DAY 1. DIRECTION STAVANGER
Leicester –> Newcastle Upon Tyne (204 miles) –> ferry to Stavanger
So we set off. After several months of preparations, we are on the way. A quick breakfast in the morning… scrambled eggs (we won’t eat it probably for a long time)… and off we go. The weather was on our side, it did not rain, but it was cold. However we did not escape small baptism – there was a small drizzle:) We got to Newcastle without any major problems.
We boarded on to the ferry, secured our motorbike and said goodbye to England for a few weeks. After we checked in our cabin we went for a tour around the ship. When we got extremely hungry, we decided to invest 239NOK/per person for a dinner at a buffet restaurant. Then we walked on the deck, the weather was good, the sun was shining and the sea was calm.
DAY 2. WATERFALLS, MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS
Stavanger –> near Voss (185 miles)
Norway welcomed us with rain, but during the day the weather cleared up. We arrived according to the schedule, at 10.30am. We arranged a small breakfast. Just when we wanted to set off, we realized that we lost our N-com system. So that’s the end of our conversations on the way… such a struggle to get this equipment and we could enjoy it for only one day. Probably “we left” it on the ferry, but we were not able to recall where it was still there and where it was no longer there. A little disappointed we moved on along the E39 road crossing tunnels and bridges and then onto the E134 road.
On the way we approached the 5th largest waterfall in Norway, Langfoss. Huge amounts of water falling down the slope of a mountain, crashing against the rocks… it is worth to see. As we moved forward the landscape was becoming more interesting, higher mountains and obviously fjords. From the E134 road we drove onto the road no. 13. That road is amazing, it meanders along a river surrounded by mountains. The greenness of forests, the clarity of the water, huge boulders and rocks… that road stayed in our memory for long. After a day full of excitements we eagerly set our tent. A moment for meditation, making notes while drinking the tea and then sleep.
INTERESTING FACT: There are lots of tunnels there, not all are marked on the maps. Tunnels and bridges are characteristic for this land. And by the way it is amazing what people can do: several miles long tunnels, carved into the rock, somewhere in the mountains, dark, cold, it might seem that there is no end to them… it is impressive… and you really don’t know what is on the other side. You enter a tunnel in the rain, and on the other side it’s no longer raining.
DAY 3. WHERE IS THIS ROAD LEADING TO?
near Voss –> near Gerianger (220 miles)
Norwegian roads are amazing, you don’t really know where they will take you, and if you think that the road can’t go higher, you will quickly find out that it can. And it all started in the morning, although nothing was indicating that. We woke up to the sun, we quickly packed our things and set off.
We didn’t even get the speed when we approached hairpin turns, not that small at all. From the top of it there is a magnificent view on the peaceful, lovely valley, where we spent the night. We moved forward the road no. 13 to Voss and then to Vangsnes, where we ferry crossed to Hella and then moved on the road no. 55. Amazing views. This really cannot be described, it is a must see! The beauty of the mountains in all their glory, streams of water so clear, almost unnaturally turquoise, lush greenness of forests, small villages of colourful cottages build on the slopes of the mountains, and all that bathed in the sunlight.
The road no. 55 took us higher and higher, until we drove in the snow. Snow caps a few feet high. The cold was terrible and we still were going higher and higher reaching a height of 1434m above the sea level. There we had a nice meeting – Polish couple, traveling on a motorbike towards Nordkapp, but by a different route. There we also saw the highest peaks of Norway. Next we drove west the road no. 15, again in the snow.
We stopped before the exit to a road no. 63 with the intention of setting up our tent, but there was severe winter out there. Chilled to the marrow we looked around the area, and then a German couple looked out of their caravan and invited us for a tea. It was very nice of them and what’s more important we warmed up a little. After a brief chat, according to their advice we moved on. And here’s a surprise – The Eagle Road, from the top it looked like a ribbon thrown on to the slope of the mountain, from the bottom almost invisible, hidden somewhere in the trees. At the bottom of that road, in an idyllic valley we camped. We met there yet another Polish couple, who travelled by car. As it turned out later, our routes crossed again.
THE TRUTH ABOUT NORWAY: Norway mainly means mountains and fjords. The weather there changes from minute to minute. At one moment it is cold and you freeze, and a few miles further, it gets warm as you go down the mountain into the valley.
DAY 4. GERIANGER AND TROLL’S WAY
near Gerianger –> Asen (270 miles)
Lots of miles behind us, and even more excitements. The morning greeted us with sunny weather and as it turned out it stayed with us until the end of the day.
