RSKE Year 3 Day 16. Wednesday 29 July.

NW Løkta to Tjøtta. 43 km, 6.3 km/hr average speed. Start 1200 arrive 2200.

Today’s paddle

We were woken at about 0700 by winds shaking the tents so hard we checked on the pegs and lines. All good and no cattle. We went back into the sleeping bags, this sounded like another wait on weather day. by 1000 the wind had subsided and the forecast was OK so we decided to have a late breakfast and get going, aiming for Tjøtta. We wanted to visit the “Soviet war cemetery” where 8000 out of the about 13000 Soviet prisoners of war that died in Norway are buried.

Preparing thermos cooked dinner at breakfast

We paddled off at 1200 and found that the currents were favorable so we extended the first leg all the way to the Marina/campground in Sandnessjøen. We are now getting into more densely populated areas (all things are relative) and that means that there are an increasing number of ferry lanes to cross. That was the only thing we had to worry about in calm and sunny weather.

Another day of calm weather paddling

We arrived at Tjøtta at 2200 and set up camp at the beach close to the cemetery, but in respectful distance to a young couple that was camping there. This wasn’t exactly a place to go to seek company and they seemed a bit reserved about our late appearance.

We set up the tents and decided to visit the cemetery before we had dinner.

Camp at Tjøtta

The cemetery is a well kept and solem place, most of it is occupied by the graves of the Soviet prisoners of war, but part of it is dedicated to the more than 2500 that perished when the prison transport vessel Riegel was sunk.

At the monument commemorating the Russian prisoners of wat

We walked through the cemetery at sunset reading some of the 8000 names that are listed in alphabetical order on metal plates hung on the stone plates. It reminded us about our midnight visit to Sandarmokh in June 2018 (Day 105). There were actually more Russian war prisoners dead in Norway than Norwegians killed in conflict during WW2 (13000 vs 10000). A lot can (and probably should) be said and discussed about Russia, but there is little doubt that historically Russia must be the most traumatized country in Europe.

One of the numerous plates with the names of the POWs buried here

Dinner was a short and silent affair. And shortly after midnight lights were out. Tomorrow we have an appointment to talk about our trip in Brønnøysund, thanks to a recommendation from our friend Anders Thygesen. Weather Permitting.

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