Luckily for me I have seen some of the scenic spots on the west under sunny sky's. The climbing around Geiranger was spectacular and the passes that followed. However it hasn't been without its problems. Trying t(o get to the Atlantic Coast road I had to negotiate some pretty bad tunnels in fact one of them was closed while I was in it and another was full of roadworks. Very sketchy. I met a Swiss cycle tourist who actually cycled into one that said that cyclists were forbidden and they closed the wIhole tunnel and the police picked him up , told him off and escorted him in their car out. I think my tunnel was closed for some other reason but I did not feel particularly reassured and the tunnel with heaps of roadworks inside and traffic was just plain horrible.
So anyway after making a slightly wrong turn I decided to continue eastwards over one last mountain range towards Oslo. Well, what can I say. I rode straight into shocking weather going over it with sleet and thick pea soup fog combined with strong headwinds. I came down the other side into driving rain ! The mountain just would not descend quickly enough and at an alpine town I had to buy another pair of gloves.
Norwegian mountains are formed by long gone glaciers so they are very rounded and don't drop away quickly. Whereas you can ride over a New Zealand mountain and down the other side quickly you tend to stay up in the cold zone a lot longer in Norway.
Anyway with the mountains done I thought I'd avoid Oslo as it is just another big city that traps cyclists and is hard to negotiate. I tried with all my might steer the Mercian south of the city but I just couldn't manage it and with the odd error me due to roadworks etc I ended up on a collision course with the city that the locals told me would be inevitable. Once you get in a certain valley in Norway then you just have to travel down it to its conclusion. And in my case that was Oslo.
After a long day in the saddle I had to get through Oslo as it is just too expensive to stop there in accommodation.
I cycled out south as best as I could all the while being hindered by motorways excessive traffic and a puncture just when I didn't need it.
I managed to find a freedom camp in the back of a church ground, well more a cathedral by the sound of the bells and size of it. Feeling pretty smug I went too bed to be awakened during the night by torrential rain.
|Although this old rail trail may be nice for the locals, once again it proved a pain in the arse for me. Once on it it lead me way off course and then just stopped without any explanation as to how to once again find the route.|
Once again with wettish sleeping bag etc I broke camp and have had such a struggle getting away from Oslo ' s pull that I have only managed to get about 150km down the coast. Nothing is straight in Norway. Travelling by bike is trying at the best of times when you can cycle around corners for 100kms and travel only 20km as the bird flys but south of Oslo you also have to stick to the twisty coast because the bloody motorists have all the straight roads solely for their use.
I've booked into a campground tonight and tomorrow so that I can once again wash and dry stuff but I'm dreading what weather will be thrown at the little tent. The forecast is not good for the next 4 days so I may not see another fine day before catching the ferry to Denmark.
Norway is fighting me tell the end, but I will get down the coast and complete the mission in this country.
Hopefully my next blog will be from Denmark,??