Cloudless sky, nice and warm, so that we took off the extra layers of clothing. That day we saw probably the greatest attractions. In the very morning we arrived at the beautiful fjord Gerianger. I still have that great phenomenon before my eyes, the depth of waters surrounded by high peaks, covered with forests, waterfalls falling from the rocky slopes. Not without a reason Gerianger is considered the most picturesque fjord of Norway, it deserves that name without a doubt.
Further on the road no. 63 we went through snow until we reached Trollstigen and the Troll’s Way. Unfortunately, none of the Trolls wanted to talk to us, probably because there were too many people. And where there is a lot of people, unfortunately it gets too commercially:/
The Troll’s Way viewed from the top makes a massive impression. I have to admit that people have the imagination, to build a road on such a slope of a mountain. I admire Norwegians for it. If there is mountain on the way, they can build a tunnel, or lead the way on steep slopes. If there is water on the way, it is always possible to take a ferry, or to build a tunnel underwater, as you can see for Norwegians nothing is impossible.
Leaving the road no.63 we took the road no. 64 and then the E39 towards Trondheim, short stop for a meal there and then search for accommodation. After another long day full of excitements we fell asleep like children.
THE TRUTH ABOUT NORWAY: Mosquitoes are ubiquitous and annoying. It is worth to take a mosquito repellent. There were many mosquitoes and a variety of files that crashed on our helmets.
DAY 5. DAY OF DRIVING
Asen –> near Holm (270.5miles)
That day we drove and drove. As it turned out later we travelled the longest daily distance on this trip: 270.5 miles. And the drive was very good, the road perfect for driving and the weather was on our side. Norway delighted us every day with breathtaking views. People live there an idyllic life.
THE TRUTH ABOUT NORWAY: The local villages are embedded in a landscape of mountains, squeezed somewhere between rocks, so high that it might seem that they are cut off from the world, but there are roads leading to all of them. Small towns spread out over the idyllic valleys, where life goes on peacefully, without rush.
DAY 6. THE ARCTIC CIRCLE AND DAY OF WAITING FOR FERRIES
near Holm –> Bodo (188 miles) –> ferry to Lofoten
We drove and drove and we passed, or rather crossed the Arctic Circle. This meant that for some time we shall know no night. As we drove further to the north we felt colder, after all it is far north.
That day was a day of waiting for ferries. We were following the road no.17 along the coast. This road is criss-crossed by the ferry crossings. The traffic there is determined by the ferries. You can drive for miles and not meet any car, and in a moment the whole lot of cars – it means that the ferry reached the dock. And Norway still surprised us.
You drive and think that it could not be more beautiful, and then behind another turn there is something new and you can’t get your eyes of it. At the start of the day we met two lone riders (German and Dutchman). We met them on the route a few times more that day. They made us aware that we will pass near the Svartisen glacier, and so it was. Magnificent view, amazing blue glacier tongue extending almost to the base of the mountain, and the blue fjord waters.
Through bridges, tunnels and roads circling the fjords we arrived in the end at Bodo, where we had to wait 3 hours for the ferry to Lofoten. There we met again with Polish couple traveling by car. And there we also met two Poles on motorcycles, who came from Germany where they live. When we left the ferry we headed different ways, but as it turned out later, our routes met again and this time for a bit longer.
DAY 7. LOFOTEN
Lofoten –> Evenskjer (189 miles)
We surely remember Lofoten for a long time. The ferry was delayed, so we had to wait a bit longer. It was still light, so it didn’t fell like it was the middle of the night, and it was possible to admire the beautiful views.
Mountains illuminated by the sun that was low on the horizon. The waves were rocking the ferry, but we managed to nap for 3 hours (crossing takes 4). When we arrived at the port we found out that we could not get off the ferry, because the staff on land had no electric power and could not lower the bridge. So we were stuck for a whole hour on the ferry. And as we were tired and sleepy it annoyed us a bit. However we soon forgot about that when we saw the Lofoten in all its glory. They say that for most of the year the Lofoten are cloudy and foggy – however they greeted us in the sun. Quickly we went to the “A” – small village with the shortest name and then we moved on. Shortly after that we found a nice place, suitable for wild camping. Although it was already early morning we decided to take few hours nap. After a tiring night on the ferry there was no point to rush on. After a few hours we got up, quickly packed the tent and set off. And the eyes could not get enough.
