Scandinavia | Part 2
Saturday July 9, 2016 | Beseggen – Kristiansund | What is woodcutter without its ax?
Today the alarm clock wakes us at seven. After a breakfast with bread and fried eggs, we’re on the bikes at 10am. Today we like to ride to Sunndalsora, 260km from Beseggen. At the time of departure, the sun shines, but after less than a kilometer it is starting to rain a lot. Rapidly we put our rain suits on. Around 12 o’clock we like to lunch somewhere along the road, but it is still raining so we decide to lunch when it’s dry again. Unfortunately two hours later it is still raining and we decide to have lunch at a café in Oppdal. Nice dry and warm! During our lunch, ciabatta with salmon and shrimps, our clothes can dry a bit. It is still raining when we continue our trip and we discuss the different scenarios. What if it rains on the arrival of our campsite?
- Set up our tent
- Hire a cottage
- Continue our trip to a place where it is not raining
However, we do not believe in rain at Sunndalsora. The name of this village sounds like a sunny place where the sun is always shining. Via the scenic route 70 along a river and deep valleys, we arrive at 4 pm at the campsite. Ai, ai, ai, it is still raining, it’s not an exciting environment and the sky is completely gray. From kitesurfing, Bertha had learned that it is often dry along the coast, so we decide to ride on to Kristiansund. It’s 100 km to Kristiansund, so this is doable. Again a very nice route along a river. During this trip we only see a few motorbikes and cars which makes it looks like the road is ours! We have a laughter attack about the rain. The rain does not bring us down, because we have everything we need; water, gasoline, food and we have each other! And, if necessary, we sleep in a bus shelter. No problem for us!
At 6 pm we arrive at the campsite in Kristiansund where it is dry. The sky is still full of clouds, no sun, but we are happy. The arrival at the reception is pleasant. Two friendly girls behind the front desk tell us that the showers do not need coins and that this place costs us only 13 euros! Unfortunately, when setting up the tent, we discover that there is an airport behind the trees. “I think there will be only four airplanes per day on such a small airport”, Erik says. But during this moment, while Erik is fixing the stove, we already heard two airplanes. In addition, the neighbors have a barking dog … Luckily we are on holiday!
During cooking it’s starting to rain again. Bertha writes in her diary in the tent, while Erik survives the rain in his rain suit and makes dinner; rice with cauliflower, onion, pepper and chicken. Delicious spiced, delicious meal. After the dishes we drink wine and make our first campfire. Erik gathered dead wood in the bushes and found an ax. He decides to take the ax on our journey, it will always be useful. The fire in combination with the wine makes us a bit tipsy and with the smell of this fire we fall asleep.
Sunday July 10, 2016 | Kristiansund – Trollstigen | Enjoy the Atlantic Road
We sleep late on the camping in Kristiansund. When we set up our tent yesterday, we have not looked carefully to the position of the sun. The tent is still in the shade when we wake up, so it remains wet. The trusted watchdogs are also awake. The German group, two couples in one camper, seem to follow us in all we do. Are we so interesting or do they have nothing to do themselves? The answer will be given later in this blog….
We make breakfast in the kitchen; boiled eggs with coffee / tea and juice and enjoy breakfast outside on the porch in the warm sunshine.
When we are back at our campsite we pack our bags under the watchful eye of the German watchdogs. Meanwhile, a German camper (i.e. bus) arrived. The owner finds it normal to have such a big motor home, and he strikes his enormous belly. “I’m fat, my wife is fat, so we need a fat camper!” He tells a story about once when we was in Amsterdam with this camper and he was really sweating while driving through these small streets. Bertha gets the approval of this fat German that she also rides motorcycle. Subsequently he yells at the Germany watchdogs if they have nothing to do. “Don’t they have to work? Don’t they have anything to do?” This German guy is our man!
At the reception we gauge oil, which has the right level. But the coolant liquid of Bertha’s bike is too low. Ultimately it took us an hour to fill this up. At half past 12 we leave to Trollstigen. The first part we drive along the beautiful Atlantic Road with high arch bridges and many dark tunnels (which you can better ride without sunglasses!) and a ferry just before Andalsnes.
Our goal today: finding a camp spot in the wild! But this turns out to be quite difficult. Many roads are private, we find patches of grass with a lot of stones on it and moreover it has rained, so when we set up our tent in marshy landscapes it would be half under water. A bit grumpy we decide to take an official campsite in the shadow of Trollstigen. After setting up the tent Bertha is chilling and writing in the chair while Erik makes the beds and tries to create a hiding place between the motorbikes. Bertha thinks this is not necessary, but when cooking we have to build the shelter anyway. From a distance it looks a little strange, but it works great! We eat in our shelter. Later, during a little exploring around the tent, we see a deer! Once we decide tomorrow to schedule a rest day, we go to bed early. Hopefully it will be a sunny day tomorrow!
Monday July 11, 2016 | Trollstigen | Our own shelter
Waking up with rain and finally went to bed with rain! Today, it has perhaps been dry for one hour, which we used to go for a walk. Furthermore we drank tea (‘bought’ in the restaurant) and read. Yet relaxed. Dinner in the restaurant was lovely too: reindeer meat!
Tuesday July 12, 2016 | Trollstigen – Skjak | Private camping
It is half past 6 pm and we enjoy our first beer on our own campsite! We have arrived here two hours ago and still haven’t seen anyone, but everything already mastered; beer and milk in the fridge, did the laundry, hung it up on the porch and gleaned wood for the campfire. Cheers to our 10-star campsite near Bismo and Skjak.
