The Ocean(Oxygene) - Driving the Atlantic Road to Kristiansund,Norway and a few Undersea Tunnels on the way - 9th July 2016

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July 9th 2016
Published: July 14th 2016
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My first instinct this morning was to get up and take photos of reflections in the lake that is below our cabin. And that was even before scurrying off to the ablution block to be first there.

However, I was foiled on the reflections as there was light rain falling and the mountain scenery had ‘dissappeared’and been replaced by low cloud with the light rain.

We will keep our fingers crossed and hopefully the weather will soon clear and the photos can be taken.

So my attention turned to a shower and use of the toilet. It was going to have to be a dash through the light rain across the grass and up the driveway to Unit #7 where the ablution block is located.

Our German neighbour was going to lay down a challenge as I emerged from our cabin as he did so from theirs at the same time.

He was younger than me but carrying more weight and I had a slight advantage by the fact that our cabin was one closer to where the ablution block is.

He gave me a glance and I acknowledged him with a nod of the head and it was all on.

I wouldn’t say I sprinted across the grass and up the driveway but I definitely did get there first only to find out that all that effort hadn’t been necessary as there were two showers and toilets and both were vacant! Never mind I will put that down to New Zealand 1 and Germany 0!

We took our time leaving this morning as it is a relatively short run to Kristiansund which might only be made longer in terms of time if the coastal scenery is as good as hope it will be.

We are taking on the 8km world famous Atlantic Highway that is a tourist road constructed joining small rocky islands and outcrops together and includes a curved road bridge which is unique in design and build.

The cabin next door to us (other side to the German family) was made vacant by the people who stayed overnight and was immediately cleaned so three young men could move in. We suspect that they hadn’t been able to find accommodation late yesterday and had slept in their car as they were making the most of the cabin including cooking up a feed. Available accommodation in Western Norway is very variable and we were pleased we had booked ours a couple of months ago to secure a place to stay that was in our budget.

We took the D64 north and soon came to what would be our last ferry crossing to get us over Langfjord and then onto Molde via another subsea tunnel completed not too many years ago of 2.7km doing away with another ferry trip. It was a steep 9% grade into and out of the tunnel which got us down to the bottom well under the rock quickly in the distance.

We did some shopping in Molde as it was Saturday and we weren’t sure what time we might arrive in Kristiansund and whether the supermarkets might still be open and besides we needed some lunch.

At the Rema 1000 supermarket there was another ‘ouch ‘as we paid the equivalent of NZ$5 each for a meat kebab no bigger than what we would pay NZ$2 at home there were no garnishing such as red or green pepper mixed in with the 5 pieces of meat. We found out when had dinner at night that the kebabs had been coated in sea salt and garlic so they were quite tasty.

We took the D663 and D664 to the small seaside village of Bud from where we would head north and take in the Atlantic Road section as we did so.

The public toilets at Bud were a little away from the main road into the village but when we found them we gave them the vote of the cleanest and ‘sweetest smelling’ public toilets of the BBA V3 so far.

The landscape had changed for us now. Gone were the towering granite rocky mountains and deep fjords to be replaced by a flat rocky coastline and a low set of hills to our right as we drove north.

We had a desire to take a look at a beach in Norway, if there was one in the vicinity, and have lunch. And so drove down a side road towards the sea.

However, here it was all just flat rocks and no sand and so accepted that beaches are not prominent in this area and so we had our lunch at an estuary in the pleasantly warm and partly fine conditions.

There were a number of homes scattered along the road adjacent to the coast that we were driving north on.

We had read that Norwegians really embrace any feeling of warmth in the sun when it happens in their short summer season although we are not sure we were ready for some of the scenes of women stripped down to their bra and med in skimpy shorts and bare chested outside playing with their kids or perhaps gardening or mowing the lawn. We just hope that with their fair skin that they have sunscreen well spread over their exposed bodies.

We soon came across the Atlantic Road section of this coastal drive. We knew we had got close as the amount of traffic on the road went up considerably.

The road has also been rated in the Worlds Most Dangerous roads but this would only apply when an Atlantic storm is blowing.Today we couldn't have got calmer weather.

It was an interesting drive and the curved bridge was certainly unusual to the eye but it was hard to get a decent spot to photograph and get the full impression save as a photo.We decided that you really have to come and see the bridge in person to fully appreciate its curved design.

There were about 20 people fishing from a bridge before the curved bridge and in the few minutes we were there they were certainly pulling in their share of fish even if some looked a bit small to keep.

Overall though we felt that the short section of the road was a bit over rated but we were still pleased we came to have a look at it.

Another subsea tunnel was ahead of us to get to Kristiansund our next overnight stop.

This fairly new tunnel had a toll of Nkr120 which seemed a bit expensive in relation to other costs. But the alternative would have meant a long detour and a ferry ride anyway.

So we plunged below the sea again this time on a 10% gradient and a distance of 5.7km.The tunnel had effectively replaced the ferry over the same stretch of water and it appears it had primarily been built as the oil installations south of Kristiansund had expanded in recent times with a corresponding increase in traffic relating to that industry.

It had been an interesting change in scenery and we now realise that the fjords and mountains are behind us and that the scenery over the next few days will not be quite so dramatic.

Our stop here is in a full house (the owner is on holiday) with a very large TV and we got here just in time for half of the women’s tennis final from Wimbledon.

A great time to blob with some technology.

PS:great music from Oxygene which would have been appropriate while we drove this road had the weather been anything other dead calm.Enjoy on Youtube.

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