Again, a day on which I expected only to cycle a modest number of kilometres but which in the end turned out to be significantly above average in terms of length. It was made somewhat easier by this:
It was of course the final payback for having climbed all those metres at the start of cycling day 72. They are now gone as I am back to sea level on the coast. Trondheim is only 40 km away to the east but I have achieved something worth noting; I’ve cycled from the Mediterranean Sea to the Norwegian Sea. Not many people have done that!
I followed what remained of route 3 – the road route 3 rather than the Eurovelo cycling route 3 that I haven’t seen for quite a few days (albeit in the guise of the Norwegian cycle route 7) – to where it joined the E6 (the road!) about 20 km from the campsite. The busy E6 is the road I had escaped by taking on the big climb three days ago so I wasn’t that enthused at the prospect of rejoining it. I paused at the junction of the E3 and E6. Traffic was low on both. Saturday morning seemed to have discouraged all but the most workaholic truck drivers from taking to the roads. For the next 10 km I followed the E6 before escaping east along route 700 for much of the rest of the day.
One of those days when I could have paused every few minutes to take a photograph. I probably paused at least once every 10-15 minutes; deep valleys, fast-running rivers, waterfalls, interesting old buildings, curious (at times comical) signs, a place called ‘Å’… They all made suitable subjects for my lens as you can see below.
Six campsite were marked on my map as being potential places for an overnight stay. The first was too near (and I never spotted it anyway), the second wasn’t too near (but I never spotted that one either…), number three was a distinct possibility – located after more or less exactly 75 km – but required a 3 km cycle from the route 700. I would take my chances. At the end of the rough track I found a beautiful location next to a lake, but a dodgy campsite. Scruffy, no real place to pitch the tent – the choice was next to the sanitary hut (it couldn’t be described as a ‘block’) or next to the entrance where large black flying monsters were waiting in numbers ready to pounce upon their next human victim – and the owners were not there until 8 pm. I was given a short tour by the chap who had been subcontracted the job of ‘greeting’ any passing trade (I think he was a long-term resident). His lack of enthusiasm for the place was only outdone by my own. He left me to pitch my tent under the cloud of snarling flies. Should I stay? I checked the electricity box – rusting cables everywhere and certainly no possibility of recharging my batteries – so I scarpered back down the track to route 700. The little adventure had added 6 km to my cycling day but so be it…
I could see Orkanger on the coast on my map. It was all downhill. The next campsite didn’t exist, the next was in a scruffy town; the prospect of staying by the sea was now too tempting. I kept cycling. Alas in Orkanger the sign told me that the site was no more – see taped over symbols below – so I continued the few kilometres to Viggja where I finally found a campsite worthy of the name. By the sea, busy with kids running around tripping over my guy ropes, friendly and cheap – just 100 NK. Next to me is another cyclist – Jeanet from The Netherlands – who was good company and in exchanged for a brownie she used my iPad to check her flight details. It wasn’t such a formal arrangement but at least it meant I didn’t feel guilty about not sharing my precious two cans of beer with her.
Tomorrow (OK, let’s face it, today as I am once again writing this late) is Trondheim. The end of the Eurovelo 3 ‘Pilgrims’ Route’ and the last significant town before I embark upon the final 2,000 km of the ride to NordKapp.