Today was a long and beautiful, but also a bit of a disappointing day. This morning we started around half past 9 with the climb of the Trollstigen. Unfortunately the beautiful view is hampered by the fog. The visibility is less than three meter. This reminds us of the view at the Sungate during our holiday in Peru in 2013. Then, after walking the Inca trail, we were glad we finally arrived at the Sungate, which should give the best view of Machu Picchu. But after four days of walking, we saw nothing but white fog.
Furtunately, every disadvantage has its advantage. Because of this mist Bertha had a head for heights during the climb. The steep cliffs in combination with the hairpin bends were not visible at all.
Once we reached the top, we made a picture of the white fog anyway. A little later it seems a joke, because during the descent the fog was suddenly completely gone. Very strange.
After a ferry, we climb back into the snow mountains and have a wonderful view over the cruise ships at Geiranger Fjord. Near Geiranger Fjord we give it a second try for an amazing view. For this viewpoint called Dalsnibbe we have to pay toll. When we reach the top, it is ridiculous to see that a few guys are lying in the snow in their underpants. Anyway, again zero view of the fjord.
After this fiasco, we think it’s time for dry weather and above all sunshine! We have definitely found this on our current site. A few minutes ago we spotted an intruder, but a few minutes later this camper drives away to another camping. And now we are again the king and queen on our own Storoya campsite!
Wednesday July 13, 2016 | Skjak – Kaupanger | Beautiful route to the wooden stave church
We started the day with a power breakfast: a cheese omelet and grilled cheese sandwiches made in the frying pan of the campsite. We still have not seen the owner and he won’t appear today. Admittedly, it’s a little spooky at night to go to the bathroom all by myself. Several times I imagined that suddenly someone appears. It would scare me to death! Besides this, I continuously hear sounds that are not there. Anyway, it was a cheap and wonderful stay.
This morning we drive via the 15 to the 55. Then, from Fortun, we take the FV331 to Urnes. This is a beautiful route along the water of the fjord. Because the roads are so narrow, also in the rock tunnels, it is quite exciting to pass the oncoming traffic. And those tunnels through the mountains are so pitch black. There are people who do not know how the head lights work, and we are one of them! We practice when we are outside the tunnels and so we know how it works when we enter the second tunnel. The view is a bit more clear, but it still looks like a rollercoaster in an amusement park.
In Urnes we visited the well-known stave church. This wooden church is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates from 1030. It is remarkable that despite its material type wood, that the church is still there, which is due to the stone foundation and the arc and angle structures in the roof.
When we arrive at the ferry to Kaupanger, unfortunately it’s already full. Fortunately the sun shines and we enjoy a long hour in the burning sun. The strange thing is that two hours ago we drove through snow white mountains where people were cross-country skiing and now it is like 30 degrees. Strange nature!
Around half past 5 we arrive at the campsite in Kaupanger. Happily the sun is still shining so we first dive into the ice cold fjord water. Whaaah!! Then quickly hang wet laundry and start cooking. This unfortunately results in a fiasco. The MSR Whisperlite fails and produces only large yellow flames. You need the blue gas flames to cook. Well, we can also eat something cold; wraps with smoked chicken, tomato, pepper, apple and some chili powder. Bit unusual, but quite tasty. Again, we ended the day with a drink and a chocolate at the campfire!
Thursday July 14, 2016 | Kaupanger – Flam | Autralien Motor Buddies
We are the first ones awake, the whole campsite is still sleeping at 7am. Around half past 10 we’re back on the bikes. Yippee, the packing time of 3 hours has been shortened to 2.5 hours!
After the ferry from Kaupanger to Laerdal, the snow route from Laerdal to Aurland is on the schedule. This part can also be ridden through the 25km long tunnel, but the 75km route over the mountains is much nicer! We leave the hot sun to 10 degrees colder in mountains. Despite the fact that it is summer, there is still a lot of snow along the way. Brrrr, quickly we go back down.
After shopping at the local SPAR we go to the camping in Flam. This is the first real tourist site: crowded, expensive, but the facilities are really good. Moreover, this is the only campsite in the village and we do not trust our Whisperlite. We can not camp in the wild and have no choice here to set up our tent.
When setting up the tent, an Australian couple comes to us full of enthusiasm “we also have both a Honda Transalp”. When we told them about our possible plans next year, they invited us to visit them in Australia! This sounds really cool to us; to be guided in a small part of Australia by fellow Transalp riders. What a coincidence company!
While playing the card game Shithead, it looks like the whole campsite is gawking at us. Wherever we look, there is always someone who looks back. Last gasp. While cooking there is plenty of company. Very cozy, cook, and wash with 10 people on 10m2. We get homesick for the spooky campsite.
Friday July 15, 2016 | Flam | By the steep Flamsbana and by mountainbike through the Sognefjorden
We wake up early, this time to catch the train. 8.35 am train from track 1. However, there is only one track. The trip up from Flam last about an hour and goes through the mountains and up to 864 meters. The views are familiar to us. Not that bored, but on the motorbike we have already seen pretty much of the area. Looking back, we did not need such a tourist train for these views. Once at the top we rent a mountainbike to cross down within two hours. Not very tiring, but above all very cool!
The rest of the day chilling at the tent with maximum 20 minutes sun. Nevertheless we enjoy. Erik uses the electricity of a cabin in order to charge the phones. This results in a campsite without wifi. Luckily we found that out later, haha. In the evening we infested the local beer tent! We do not know how we got home ….