The Lofoten are a network of islands connected by bridges. Mountains rising straight up out of the sea, wrapped in clouds like a feather duvet, water incredible clear and turquoise, paradise beaches like from travel agents adverts, truly beautiful. We will also remember Lofoten for the strong wind blowing all the time. The wind was incredibly strong and cold, it was difficult to hide from it, and even the fleece worn under the jacket didn’t help. In the evening it got even worse, as the sun hid behind the clouds. So we quickly set a camp in the wild and jumped into the sleeping bags. On that day we fell asleep like children.
WORTH SEEING: By mere chance we found out about the Ice Museum in the capital of the Lofoten – Svolvaer. It is really worth to see. The first permanent Ice Gallery, presenting the history of the Lofoten islands. Sculptures made from solid ice, music and glowing lights create a unique atmosphere. At the bar made from ice you can also enjoy a drink in the ice glass.
DAY 8. AND THE DAY OF BATH HAS COME
Evenskjer –> somewhere on E6 near Skibotn (223 miles)
We were woken up by the herd of sheep heading to the pasture. So we got up and set off. That day the wind was not that strong, but it was cold, so all the time we were traveling having fleece under the leather jacket. We’ve done lots of miles, but the weather was on our side, sun was shining, the road was good, so the journey went well. The views were still breathtaking. The blue waters of fjords surrounded by mountains, snow on much lower altitudes now.
That day we decided to set the camp a bit earlier than usual, we found a very nice parking near the stream and we stayed there. We also took the opportunity and we had a bath in the stream – the ice cold water, you could not stand in it for long. After that however, how nice it was to bask in the sun, which did not hide below the horizon.
Time for some afterthoughts. Slowly we were closing in to our target. We headed north all the time, it was getting colder. Every day gave us new experiences. We were just one week on the road, but we felt like it was a whole month, we’ve seen so much and we’ve travelled such a long distance. We laid down to sleep, curious to what the next day will bring us.
INTERESTING FACT: There are 17 300 bridges in Norway!!!
DAY 9. NORDKAPP
somewhere on E6 near Skibotn –> Nordkapp (264 miles)
In the morning, after we left the camp we once again met Krzysiek and Adrian, who we met while waiting for the ferry to Lofoten. From now on our journey scheme changed a little. For the next few days we were travelling as the group of four. We decided to get to the far north on that very day. On the way we stopped in the Alta town, there is a museum of the Rock Carvings. The museum disappointed us a bit, but we warmed up ourselves well.
And the further north the colder it got. The sky became overcast and we could feel the bitter cold. We were frozen to the marrow. But at least we felt that we were conquering the Nordkapp. We got upset a bit by the high tolls for the tunnel and for entering the Nordkapp centre. But the joy of reaching the destination was grater! First we went inside the tourist centre, warmed up with hot chocolate, sent some postcards, and then we went to see “the Globe” and take a must have photo with it. Then we toured the entire tourist centre and even had the chance to see a movie displayed on a widescreen giving the impression of views from an airplane.
They say that this cape is covered in clouds and fog for more than 320 days a year. We unfortunately came on one of those cloudy and foggy days. But it made a big impression on us anyway. We were on the northern edge of Europe, rocks and cliffs jutting out of the sea, and in front of us the immense amount of water, and further only the North Pole.
It was near 1am. So we went back couple of miles to the nearest camping and we arranged a barbecue:), in the end we had to celebrate it.
DAY 10. FINLAND
Nordkapp –> Inari (236 miles)
We got up later than usual, but we packed up quickly and we moved on. The motto for today was looking for the sun. We hoped that once we will leave the E69 road the sun will welcome us. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but at least it did not rain. The landscape changed completely, we entered the Finland – miles of straight road and all around only the forests and lakes. Total wilderness, only once every half hour we passed a car.
We arrived at Inari, surprised that we have crossed another time zone. All the shops and petrol station were already closed, so we went to a nearby campsite in a very nice spot by the lake. Our trip mates invited us for a dinner – they’ve made spaghetti, it was very nice:) We’ve done a little summary of our trip so far. We decided that we need to slow down and vary our route, because we have quite few days left and we were moving forward quite fast.
NOTE: There are lots of reindeers, which walk on the road and don’t seem to be bothered by the passing cars, they go on the road as if it was theirs.
