Edit Blog Post
Published: June 28th 2008
I pushed on from Trollstigen via Andalsnes. There I got my wheel fixed (170 kroner) and had the good (or bad) luck to notice a slow puncture at the shop. We found the culprit, a little thorn stuck in the tyre. Lucky I guess that we had the wheel apart anyway - but now I've lost my no puncture record. I think I made about 2000 miles puncture-free though - must be some kind of record!
That night I pushed on (i had some vague hope about making Trondheim the next day, but gauging distances is hard). Despite coming out of the really high mountains the terrain was anything but easy. Eventually as the rain started around 9pm I hauled up at a little nature reserve with a shelter. It was the worst night of the trip (in Norway at least). I should have tried to put the tent up, but as it was raining and I was in a big shelter I opted for just sleeping there. The problem was the midges. They may not be quite as bad as in Scotland, but they never go. It never gets dark so they're just there all night. I put a
shirt over my head with a little breathing hole and tried my best to sleep, but it wasn't good.
The next day things got going slowly, but pretty soon I was making good progress, weaving my way around fjords onto the main highway (little more busy that a B-class road back home) over another huge suspension bridge passed a dead elk lying by the side of the road and onwards. As I hit 50 miles still feeling good I decided i was going to do my first ever 100 mile day. It was tough, but I made it. Alas by bad luck 100 miles occured precisely as I came down from the big pass of the day and hit the most ugly industrial town of the trip (Orkanger). I was exhasted and it was late and cycled around for a further 5 miles before I eventually found a very wet field up a hill, but out of sight, to pitch the tent. I slept surprisingly well on a gradient (after 30 mins killing all the midges that had got in the tent despite my best efforts).
I quickly realised Orkanger was no nicer in the morning, so pushed
on just(!) 30 miles to Trondheim. I say 'just' but contrary to what you might think, still every single mile hurts a lot and as you watch the speedo it ticks away incredibly slowly.
I've had another nice rest day in Trondheim - to give my knees, left hand and shoulder a break and also to watch the Euro 2008 final which I watched with a guy from the hostel but in a pub (3 beers, expensive and feeling a bit queasy this morning). Nice to see the Spanish won!
Well at this point I'll explain my onward plan. I have now booked a flight back from Stockholm of all places direct to Edinburgh on the Thursday 10th July (arriving 11:30am if anyone wants to pick me up at the airport). The plan is to get up to Narvik in the north of Norway above the arctic circle. From there there's a direct 20 hour sleeper (except of course there's no night) to Stockholm. I'm reliably informed it's the line they built to ship iron ore from Kiruna to the Atlantic quickly. The catch is I'm now running out of days. From here to Bodø is 6 days
cycle I think, and then I want to go to the Lofoten Islands which are supposed to be incredibly spectacular. I'll have to catch my train to Stockholm on the 8th, so I've opted to cheat for the first time. I'm going to catch a bus north to skip 2 days cycle. Hopefully then I'll make Bodø by the 4th July or early 5th and get across to Lofoten by ferry and have 2 full days there. There's a couple of hikes I'd like to do. From Lofoten I think I can catch a ferry to Narvik. It all adds up just!
Right now I'm cycling just a little bit to meet up with my road buddy Nuno (remember?). He's cycled up from Sweden but by a different route and is just 20km from Trondheim but waiting at the airport as his girlfriend is coming out to visit tomorrow I think.
More updates on the 4th or 5th i think!
Day 34- Heggem to Orkanger - 27/6
Dist (miles): 105.58
Ave speed (mph): 12.0
Max speed (mph): 33.5
Time on saddle: 8h45
Day 35- Orkanger to Trondheim - 28/6
Dist (miles): 28.90
speed (mph): 12.4
Max speed (mph): 25.0
Time on saddle: 2h19
Tot: 1.515s; Tpl: 0.061s; cc: 11; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0185s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb