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mcrtchly: Track 3989 in area near Faroe Islands, Norðoyar ()
A Postcard from the Edge
Length: 4.3km, Creator time taken: 3h24m, Ascent: 216m, Descent: 224m
Places:Start at Lon -6.78887, Lat 62.3616, end at Start Logged as completed by 1
This summer we spent 2 weeks in the Faroe Islands, a remote arrowhead-shaped archipelago of 18 basalt islands rising up out of the roiling North Atlantic Ocean between Norway and Iceland. One of the highlights of our trip there was the hike that we did to the Kallur Lighthouse on Kalsoy Island in the north-east of the archipelago. Situated between the islands of Eysturoy and Kunoy, its name means ‘man island’, but locals have nick-named it ‘the flute’, on account of its long thin shape and the four road tunnels that link its four tiny settlements - Húsar, Mikladalur, Syðradalur and Trøllanes - which have a combined population of about 150. The island is served by a mail boat (named Sam) which makes regular crossings from the port of Klaksvík on the island of Borðoy to the village of Syðradalur. From here we drove to the northernmost tiny farming community of Trøllanes to pick up the Kallur Lighthouse trailhead. This entailed passing through the narrow, cold, damp tunnels, the longest of which is over 2 km long. These are all dimly lit and one lane only, and are a somewhat daunting proposition for those unused to driving in such conditions!
There is a small car park serving the village where it’s safe to leave your vehicle. There are no official trail markers, but beyond a red gate the path is easy to follow, and the famous lighthouse is soon spotted on the horizon. Hiking this path can be rough and muddy during most of the year, and although it’s not a difficult hike, fog can also engulf the area making it somewhat challenging. Once you reach the lighthouse however, it’s a different ball game altogether. To gain the coveted and epic Instagram view, you will need to progress past it onto a promontory to the north which is accessed via a badly eroded knife edge arête with death defying drops to the seething ocean on either side. This would be a very foolhardy undertaking in high wind and rain, ice or snow, or in poor visibility. The view of the lighthouse, built in 1927, dwarfed by the mighty saw-toothed Borgarin Mountain (537m) rising ominously behind it, is certainly worth the squeaky bum moment! The Faroes will give the Emerald Isle a run for its money in terms of moss and grass, and the western coast of Kalsoy has dramatically steep cliffs with neon-green promontories, the angle of repose of which defy the laws of gravity and physics. The view of matchstick figures walking out along one such ridge of another promontory to the east of the lighthouse will long linger in the mind. In addition to offering face-slapping views, the northern parts of Kalsoy are also an important birding area. The towering cliffs are a critical breeding place for seabirds like Atlantic puffins, European storm petrels, and black guillemots, and their haunting and incessant cries fill the air. You could make your visit to Kallur Lighthouse more of an adventure by taking an old track used by the islanders before the road and tunnels were built in the 1970s and 80s. This runs from the village of Mikladalur (where we camped at the only site on the island) to Trøllanes, but it is a dangerous and precipitous path which some say is best avoided.
For more views of this walk and other sights in the Faroe Islands see our new video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/gVJUAWI0Bos
Uploaded on: Wed, 7 Nov 2018 (13:29:11) Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/3989/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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