DAY 11. LOOKING FOR THE SUN AND SANTA CLAUS
Inari –> 30 miles south from Rovaniemi (253 miles)
Unfortunately instead of the sunshine we had some rain. Meanwhile miles passed one after the other, all around only the forests and forests, sometimes a lake or a river. Total desolation, only mosquitoes were present everywhere. They mercilessly attacked in whole swarms. It was best to have the helmet on all the time with closed visor of course:)
Today we decided to part company with our trip mates. We crossed the Arctic Circle together and just before we arrived at Rovaniemi we said to each other see you somewhere else, another time on another trip. Guys moved on through the whole Finland, Estonia and then to Poland. We slowed the pace and we turned towards Sweden.
Unfortunately we did not find Santa Claus either. We arrived at Rovaniemi little too late and the Santa Claus village was already closed, well then, we will pick our christmas presents in December:) Rovaniemi is a very small town, we left it before we even realised that. We had to go back because we wanted to eat something. Then we moved on looking for accommodation. We travelled a long distance that day, but we could not escape the mosquitoes. They attacked mercilessly, glad we had some repellent.
DAY 12. LOOKING FOR THE SEA
30 miles south from Rovaniemi –> Overkalix (110.8 miles)
Hoping for the sunshine we kept looking at the sky. There was a little of it given to us on that day and unfortunately there was a drizzle as well. We travelled not that many miles and unfortunately we haven’t seen the sea – another disappointment after the Rovaniemi without the Santa:(
That day we used for motorbike’s chain cleaning and lubricating. Well, not without adventures. At one of the stops we put our helmets on the roadside. While we were busy with the chain and motorbike, the ants were busy with our helmets! I had only 4 of them in mine, but Marcin had much more and he fought for a long time, because they hid themselves in many nooks and crannies. In the end, however, we won!!!! :)
DAY 13. WET BOOT DAY
Overkalix –> Alvsbyn (252.4 miles)
At night it rained so heavily that I thought it will flood our tent. It rained and rained so even we could not get out of the tent. After some time the sun came out and dried the tent a bit. We were able to assess the damages. Water got into the tent, mattresses were wet, Marcin’s sleeping bag as well, and my left boot was completely wet. We considered whether we should stay or go, but the rain has chosen for us, it started to rain again and we went back to the tent. When it stopped raining we used that time and went to get something to eat. After the breakfast we decided that we will go anyway. It was already quite late so we packed up quickly and set off. There was a downpour to start with, but then the weather cleared up.
We wanted to get to the mountains, but cloudy weather and our concerns about the lack of petrol dissuaded us from it. Today we crossed the Arctic Circle twice. We decided to follow the 374 road towards Pitea. We approached the largest in this part of Europe water cataract Storfossen, a length of 81 m. Massive amounts of swirling water, crashing the rocks are flowing with great speed, while making a lot of noise. Incredible experience, well worth to visit.
We travelled another several dozen miles in a search of the campsite, we found a very nice one by the river. Beautiful sunset, peace and quiet all around and what else do you need…
DAY 14. THE BALTIC SEA
Alvsbyn –> Fiske Camp south from Byske (90.9 miles)
What a nice feeling is to wake up in a dry tent… we packed up the camp and set off in direction of Pitea and the sea, so awaited by myself. The Baltic Sea looks completely different from the north side, plenty of small islands not far from the coast. We wanted to set up the tent by the sea, but the campsite in Pitea was very crowded. We moved towards Byske, the same problem there, but at least we ate a nice kebab:)
We went back a bit by E4 towards Pitea, there we spotted the Fiske Camp. Good choice, we liked it from the first look. Peaceful, quiet bay, wooden cottages nicely decorated. We decided to stay there for two days.
Having not enough of excitements, I decided to go into the water, only I do not know why it tempted me to go in sandals, I had to dry them later and next day they were still wet. But never mind – “the child’s dream came true”. The water was warm, and the sunset very picturesque, it was an enjoyable evening:)
DAY 15. THE FISHING DAY
Fiske Camp south from Byske –> Fiske Camp (0 miles)
Suspended in time and space. Somewhere in the Swedish forest, by the sea. After previous day’s beautiful weather there was a surprise – we woke up in the rain. When it stopped raining for a bit we went for a breakfast to the charming café – everything there were made of wood. The true craftsmanship – properly selected, naturally shaped trees were used to make the tables, chairs and pretty much everything inside.
Later, fortunately, the weather started to clear. And as we were on the Fiske Camp, Marcin grabbed the rod (there were some to borrow) and we went fishing.
It didn’t go very well to start with even though there were plenty of fishes in the water. It was not until the fourth bait the fish has been caught, but it didn’t give us any pleasure of catching, it gave up straight away. We could swap it for a smoked one, but we decided to grill it on our own. So we set the fire and started to prepare dinner. The weather from minute to minute was getting better, the sun was shining for the rest of afternoon. And the fish tasted great. Meanwhile the sun was warming us, our bellies were full and it was just blissfully. In the evening we built a small campfire and it got very pleasant. Later on a guy from Germany, who had just set the tent nearby, joined us and started to chat, in German of course, so I just listened. And the German got excited and he brought some beer first, then some stronger alcohol. We talked a little and in good mood we went to sleep.
DAY 16. DAY OF EXHAUSTING RIDE
Fiske Camp –> Dorotea (258.9 miles)
We packed the camp and moved on. At the beginning the journey went well, because were travelling on the main road, but later we entered the 370 road and and then it all started, the road was under repair which meant whole road was covered with gravel rocks. This is how Swedes repair their roads – a long part of the road covered with gravel, left for the drivers and their cars to harden it. From time to time a roller goes over it and sometimes they pour the water on it.
Such a road is a nightmare for a sport motorbike, it made us feel exhausted. To add to that there was no sign stating the length of road works, also we could not exit onto another road as there weren’t any. It was about 6 miles of truly tiring drive. We thought that was the end of such adventures for that day, but as it turned out later a part of the E45 road was under construction as well. Signs showed 7 miles long, but a motorcyclist passing by informed us that it was only for 2 miles, so we took the challenge. Near Boliden we stopped to visit the Minerals Museum. It started very interesting – from a multimedia presentation, later it was not that interesting. At the end we had a go in gold panning:) A nice variation from a whole day drive. After a long search for accommodation we arrived at Dorotea.
INTERESTING FACT: The Swedes love old classic cars. On the streets of Swedish town and villages very often you can spot old cars, especially American ones.
DAY 17. LUPINE AND GROTTOS
Dorotea –> Gaddede (112.7 miles)
Yesterday, as soon as we went inside the tent it started to rain. Fortunately in the morning the sun was shining and we allowed ourselves a moment of relax, some tea and muffins. Only then we slowly packed up. The 346 road which we were following turned out to be a gravel road on some parts, but as we turned in the 345 road it was normal again. There after a short search we found a tourist attraction known as Jaktyrgrotyn – small grottos carved by stones set in motion by flowing water in the stream. Interesting natural phenomena. Today we came across places so called nature camping – places designated for wild camping. Due to early hours we didn’t stop there.
INTERESTING FACT: What surprised us in Sweden is lupine. There was a lot of it, mostly on the road sides. It looked very nice, but we did not expect to see lupine in this part of Europe.
DAY 18. FROM UNDER ONE CLOUD TO ANOTHER
Gaddede –> Kvarnsjo (212.8 miles)
Today we set off early. The weather was playing with us. From under one cloud to another, in one moment rain, a minute later sun which dried us and the rain again. And so on the whole day long. After first few miles we decided to put the rain suites on, and we kept them on for the rest of the day, as after all it wasn’t that warm either.
The route presented nice views, but the comfort of driving wasn’t that good. On certain sections the road surface was perforated, patched which made us terribly tired. To compensate all that we arranged a cracking breakfast. After a long search firstly for the shop, then for the picnic site, following Marcin’s idea we organized ourselves on the… hunting pulpit, placed near the road. Just at time of our breakfast it started to rain, but we had a roof over our heads and a hot tea of course:)
That was not the end of the adventures for today. It took us some time to find a campsite. Finally we arrived in Kvarnsjo. A very nice campsite on the hillside overlooking a charming valley.
There was an Eskimo tent with the campfire inside as an attraction and also a small “barbecue” hut – with the campfire inside. So we arranged a barbecue and carefully we prepared our sausages to make sure they were grilled properly. Unfortunately the sausages bought at random turned out to be not sausages, but a mix of rice, potatoes and who knows what… so that’s about our dinner… well we had to eat sandwiches instead:/ But the evening was enjoyable anyway, with the music and the warmth of the campfire:)
INTERESTING FACTS: Near Gadedde there is Korallsgrotten, the largest cave in Sweden. Unfortunately we haven’t got the chance to visit it because the guided tours take place only on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and you need to allow a whole day for it. And we did not have that much time.
