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.

In time for the ferry

By Stuart Lowe on

Another day putting away a wet tent. I put it inside a plastic bag to stop it making my sleeping bag and liner wet during the day in my pannier. Having camped at altitude (relative) I had a downhill section to start the day. The rain was cold. My feet were wet from putting on my shoes. It feels as though my feet have barely been dry since I started. I wonder if I'm getting trenchfoot.

I passed a few pairs of cyclists going in the opposite direction. None stopped. I didn't blame them. The rain and hills were not too conducive to chatting. However, at a spectacular viewpoint surrounded by sculpted mountains, two cyclists had stopped. I stopped. They were a couple from Sweden. We talked about the rain. They said there would be better weather in Sweden. They noticed my Ikea bag. We talked about the tunnel ahead. They didn't want to go through it and were hoping for an alternative. I realised the alternative was a 300m climb so I went through it.

At the other end of the tunnel was better weather and a picnic spot with a toilet. I really appreciate all the people who clean and maintain tourist toilets. I've made use of quite a few along the way. I had second breakfast and a nice cup of tea.

The weather was better on this section of the coast. My shoes started to dry. The scenery was beautiful. I made it to Ørnes in plenty of time for the ferry so visited the Coop and the made myself some fried egg sandwiches. On the ferry I met Claudia from Germany who was cycling, skiing, kayaking and generally adventuring her way around Norway. We talked with a retired Norwegian policeman who seemed quite taken with our travels.

The ferry ended at Vassdalsvik which turned out just to be a ferry terminal and little else. I said goodbye to Claudia and headed on. Around into the next fjord provided some beautiful views as I stayed on the edge of the sun and rain. I was treated to a rainbow against the northern side of the fjord. The southern side of the fjord involved a bit more of a climb before heading down to Furøy. I had been going to stop at the campsite here but my timing was impeccable and the ferry had just unloaded. I asked the ticket seller if there was anywhere to camp on the next section. She said there was a lake named Agvatnet. That settled it. I took the ferry to Ågskardet and headed up to the lake.

The lake had spectacular views of mountains ahead. I put my tent up whilst it was dry and got talking to a group of Italians who were in three camper vans. I got to dust off my patchy Italian. They'd been fishing and I watched as they filleted the cod they'd caught. They were covering them in salt to preserve them and take them home. They said they'd last up to two years. The shared their beer and breadsticks with me. It is amazing what a difference it makes to be able to talk to people, in however limited a fashion, in their own language.

My tent dried in the evening sunshine. After I'd had a spinach soup and egg sandwich it started to rain again. I retired to my tent for the night.