Starting Location: Flåm
Ending Location: Rollag
Total Distance Traveled (including this day): 5250km
Bike Comfort Factor (1-10) :6
“Tired” Factor (1-10) :6
After the previous day, it was a slow start to the morning. Everyone slept until 8.30 (give or take) and we all emerged from our respective tents a bit slower than usual (Except for Arvid, whom I decided was a machine at this stage). Gregg had shared a tent with Chris again. You could tell by looking at Chris. Although they are both great guys and the “bromance” was obvious for all to see, I think a little bit of Chris wanted to kill Gregg that morning. 2 weeks of traveling was starting to catch up. This was our second rest day. Nobody was interested in staying put but the plans for this day were “less mileage, more pleasure” just for once. So, amazingly before packing up, we walked off to get breakfast. There was a tourist area near our campsite, as ferries docked nearby. Plenty of shops and restaurants, along with a view that I could not take for granted.
In we went for an actual “sit down” brekkie!. I had to take a photo of the sign that pretty much summed up internet access on our trip so far.
During the planning calls we had in advance of the trip, we all found links and advice from other people that “internet access is everywhere”. The impression we all had is you couldn’t be without internet access as we went along even if you tried.
Rubbish. The vast majority of internet access points were not working or useless. Next time, bring a MiFi. As we ate, plans were made for the day. An option was Lillehammer. It was a fair distance away, but aside from the Olympic history and the TV show, there was no real draw for any of us. Another option was to head down towards Rjukan and visit a museum either this day or the next, depending on pace. More on that in the next post.
We left Flam about 11am and headed southeast on the 50 past stunning inlets, lakes and mountain passes. There was another Stave Church in Sundrevegan that Gregg wanted to see, so we detoured a tad to try to take it in. It was *very* hot this day. People were grumpy and tired and there were different opinions on the pace of the day. When we got to Sundrevegan, we simply couldn’t find the church. We found “a” church but that wasn’t it. Gregg threw in the towel and we agreed to press on. Doubling back on our route, we got back to a mountain pass that would take us to Rjuken. The start was fine, but then we got to completely unpaved roads. Meeting a car coming the other way, they said it was at least 10km of rubble road that was half way through re-construction. We had ridden rough roads already, but we were tired and with the weight of the bikes, and the loose gravel terrain for 10km, we decided to head back and go the long way.
The long way proved to be another 3 hours according to sat nav. We stopped for fuel. It was 5pm and people were exhausted. Plans changed. Buying up food, we decided on “next camp site” on the route. After 20 minutes Arvid spotted one in Rollag (he had actually stayed there before) and we camped up. Gregg, Roy and Chris decided on taking a cabin. It wasn’t cheap, but they wanted the rest. Arvid and I stuck with tents.
This was an odd evening. I remember when planning routes with Sean the “sort of” objective was to be finished and off bikes by 6pm every evening. This hadn’t really happened yet. Now it was 6pm. We were at the site and had to figure out what to do. Some folks did laundry, some cooking. I was charging and backing up stuff for folks. Roy washed his bike. Chris re-packed his panniers. We ate overlooking a river on the balcony that came with the cabin. Stunning view only slightly ruined by washed underwear hanging out of anything and everything visible.
Everyone was exhausted. At 9pm I called it a night. Went to my tent and tried to get an early one.