Sunshine at Last

EUROPE 14

26/06/2011

SUNSHINE AT LAST

I slept well last night, and woke to brilliant sunshine with fluffy clouds scudding across a bright blue sky. Usually I pack up inside the tent, but it was too hot for that today – so I tossed everything out, and packed in the sun. I was on the road by 8.30, but stopped at the first gas station for breakfast. On a Sunday in Norway everything except for service stations shut down, and food is often hard to find – so I had a big breakfast before setting off again.

I made brilliant progress, and, enjoying the good weather, I didn’t stop until I’d covered the 50 or so miles to Steinkjer. Throughout today, the steep-sided, wooded valleys and stony outcrops gave way to hilly farmland with fertile fields and abundant livestock – a nice change of sceney. I managed to find some new maps at a service statikon in Steinkjer, and, while they’re not brilliant, they’re better than nothing. As I was leaving the gas station I saw local cyclist struggling with a puncture – I offered to help, but he’d already called home for a lift. If you ask me, I reckon he looked quite glad not to have to ride any further!

After Steinkjer I rode on quiet lanes paralleling the E6, down the side of Trondheimsfjorden, and, for the most part, I had the road to myself. It was far more built up that anywhere I’ve been so far in Norway: it felt more like the English contryside, with frequent villages – again a contest to the remote places that I’ve visited.

After 100 miles I pulled into a campsite near Stjørdal, looking forward to a shower and a rest, but as I did so I heard a tell tale ping from the backwheel sig along another broken spoke. I was a quicker repair than last time, but still took about an hour and a half. While I was making that repair I also swapped my front and back tires around to try and make them last longer. I just hope that the wheel keeps going, and that this doest signal an underlying problem with it! After finally having a shower I looked at the maps – I had hoped to be able to visit the western fjords on my way south, but I don’t have time, so I’m going to press on directly to the south coast. With well over 1000 miles in the bank now, I should be there in now time!

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