Day 8 part 2. Blokhus to Hirtshals.
Once refreshed by the meal we decided to wheel the bikes round to the front of the building and take a look round. In the central section there was an exhibition relating to the history of the area. The plates had text in only Danish, although you could get an accompanying booklet with the text in English. We had a shortish mooch round the main exhibition made a little hasty by the feeling that we were not making good progress.
We chatted for a short while over a cup of coffee to the gentleman at the reception. He added some background to the place, and brought it alive with stories of piracy and wily Danes of years gone by. A trick carried out by many was to light bonfires in the wrong place (when bonfires were the lighthouses of the time) hoping that a ship would run aground thereby providing bounty to be looted. If I remember correctly most sections of society were involved in such chicanery including members of the local clergy.
He also explained that the museum used to be sited in a nearby lighthouse, but that those buildings were now covered in sand. This is part of the natural and continuous erosion of the Danish coastline. Unlike in the Netherlands where either dunes or dykes protect the land, in many places in Jutland the land is just being eaten away.
This also happens on the east coast of England where similar problems of loss of land occur and apparently cannot be stopped. The end game in the next decade will be that the lighthouse and the buildings will just fall into the sea. The process of the buildings being covered is the last stage before the land gets eaten away from sea level. We didn't take the time to visit the doomed light house maybe something I'll mildly regret in the future.
We finally left about an hour after arriving. We headed back onto the quiet tarmac road, which just happened to get busy as we left. A little further up we had a lovely off-road section through a forested area. Although the road surface was at times hard going, the forest provided some welcome relief from the headwind (you can hear the wind in the video* and get an idea of the road surface). It was a slow day, but we were glad that we had a short day up to Hirthals. We normally reckon on spending five to six hours a day in the saddle, the distance travelled determined by the speed of cycling. Today was slow but in terms of hours cycled (around four and a half) a full day.
We finally popped out of the forest to see a large house, and realised that we had hit the edge of Hirthals. The campsite was easy to find being on the route, and we then found the harbour and bought our tickets for the following day.
We'd already decided that there was no way we were going to be able to do the 13 from Stavanger to Voss having lost so much time and energy to bike problems. So we decided to cut our losses and implement 'plan B', take the boat to Bergen and start from there. We were surprised to see that there were cheaper cabins still available and the price considering the length of journey was very reasonable.