From Bøur to Gásadalur – The Beginning

Sat on the steep grass I could see only several meters ahead of me. One month before I had been in the exact same situation in almost the exact same place. One month before I had turned back, and made my way down the mountain side, defeated and a little shaken. The wind had been fierce and it turned the rain into little spikes that hit my face unrelentingly. And perhaps worst of all was how it had been pushing me towards the edge, which sported at least a 200m drop to the ocean just several meters beyond me. It had proved too much for me that time.

Hiking rest

This time, with 13 days of experience in the Faroe Islands to hand, I felt a lot more confident about my situation. There was no wind this time, and the rain was so light as to be unnoticeable. I had also learnt a very valuable lesson; when it got too foggy just sit and wait.

Hiking from Sørvágur to Gásadalur via the old postal route was the very last adventure I had planned for my week in the Faroe Islands. It was known as the old postal route because up until 10 years ago it was the only way from the village of Bøur to Gásadalur, and the heroic postman would make this journey three times a week come rain or shine. Those men deserved some kind of award.

In my guidebook it was listed as one of the most challenging hikes in the Faroe Islands. And worryingly my guidebook had altogether underestimated how difficult the hikes were; an easy Faroese hike was quite different to its English equivalent. And with the defeat of my first attempt hanging over me I had been questioning whether I really should try to walk up that mountain again. I could see it from my B&B in Sørvágur and its mood changed by the hour. Sometimes it looked straightforward and inviting, others it looked like a dark nightmare. On the morning I planned to go it looked somewhere in between.

I was uncertain about what to do even when I set off, but looking out over the bay my decision was suddenly made; there was no reasoning, I just had to go for it.

It was calm and cloudy when I reached Bøur. I appreciated being able to explore its tiny streets without howling wind and rain, but I didn’t stay for long – my mind was focused only on the mountain.

To gasadalur Bøur
The view back to Bøur
To gasadalur Tindhólmur
Tindhólmur as seen from Bøur
To gasadalur Tindhólmur
The craggy top of Tindhólmur

As I turned the last bend in the road before the mountain the clouds broke up and the view was stunning. I had also sat in this spot a month ago after I’d gone back down the mountain. It felt so different this time.

Route to Gasadalur-1 LR

The view one month before
The view one month before

The ascent was steep going but it felt secure, and I had kept a healthy distance away from the edge. It wasn’t long before the clouds started to close in on me, though. It was gorgeous to watch, but in a few minutes more I could see nothing.

To gasadalur2-3 LR

To gasadalur2-1 LR

To gasadalur2-5 LR

I sat in happy resignation for an unknown amount of time, wondering what the world looked like beyond the clouds and also admiring how it looked in front of me. I then noticed three silhouettes pass me. People! Hiking! This was the first time I had seen anyone on any of the routes I had done except for one. The clouds still hadn’t cleared much, but if they could do it then so could I. Plus I could just follow them. I set off again.

To gasadalur2-1-2 LR

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