In the morning I woke feeling warm. A little too warm. All the layers I've grown accustomed to wearing were unnecessary in strong sunlight. I had another dip in the Atlantic. I took my time having lots for breakfast. I didn't want to leave this perfect slice of summer.
I finally got on the way at 11am aware that I should aim for the 3pm ferry at Gryllefjord. The route went in and out of more bays then went up. Not more up my knees complained. Actually they were complaining a little less. Perhaps Christophe's oils have helped. Or perhaps it was just the sun.
About 100 metres up there was a viewing platform. There were also several cyclists. Here I met Kristen and her dog Whisky from the UK. She was heading north. I also met Jonathan from Germany heading north. Then Agata from Poland arrived from the same direction as me. She was followed by Victoria and Ewan from Scotland/Finland. It was getting like Piccadilly Circus on the side of this mountain. Kristen warned of the tunnel ahead. We'd be going up for 1.9km inside it.
I got going. At the start of the tunnel I got behind Victoria and Ewan as I felt we'd be safer in a more visible group. It wasn't that bad in the end and was shorter than the Nordkapp tunnel.
Down the other side I let Victoria and Ewan go on ahead whilst I took photos. I reached a lovely bay with glorious blue water and some sandy beaches. This is the Arctic I kept reminding myself.
I had to get a move on to catch that ferry otherwise I'd have a four hour wait for the next. Around the next corner my heat fell. I could see a road contouring up a big hill. As I got closer I saw there was also a tunnel. Which would it be? Thankfully the answer was the tunnel. It was new. It went downwards. It was well lit. Hooray. I sailed into Gryllefjord with 15 minutes to spare. At the ferry, as well as Victoria and Ewan, I met Robert and Martin who had both cycled from Germany. The coast of Norway is a popular route, clearly.
The ferry took about 2 hours to get to Andenes. There I went to the Tourist information office and used to WiFi. As I headed out of town I reached a cross roads and was wondering why a camper van was driving so slowly across it. Then I spotted Alistair driving it. Sheena and Alistair were here! As it happens they'd got talking to Victoria and Ewan in a shop due to their Irn Bru tops and they said I was behind them. It was so nice to see Sheena and Alistair again.
They were going to park in a swimming spot a few kilometres north of Nøss. It was 40km away. I didn't fancy 40km of hills. However, cycling along to Bleik I realised And&oslah;ya was different to what I've experienced so far. It was pretty flat. The wind was actually behind me. The sun was out. I forgave a suggested camping spot near Bleik and made the most of the favourable conditions. I sustained over 30km/h for a while.
I reached the camping spot just after 8pm. Sheena and Alistair kindly let me eat in their van and Alistair opened a bottle of wine. We chatted long into the evening sharing stories. The midnight sun is a tricky thing. We hadn't realised the time. It was well after 1am but it had been an evening well spent. I went to bed under blue skies, happy.