Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

Tromsø

By Stuart Lowe on

I was up early. The Norwegian cyclist had told me to catch the ferry before 11am as there was no service over lunchtime. It was raining though so I had to pack up a wet tent. Again. Something my dad told me never to do when I was a kid. I also skipped making breakfast because of the rain and a need to make the ferry.

I was about halfway between ferries so only had 10km to go. It felt longer on my knees. As I rounded the headland to the main fjord I saw the ferry making its way across. It was a race. I made it to the harbour at Svensby just as the ferry was docking at about 9.25am.

Like yesterday, this ferry was also free. Bonus! It was a shorter trip and brought me to a harbour without any real village attached which was slightly odd. I went a few kilometres then decided I needed breakfast. Two fried eggs, porridge, banana, tea and trail mix helped fill an empty stomach.

After the initial rain, the day stayed largely dry despite threatening clouds. I made good progress along the quiet road then had to join the much busier E8 for a few kilometres before a very welcome sign took me off on a quieter road.

At Tromsø I made my way across the big bridge to hunt for the tourist information office. On the way there I met Pat and Geoff who were from Australia's Sunshine Coast. They'd been cycling in Iceland and were about to cycle down from Nordkapp. They asked about the conditions.

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Pat and Geoff

At the tourist information office I made use of the WiFi to check my email. I had some emails from Sheena who I'd met on top of a hill the other day. By happy coincidence her emails told me to go to the tourist information office and speak to Sonja. Here I was! Sonja told me she had something for me. It turned out Sheena had put together a care package for me full of food. What a lovely surprise. Thanks again Sheena and Alistair.

Sonja gave me maps for the route to the bottom of Lofoten and told me about the ferry prices. Eek. I could save a bit by buying a Tromsø travel card. Perhaps I can pass it on to a cyclist heading north once I'm out of range. Sonja also checked local accommodation for me. I decided I was going to have a proper rest day. My plan to have one in Alta had been scuppered by several hours of walking with a broken bike. I opted for a campsite as it was the cheapest. Sonja very kindly sent me on my way with some extra goodies.

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A warm welcome from Sonja of Tromsø tourist information office

The campsite is nice. I made use of the kitchen. I can have a shower after three days wild camping. Tomorrow I may try to use the sauna and at least rinse my clothes whilst I give my knees some rest. I have a long way to go.