refuge, Italian side of Mt Blanc
refuge, Italian side of Mt Blanc
  • Norway No way
    • 22/07/2017
Wearing helmet for the first time since day 1 due to the windy roads and fast traffic.

Eveyrmans right grrr, everywhere is covered in signs private, no camping, and there are no access points for everywhere else without just bashing into the woods from the road. In the UK we have a housing shortage but here everyone has a spare holiday home by a lake...

That feeling when you give up and take the next possible reasonably flat camping spot, then in the morning after 10 minutes ride come to an absolutely epic one....

Had a bath in the lake this morning, another beautiful sunny day, then onwards for a long climb out of the valley, leading to an epic reveal at the pass.
Passed 4 Germans on touring bikes doing Oslo - bergen.

Top of hill - well, top of the road pass, which also has the title of highest in south Norway. 1200 metres. The peak is 1800 which I would love to climb but time tonight and weather tomorrow may jinx.
It was a switchback climb of 1000m over 10k to get here and it was punishing!
There is a cold war american listening station perched atop, with a funicular railway now open for tourists.
There is a car park full of campervans
There is a lake
There is a Norwegian ultramarathon runner camping with his three kids
Its chilly, as you would expect.
Fishcakes for tea, eggs for breakfast, no rush since morning rain expected.

Stupid decisions today.
Stupid waiting for rain to stop knowing it would never stop.
Stupid deciding at 1pm to climb the summit, a 3 hour 8k trek
Especially to find that instead of the weather clearing as one forecast suggested, it got worse, well obviously climbing into the cloud at 1800m was going to be cold and damp.
Then a quick pack up and drag the bike back over the boggy heath to the road, and a leg testing extra climb on the road to its highest point and then down, down, 50kph with the wind in your face and rain and arrrg the view is awesome and gripping the brakes so tight to keep control as another hairpin bend looms ahead and its so steep!
Then finally the rain stops, the valley floor, a shop, some Jaffa cakes, on to find another camp spot. In a steep valley with nothing but a river and a road at the bottom.
Looks good on the map, looks OK in reality, but its raining and can't get much further from that noisy main road.
Woah. How is there an old upside down car this deep in the forest up a hill?
Anyway, camp up, tent was wet from earlier so try to dry the inside a little first, OK, get stuff set up, and OK, and oh shit there are like 3000 midges inside the tent.
Cant squish them all. Arrrrg
Just go, this place is dingy anyway, scramble to pack, its still mizzling outside, lights on for the first time, guess what, that rear light that kept turning on in my bag? The battery is flat. Good job I brought two.
Still feeling vulnerable on the wet main road in the dark. Gotta find any spot. Its like 11pm now. Head for a church. Or a school playing field. It's a Friday so both quiet tomorrow. There's a motel - no wait its says Betel, its a chapel type thing. Grass behind. Dry porch. No midges. OK good enough. And decent nights sleep actually.


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