Thursday, 17 September 2009

Klitmøller to Thyborøn: Along the west coast of Jutland


After 6 hours and 3 different trains I arrived at the township of Thisted where I boarded a bus for the 30 minute trip to Klitmøller. By then it was lunchtime so a visit to the Bageri was my first stop before heading south out of the township along the West Coast Trail, part of the North Sea Trail and signed with lifeboat emblems to reflect the trails heritage as a the lifeboat path used to rescue stranded sailors along the exposed North Sea coastline.

The first section of the trail out of Klitmøller follows the road south about a kilometre inland from the sea, before entering Nystrup Klitplantage, a pleasant forest with a mixture of pines, birch and heath.

Throughout the first day I was either walking along small gravel roads or along the original life boat trail in Vangs å Hede. There were not many people around and certainly away from the car parks I saw only one or two people. After crossing Vangs å Hede (heathlands) I headed out to Bøgsted Rende with its imposing registered sea mark atop the dunes.



After attempting to take photos in the blustery winds near the sea mark I set off down to the shoreline before turning inland towards Tvorup Klitplantage and ultimately camp. However, being a coastal region and very few streams I had to load up with water for the next 3 km of trail along with water for cooking leaving sufficient to get me though another 3 km in the morning. So with an extra 4 kg in my pack I set off towards camp.

Camp for the night was in Tvorup Klitplantage on the fringes of the heathlands. Here I pitched the MLD Grace Solo Tarp and laid out my BPL.com Vapor Bivy. See this earlier posting for a photo. I was soon into the making of dinner using the Trail Designs Caldera Inferno with the BPL 900 pot. The beauty of wood fires is that you do not have to worry about fuel, but with the many fire warning signs around as well as firefighting equipment near the shelter it was also obvious that care needs to be taken at this time of the year.

I awoke the next morning to a beautiful but breezy morning I was soon packed and headed out along the slightly overgrown trail through the heathlands, passing many different colours as I went below the photo shows what is know as Lyng in Denmark

The walk along the trail in the cool of the morning was very pleasant and with the wind at my back I was able to look around and admire the flora and the large sand hills to the west.



Soon however, I was returned to the reality of bitumen roads that led to Nr. Vorupør a popular tourist destination along with a fish smokery, of interest was the fishing cutters on the beach. These cutters are still used and provide fish for the adjacent Fish smoke house.


Passing through Nr and Sondre Vorupør I headed towards Stenbjerg another small fishing village with its unique beach landing place where the fishing cutters were also launched in days gone by. However, as I followed the trail through the heathlands I noted the old survey mark from the late 1800's apparently used to mark the lifeboat trail.


After Stenbjerg the trail crosses Lyngby Hede which stretches for about 10 km from the outskirts of Stenbjerg to Lodbjerg lighthouse. The afternoon sunshine made for a warm afternoons walk, especially as heading south (with the wind at my back) meant that I was walking into the sun the whole time. approximately halfway across the Hede you enter the village of Lyngby with its old life boat station which can be reserved for overnight accommodation for hikers and cyclists. The Lyngby life boat station is one of approximately 60 lifeboat stations that were placed along the west coast of Jylland.



Leaving Lyngby I returned to the hede for the final 7 kilometres to Lodbjerg Fyr, camp for the night. The lighthouse is located approximately a kilometre back from the coastline. The walk through the heathlands continued to provide a wide variety of scenery with some large sand dunes appearing along the coast line.



The shelter and campsite near the base of Lodbjerg lighthouse reminded me of a wind tunnel and with a sign indicating that 12 persons were staying the night in the shelter or its surrounds I headed to the forest where the was only a slight breeze and a beautiful mossy campsite. As day walkers walked nearby I got many perplexed looks at the tarp and bivy arrangement, no one asked but I am sure they wondered what I was doing there. Having had dinner as the guests with there bags of food and alcohol (it is a 200 metre walk from the parking area) arrived, I decided to go for a stroll around the area safe in the knowledge that the noise of the wind would drown out the sounds of late night revelry.

My neighbours and I awoke to a beautiful morning and whilst my campsite was neat the same could not be said for theirs, but in all fairness they were not that noisy and they did clean the area up as they had breakfast. I set off towards Agger and the peninsula that would take me to the ferry and then the train and then home.



After a short walk through through the heath lands to the shores of Flade Sø I followed the trail around the Sø till it met up with the coast, it was still windy but the sun was warm so the views of the waves breaking, the seagulls playing in the wind made for a pleasant accompaniment to the walk to Agger.


Past Agger the trail follows the Agger Tange a 10 km spit of land which has high sand dunes on the west and flat marsh areas on the east. Out of the wind the warmth of the sunshine could be felt with the many aquatic birds singing it was a relaxing walk. As the trail followed the flat land I would occasionally climb up onto the sand dunes over the sand covered access road to look and admire the sea. It was on one such diversion I was reminded yet again of the man hours spent during world war 2 constructing huge gun emplacements.



Turning away from the trail I followed the bitumen to the ferry to take me across the Kanal, as it is called, to Thyborøn, only to find that it was another 2 km of walking to the railway station (in reality the station is only a raised platform) to catch the Lemvigbanen to the mainline and then another train home. The Lemvigbanen can be best described as an interesting rail service where the conductor uses a mechanical ticket machine similar to that seen on London Buses 30 years ago, the station names are interesting with one being Victoria Street Station. So the end of the trip provide some amusement to what was a very enjoyable walk along the coast. I am already planning the next excursion further up the coast.