken several times in the night to hear rain on the outside of the tent.
After a photo stop we agreed to head inland at Grønhøj and take the parallel tarmac road that ran via Ingstrup to Løkken. Despite the short distance cycled we also stopped for an early lunch at the kiosk consisting of some chips coffee and ice-cream. Hopping back on the bikes once on the main road we noticed that the headwind was there too but it was nice for me to have hard tarmac instead of wet sand under my tyres.
The tarmac did not last forever, and at Tornby we headed off the main road onto quieter ones. Damae marked this section up to Tornby Sand as nice. At around two thirty, after being battered continuously by the wind we were ready for a stop. We chanced across an old farm and museum and sat outside in the sun eating our sandwiches, whilst I brewed a cuppa.
As the water was boiling Damae got curious and went to have a look to see what the museum was. The farmhouses last belonged to Jens Jenssen (or Tom Tomsson I forget). The farm had not really been modernised much since the early part of the 20th century so the cow sheds were of stone rather than concrete for example. The oldest parts of the building dated from much earlier, a time when people were a lot shorter, the only gloss paint available was blue and the only matt paint was white. Little bits of more recent history were to be found in the furnished rooms.