Tunnels

EUROPE 8

20/06/2011

TUNNELS

The start I had this morning was indicative of the day to come: I woke up in good time, and started to pack, only to find that I had a flat tyre. Breaking camp, fixing a puncture, and cooking breakfast all at the same time is hard work, and I felt l had been up for quite a while by the time I got on the road.

There are some days that you get in ‘the zone’ quickly, and stay there – on those days the miles fly by, and after 100 or more you’re still relatively fresh. Other days, time lags and you’re checking the bike computer to see how far you’ve gone in the 30 seconds since last checked it. Today was the latter type. The weather was not so fine as it’s been, and the road was constantly undulating never flat – not good for getting into a rhythm. The scenery was awesome – with craggy cliffs and sharp peaks the order of the day. I spent a large part of the morning, however, in tunnels – 7 in total. Not only were they long, but freezing cold as well: I’d come out of each shivering and looking for the sun. After a particuarlally lengthy under-sea one, ending in a 2km 10% climb I stopped to make a cup of coffee on my stove. It’s moments like that that make a day that’s dragging seem to be not so bad – I warmed up, slipping my drink, with a lake streaching out in front of me, and walls of rock to all sides.

The rest of the day seemed to go by much faster, and I saw a couple of other cyclists going the other way – including two on recumbants. Nevertheless I was glad to stop, and set up camp: I had fought a headwind along the last stretch and it was starting to rain. No sooner than I had pitched the tent it got heavier – I sat in the porch of my tent making coffee and sandwiches quite glad to be out of the elements. I’ve got an early start tomorrow – I need to be in Moskenes, 75 miles away for 1pm to get the ferry to Bodø.

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