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.

The biggest fjord yet

By Stuart Lowe on

I woke to the pitter patter of rain on my tent. Again. It eased a bit by about 8.30 so I put it away wet again but without me getting too wet. Except for my feet. Will they ever be allowed to be dry for a full day?

It was a steep climb to start the day over to Tjong then around Tjongsfjorden and through the 3.2 km long Straumdaltunnelen which rose for 2 km before flattening off. As I sped down to Jektvika I was worried by a wave of vehicles. Had I missed the ferry? I needn't have worried. It turned out I'd timed it perfectly again. This ferry cost 66 krones as it was an hour long trip. However it was also special. It would take me over the Arctic Circle. The start of the ride was sunny but, as we approached the point in question, the rain set in as if to make a point that I may be leaving the Arctic but that didn't mean sunshine and clear skies. This is the Atlantic coast after all.

The ferry deposited me at Killboghamn. Once again this turned out to consist of nothing but the ferry terminal. I asked a lady if there were any shops for food supplies. She said "one mile along on the right". It was a long one mile. It felt more like 10. This part of the coast seems more remote. Although there are frequent "villages" they are mostly just a few spread out houses. Gone are the frequent Coops I was used to up north. My phone is now on "Edge" which also suggests there aren't enough people to justify the expense of upgrading the network. That makes the Internet achingly slow.

I stopped short of Stokeågen at a cafe and had a 45 krones coffee and cake. I then started around a huge fjord that just kept going. At least I was staying just ahead of the rain along the northern side. But I could see the southern side seemed to be in permanent rain. I imagine the mountains were the cause. That was to come. As I discovered, as well as rain, this southern side presented a big climb. Up and up it went. At 240m I saw a bicycle and stopped. It was Claudia from yesterday. She was huddled by her bike eating some food she'd cooked. She said the locals at the end of the fjord complained about the rain from the mountain.

I carried on in the hope that crossing over the summit would take me out of the rain. The summit of the road was at 340 metres with an annoying drop of about 70 metres before a climb back to 320 metres. As I'd hoped, the rain lessened over the top. It was only about 15 km to Nesna for the next ferry but I'd done enough so stopped at 285 metres in a picnic spot with a WC and a stunning view out to the Atlantic.