FOLLOWING A RIVER
Yesterday’s campsite sat on the exposed face of a mountain, offering spectacular views down through the valley – as well as a full helping of the elements. I was frequently woken by the howling the wind, the constant hammering rain, and the creaking canvas of the tent. Nevertheless, when I crawled out of the tent this morning it was to bright sunshine – the wind was still fierce, though not as bad as it has been.
I made an early start this morning, determined to make up for a short day yesterday. I lost altitude throughout the day, following the ‘Losna’ river out of the mountains. To start with, the river valley was steep sided and rocky, with the river a torrent of white water. But as the day progessed, the river became wide and lazy with the surrounding valley covered in farms rather than pine forests. The wind was a challenge to start with, and although it persisted throughout the day, it eased as I lost altitude.
I made my way passed Lillyhammer today, the site of the 1986 Winter Oylimpics: its strange to think that although I’ve been cycling south for two weeks, covering well over 1000 miles, I’m still far enough north for ski resorts to be commonplace. I left the E6 just before Lillyhammer, following quieter roads which parrel the main thoroughfare. These roads are obviously popular with local cyclists, and I passed a quite a few as I went. Late in the day, with over 100 miles under my belt, I got into a bit of a race with a couple of guys on road bikes – I managed to beat them up a steep mile and half climb, but nearly crashed on the descent: touring bikes don’t corner that well at speed! The burst of speed I’d used took a lot out of me, and it was with great relief that I reached today’s campsite – still, the look on the faces of those blokes as they were overtaken by a guy hauling 15kgs of kit was priceless! I managed to cover about 110 miles today, and need another good day tomorrow to be in Denmark for the weekend.