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.

Climb every mountain

By Stuart Lowe on

I set off in the rain this morning. It had rained through the night again. I had to climb a big hill. From fjord level as usual. Then down to Nordfjord and along to Ståhim for the ferry. I'd thought I'd worked out a route thanks to the Norwegian tunnel map suggested to me on Twitter, but one tunnel wasn't listed with a status. Would I be banned from it? When the ferry stopped, an Italian cycling from Bergen got off. He had cycled through it. Yes! He warned me about other tunnels ahead including a long one I'd have to climb.

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First hill of the day

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Claudio

Over on the ferry I let the ferry traffic past then headed through the tunnel. Then the road started to climb. Up and up it went. Where would the top be? Close to 400m it turned out. It was raining on and off. Down to the fjord again I had a very late lunch. Around some headland and a fjord and I saw a 7% gradient sign. Up and up I went. At 270m I entered a tunnel. This was the one I'd been warned about. Up it went for 2.7 km bringing my out at 410m. Then back down to fjord-level on winding roads that needed me to wear through my brakes some more.

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view

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a pause before the tunnel

As the road rose once again I saw a medium sized dog tearing across a big paddock from a house. The owner called it back but it was intent on getting me. It ran up the road after me snapping at my heels. Following what I learned in Bulgaria, I stopped. That messes with its chase response. Then I got off my bike and motioned to chase _it_. It backed off. But when I tried to get back on my bike it was after me again. I dismounted and shouted at it. I chased it off but it came back when I turned my back. Eventually the owner turned up and physically dragged it away.

I was a bit shaken as I headed up the road but had my mind taken off the dog attack by a stunning waterfall. Just after I took a photo a bus load of German tourists turned up. After they took photos I became a secondary attraction; the crazy British guy cycling so far.

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waterfall

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German tourists
More ups and downs. I joined the main road from Florø. I found a picnic spot with a flat patch of grass just big enough for my tent. Here I was stopping. I'd climbed enough mountains today and I knew another big one lay just ahead.

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joining the Rv5

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Camp spot