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 sun'll come out, tomorrow

By Stuart Lowe on

I chatted more with Hugo this morning. He works for 4 months of the year then cycles the rest. We both cycled out of the campsite together then shared some brief notes on our roads ahead. It was raining.


As I headed up to the 400m point, the rain really set in more than just the background rail level. Coming down the other side my brakes started to fail. All the rain and hills had nearly worn them through. It only seems like a week since they were new. Despite the blind corners, I had to just ride it down at quite a speed even pulling on them as much as possible. It levelled off at around 180m for a bit. The rain and the wind meant I was getting chilly. Despite the fact all my clothes were wet through to my underwear, I put on my second waterproof jacket just to reduce the wind chill. A little further down I met two Germans going up. One told me it didn't make sense to wear so many layers. Going up I'd agree as the effort keeps the temperature up. Clearly he couldn't appreciate the cold of a descent yet. Along a few more kilometres and I met a Polish man. Actually, in trying to stop with my worn through brakes, I toppled off the edge of the road (Norway has steep banks on the side of most roads). Hugo had told me to apologise to a Polish cyclist who he'd left behind the day before. So I did.

As I approached Kyrksæterøra the rain stopped. Finally. I found the tourist information office on a quaint little street. Inside was Marte. She listened to my story, gave me advice on the best route towards Kristiansund, then invited me to have coffee and cake. She insisted I could eat the whole plate of cakes if I wanted to. I did. Over coffee she told me that she was related to the man who'd beheaded Charles I and that she has the claim to a castle in England. Marte then checked the weather for my route ahead. The sun'll come out, tomorrow. Saturday would be sun and cloud. That was good news. I could have sat and chatted with Marte for the rest of the day but I had to bid a fond farewell. Kyrksæterøra now joins the ranks of Tromsø, Batavia (New York), Osijek (Croatia), and Oberkirch (Germany) Tourist Information offices in the welcome and help I've received.


I had a quick stop at the Coop on the way out of the village and bought a yoghurt. While eating it outside the shop I heard a "hello Stuart!"; Marte's shift had ended and she was doing her shopping. It was such a pleasant thing having someone greet you by name. It was like being at home.

Leaving the village meant another steep climb. I should be used to that by now. Thankfully I had some energy thanks to Marte's cakes. Down the other side I met Gabin who had cycled from France. I made him a fried egg and he made me coffee. In the rain. We talked in a mix of French and English. I'm glad to say it was possibly majority French for once. I had to dig up words I haven't used in years but that was good for me. I'll reach France in a couple of months after all.


Gabin, who cycled from France. I made him a fried egg and he made me a coffee.

I followed Marte's route. It added extra kilometres but kept me on the coast. The rain intensified. Once that angry shower had passed me by I watched it head off up the fjord to the north west. It was quite atmospheric.


Over the bridge near Aure, I was on the look out for a campsite which was on the map. Kilometre after kilometre and hill after hill seemed to go by and no sign of it. Eventually I gave up. I found a little wooded area off the road and pitched my tent. I put on the head net before the flies and midges descended. It was still raining. I sealed myself in the tent and did my cooking, rather dangerously, inside. I tried to dry off although that is hard when your towel is damp.

I was exhausted, still hungry, and in dire need of a wash for me and every item of clothing I have.