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.

Mountain top midges

By Stuart Lowe on

I awoke to rain. It had rained all through the night. I tried waiting for it to stop but who knew when that would be? I packed everything up inside as best as I could. Some water had got in via the old floor of my tent. As I finally emerged into the light rain I was mobbed by the midges. The sooner I left here the better. A wet tent was packed up.

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Rain

I was now following the route of the Dutch couple so left the 17 and National Cycle Route 1 to take smaller roads to the ferry at Hofles. on the way I briefly chatted to a German man walking Norway. Traffic and rain meant I didn't want to hold him up. Further on I met Rudi and Ava from Switzerland cycling from Trondheim to Tromsø.

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Ava and Rudi

Once through Kolvereid the rain stopped and it seemed quicker.

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Kolvereid

Somehow I ended up racing the ferry again and got to Hofles just before they had started loading. It cost 48 krones to travel south to Lünd. During the crossing the sun finally came out. I had feared I'd be stuck getting wetter and wetter for days. At Lünd, rather than cycle off, I took over a picnic bench to have a belated lunch and to finally dry the clothes I'd rinsed at the campsite two days ago. After a double fried egg sandwich, I treated myself to an ice-cream for 26 krones at the cafe as it was one of the few places to have been open today.

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Ferry ride

The next ferry arrived and I waited for all the traffic to speed off before setting off myself. It was nice to be out of the rain but now I needed sun cream and had to take layers off due to the heat. The route headed up a 120 metre hill. Near the top I had a scramble up some rocks and got a glorious view in two directions. I hadn't gone as far as I'd planned but I resolved to camp here tonight. There was only the tricky matter of getting tent pegs in. Then my nemesis returned. No, not the rain, the midges! I retreated into my tent as the only midge-free place. I was denied the enjoyment of the view.

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Sunnier after Lünd

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Head net to escape the midges

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Wild camping in the mountains