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Published: September 7th 2008
Saturday 6th September
Is a Norwegian hangover any worse than a London one? Well frankly when you get the bar bill - yes. At an eye watering £7/pint (well actually less than a pint - 0.4l) getting drunk here was never going to be cheap - and it wasn't. So this morning I have a sore head and an empty wallet. I don't get many hangovers these days, so maybe it is the altitude (about 5000ft), but I feel cack. The driving limit over here is 0.02mg/l which is ¼ of the UK limit. As I finished drinking about 2 am last night (this morning) this is the reason I am lagging behind this morning and updating yesterday's blog.
I never made it to Gerainger yesterday. Went for a stunning 4 hour hike in the Jotunheim National Park fully intending to then hit the road. However I met a group of Norwegians who reasoned it would be a good idea to stay and have a few drinks here instead - and who was I to question such reason.
I have been away over a week now and have not felt particularly lonely. This blog as a communication vehicle gives
the impression of remaining in touch - even though of course it is only an impression. It has either allowed me to remain sane or already driven me insane - condemned forever to communication through some f*cking web page. You do find yourself talking in your head as if writing your blog - worrying. Anyway as I hiked yesterday on me Jack Jones I didn't see a soul the entire time and for the first time I became aware of my solitary stature. So it was a pretty easy persuasion to stay. I asked one of this group to take a snap of me by the lake and we got chatting. I realised I haven't spoken to a soul, save hotel reception staff on check-in and out, over here since starting my trip.
What a great crowd - they had also adopted a solitary German too who was on a 7 week tour of Norway. They were the warmest, most fun people you could hope to meet. Lots of drinking, ridiculous chat and singing - as the hostel had a guitar man in for the evening. Two of them were chefs (they get everywhere these days) and as it
turned out they knew the chefs here. Apparently it is quite a thing to cook at these remote hiking cabins - which can accommodate up to 200 people and this one in particular was famous for its food. It may have been bullsh*t but for this week apparently two of the best chefs in Oslo, for that read Norway, were here. It was possible - the food was excellent. Perfectly cooked pink rack of lamb. Two of the lads - decided to surprise their chef friends by wearing just a towel but burst in on a private party, which didn't endear us to the proprietor overly. I left my email address and a promise to show any of them round London and was genuinely sad to see them leave. As I recalled from my travelling days last millenium(!), quite often the best times were defined not by the sights you saw but the people you met. Well at Jotunheim there was both.
Jotunheim and Norway in general are so beautiful that I resolved to come back with my boots one day for some hiking mid-summer.
Anyway I want to get going so am going to cut this short.
There isn't a cloud in the sky and even if not on the bike I want to be outside. My original plan was to head to Gerainger last night stay there, ferry across and then down to Jostalbreen - the biggest glacier in Europe and stay there Sunday night. I just now had to compress this into today - athough I will linger at the glacier longer tomorrow. I have booked my ferry to Denmark now so I am committed to leaving Wednesday. So Monday I ride to Stavanger and Tuesday onto Kristiansand.
Miles yesterday - 10 at most, just a short stint practising standing up on the bike and controlling it on rough ground which does help. Miles to date 880.
Tot: 0.893s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 14; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0175s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb