Cycling

Cycling Day 67: Tanumshede To Høysand

Click here to see the detailed statistics of today’s cycle.

First up today was a short wander around this reconstructed Bronze Age village just next to where I had camped. It compared quite well to my tent accommodation…

Then breakfast at the local supermarket where I bumped into these two fellow touring cyclists; Nick from the UK on the left and Saskia, an osteopath from The Netherlands: 

 

Two became three when… Manfred, my on-off companion for the last few days arrived!

Nick is heading south having started in Bergen with the intention of cycling to Nordkapp but the weather got the better of him and after Trondheim he decided to head south instead. He was wild camping and had just spent the night on the local recreation ground. Saskia is the first person that I’ve met who is cycling, like me, from Tarifa to Nordkapp. She actually set off about a week before me but up until Scandinavia she was taking a very different route involving travelling across Switzerland. Another difference between our trips is that she is taking occasional breaks in order to return to The Netherlands to tend to her patients. I have no intention of returning to the UK to attend to my former pupils. Having left my previous teaching job, I’d probably get arrested if I tried! Manfred, well… I wish him well but his negative comments started to grind me down. When I originally met him he poured scorn on my attempts to cycle to Nordkapp – too hilly, poor roads, awful weather – and later told me that the Swedes were fairly lame cyclists using three speed bikes and that I’d never find a bike shop in the country to repair my bike properly. He explained that touring cycling was only really possible after 1990 when the technology allowed proper gears to be used. That’s of course when he bought his touring bike. Before we left the supermarket café he explained that taking the coastal road would be tantamount to suicide with all the Swedeish tourists heading to their holiday homes for the weekend. I took the picture of the motorway later in the day in his honour. The coastal road was no more busy… I eventually got going at around 11.30am. 

The bulk of the day was spent in Sweden. A sign – see below – reminded me that I was now following the North Sea Cycle Route. Norway was, however, in the forefront of my mind. I stopped a couple of times to stock up on things that I was scared might be excessively expensive in Norway but let’s face it, you can’t really stock up that much when travelling on a bicycle. A bit of food, sun protection lotion, insect repellent, two cans of 3.5% beer… 

Weighed down, I finally sensed that my final country was approaching as the majority of cars were now Norweigian rather than Swedish and doing what I had only managed to do in a limited way by coming to Sweden to do their shopping on the cheap. The border itself was perhaps, no definitely, the most dramatic border crossing of the trip; in the middle of a high bridge spanning the gorge that splits the river below into two equals halves, one each for each country. I snapped the last border crossing picture (taking the first one as I cycled from Spain into France seems a long time ago) and headed out of the European Union and into the unknown (to me) world…

I was hoping to pass a cash machine but none materialised before I arrived at the campsite, Høysand Camping. The route to get there had been provided by Google Maps and first impressions of the cycling conditions were that they were very similar to Sweden. I seemed to be following the signs for ‘route 1’ (that I now know to continue all around the coast to at least Betgen, if not further). The roads themselves appeared American with yellow paint used for the line in the middle of the road and the road signs German as they too were yellow. 

Upon arrival at Høysand Camping I was greeted by a lad in his early twenties wearing a shirt and jacket who was clearly under the impression that he was managing Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas rather than a 3 star campsite in Northern Europe. A girl was sitting in the reception area and he was clearly trying to impress her with his wit.

“Hi. Do you speak English?”

Queue lots of Norweigian.

“Just joking!” The girl giggled… I didn’t.

I explained that I couldn’t pay cash as I hadn’t found a machine. This wasn’t a problem although a 100 NOK deposit was required for the key to the wash block. The matter was further complicated when I asked if there was a washing machine. Yes, but I could only have the key until 7pm and it was 30 NOK per hour. It was then 5pm. It was suggested that I do my washing before putting up my tent. The guy had clearly never camped in his life and most certainly had never had to concern himself with the joys of a damp tent. 

I spent the next three hours sitting outside the room where my washing was being done. I did manage to dash back to the tent area – a rough, partially boggy patch of ground on a slope where it was difficult to find a suitable place to pitch the tent – before returning to make sure that no one was using the washing machines illicitly. It was a rather stressful evening but, eventually, I settled down with my clean (if not totally dry) clothes strewn along the wooden fence surrounding a static caravan next door with my two cans of 3.5% lager to enjoy what remained of the evening…

So my final frontier has been crossed…  

 

…isn’t it good, Norweigian wood…

 

Categories: Cycling

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5 replies »

  1. Hi Andrew, it was nice to meet you and Nick and Manfred in Tanumshede last Friday. I have been checking out your blog which looks great by the way, nice anecdotes and good quality pictures. I envy your photo of the bridge we crossed going from Sweden to Norway. I didn’t think to shoot it from that angle but it gives an even better sense of crossing the border (fjord).
    Ps. It should be Saskia from the Netherlands not Lysette as you’ve dubbed me. It would be nice if you could correct this….. 🙂
    Have a good trip up to the Nordkapp, watch out for reindeer (they are as unpredictable as sheep on the road) and take care,
    Saskia

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    • Hi Saskia. Thanks for the message and I hope your continued journey is going well (although you are probably now back in The Netherlands I imagine…). As for your name, I apologise for using the wrong one. I had a mind blank so just made up a name in the hope that Nick might see it and correct me. I didn’t expect you would see it yourself!! I shall change it immediately.
      Good luck with the rest of the journey when it resumes soon 🙂
      Cheers
      Andrew

      Like

  2. Ah, it is a small world indeed! Nick was in my place a couple of weeks back, heading to Portugal and I showed him your blog “Very good blog that” he said.. I wonder if he recognized you 🙂

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