While my sleeping bag dries again I will write another blog. I rolled into Norway and after bit of a wrong turn made it to the North Cape. Little did I know at the time that upon leaving Finland I would also be leaving the sun behind. I have lost track of the number of days that I have been in Norway but it must be more than a week. In that time I have seen glimpses of the sun in neighbouring fjords but nothing in my vicinity.
Tonight I finally cracked and shelled out for a cabin. The weather looked like it was lightening up but after 200kms of hills and rain I came off a saddle through driving rain hoping to leave it all on the summit only to find that it was waiting for me with renewed vigour in the fiord that I had plunged into.
I'm not saying that it has been raining the whole time that I've been in Norway. It's just that it seems to always be raining in the fiord that I'm in or the saddle that I'm crossing. With the coming of hills and clouds the other cycle tourists seem to have somehow vanished to cycle gentler routes maybe or merrily sail around on the numerous ferries. I've voided all ferries so far as they take up valuable cycling time. Today I really haven't made the distance I wanted not only due to the rain but also because I ran out of road and they put a ferry in my way. I had to wait for about 40min while they refuelled it and loaded everyone on. Just long enough to freeze my arse off.
I know the sun will come , although when I ask people when they just looked confused. "You know the Sun, yellow thing"
|A brief Moment of Sun. Bicycles everywhere Celebrate the Arctic Tour.|
Another delay today was having to buy another lock for my bike. Last night I left my bike outside a restaurant and when I returned my bike lock had been mangled by someone to the extent that I couldn't get it undone. The bike shop guy said that a Norwegian would never try to steal a bike around here and I tend to agree. But it is odd. Maybe they were drunk. Anyway I did manage to finally break it off showing that it was a crap lock anyway.
The tent I brought certainly has the advantage of being easy to erect on the smallest bit of ground. But it's really not up to west coast Norway. I'll need to make some improvement s to it when I get home. (Like get another one) . No just joking, it needs another layer. Either I'll use a bivy bag inside it or devise a fly. If my sleeping bag touch the side when it's raining then you get one wet sleeping bag. And since I do like to move a bit during the night , my lower self ends up sacking up moisture.
|"Have a Summer Vacation in the Arctic they said, lots of skinny dipping in the fiord s ." Yeah Right.|
There are a number of things that are really working in my favour in Norway though. For one thing it's very like New Zealand s west coast. So it's like riding on home turf. The drivers however are fantastic by New Zealand standards and truck drivers..... well I could actually get to like trucks here, they have skill and are courteous! Neither of which Kiwi drivers possess.
Then there are the eating places. Up until tonight I have been freedom camping so I ca afford to eat at fast food and hotels. Well they just seem to turn up just when you need them and they all have bike racks and wifi.
The WiFi thing however has been problematic due to the lack of sun. my solar charger has I thought been struggling to keep the tablet charged. So I have not been communicating as much as I would want too. I thought I had better save the juice just to let people know where I am once in awhile.
But then today in the middle of yet another serious hose off my solar panel went green indicating that it was fully charged !
That made me all happy inside. The Mercian has been doing her best, but someone messing with her probably upset the poor picket of bolts and then this constant dampness has been causing the transmission a bit of grief. Like me she needs a couple days of dry riding with oiling of all parts.
|Sometimes You Just Need a bit of Luxury.|
Another great thing about Norway is that the 6 min coin showers so far seem to last for 20 min. ! Time passes slowly in Norway. I have refused to go onto Norwegian time. I have stayed on Finnish time which is 1 hour ahead. It means that I always get everywhere early here. I never miss dinner but I have noticed that the Norwegian s don't seem to be early risers. I sometimes have to forgo breakfast because even at 8am nothings open !
Well that's about it for now. I'm at over 3000km now and am well ahead of my schedule. Not sure what to do with all the extra time but I may use some of it to cycle through Denmark. That will make it a hat trick of all Scandinavian countries. I'll wait and see what develops with the weather. There's really no point in stopping if it's pissing down. I may as well be on the road heading south. Once I get to the bottom of Norway I will look at shooting through Denmark ( I think it's a smallish country, checking out Copenhagen) then into Sweden and make some kind of track to Stockholm, my final destination.
watch this space.