There is a grotto in Hoverberg, more accessible to the public, because you can just walk in and see it. Unfortunately we found out about its existence a bit too late, but apparently it is worth seeing.
While in the area you can also see Jungdalen – the largest Swedish glacier located southernmost. You need to follow signs to Helagsfjallet.
DAY 19. DAY WITHOUT A TITLE
Kvarnsjo –> Vastanvik (199 miles)
We woke up in the sunshine. Today, for the first time since the start of our trip, we ate breakfast in the tent. We changed a bit our plan of journey and we started to follow the E45 road to avoid any gravel roads. We also had to lubricate the chain as it squealed badly again.
There were no major attractions along the way for that day. The greatest we left for the end of the day. We drove through the E45 to Mora and the Siljan Lake, which was our destination for the day. A few miles before Mora we put the rain suites on, which proved to be a very good decision. In Mora we were caught by a heavy downpour and hailstorm. We did not stay there for long and circling the lake we went towards Ratvik. On the way we treat ourselves with family mega size Italian pizza, the owner of that place was surprised that for just the two of us we have ordered family size pizza. We actually were not aware of the size, but it was really, really huge, we have never seen such size before.
We drove further around the lake (we passed charming little villages, with their narrow streets and wooden, reddish-brown houses). Finally we arrived at the campsite. The story from the previous day has repeated – as soon as we set up the tent it started to rain and we had to hide in the tent for some time. In the evening we went to see the lake with clear, tea-coloured water.
That’s another day we have added to our, not so small bag with memories of the journey…
DAY 20. FETES DAY
Vastanvik –> Idre (165.7 miles)
The sun woke us up, but as usual we did not have to wait long for the rain. From the morning we were driving around the lake to get to the E45 road, and then we headed to Malung. There we decided to eat something, and as we arrived just in time of a local fete, we had the opportunity to listen to live music:)
For the time we stayed in town we took the rain suites off and decided to not put them on again. While we were leaving the town it rained a bit, but then it stayed dry. We arrived in Sarna, where a fete was taking place as well, but we did not stay there for long, we moved on towards Idre, where we wanted to stay overnight. Today we actually only drove, though the route provided joy for the eyes and soul. It was out last day in Sweden.
INTERESTING FACT: Huts with chicken legs – small huts raised on wooden poles. Often you can rent such a hut as a hytter – shelter. They perfectly fit into the landscape and give it a unique charm.
DAY 21. BACK IN THE MOUNTAINS
Idre –> Hindstear (210.8 miles)
After several miles we got back to the Norwegian mountains. We climbed a little and again we could fell the cold. The drive went well, despite the fact that the road surface was not very good, but the views recompensed everything. The E6 road we were following led through a beautiful valley and then to the 257 route which led along the river – both very picturesque. Once we’ve entered Norway we could feel the difference – mountains, streams, rivers with turquoise water… to simply put it, Norway has its own unique atmosphere. After we entered the road no. 51 we came across a small water cataract called Ridder Spranget. Unfortunately the photos we took did not show the character and charm of that place. It is better to see for yourself.
Today we started to look for a campsite quite early. Again we could not decide which to choose, but it paid off to go a bit further.
We got to Hindstear. 80NOK per night. We paid in Euro, the owner gave us change in crowns, but far too much – the equivalent of what we’ve just paid him. Quickly we fixed the mistake. We actually we looking for place for a tent but that nice gentleman offered us his unfinished hut. The hut stood in the middle of the campsite – one large room inside, all build from wood, nicely glazed. So we got a hut with heater, music, candles and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Cool:) We had a dinner with candles and we rested in the warmth at the height of about 1000m above the sea level.
NOTE: You need to watch out for the reindeer and sheep that walk on the road, not minding the passing cars.
DAY 22. THE CLOUD SHOW
Hindstear –> west of Notodden (259.4 miles)
On this day, the only thing we could admire were clouds. The whole day spent on the motorbike in the rain. As it started to rain the previous night, it did not stop for the whole day today. To tell the truth, if we had not slept in a hut, I’m not that sure if we would leave the tent. Before leaving we had a chance to watch from the windows of the hut the cloud show. They flowed in, flowed away, covered the mountains like a down duvet, all the time the sun tried to break through the clouds… amazing effect. To tell the truth, I have just then realized that only in the mountains you can really see the clouds.
Today Norway showed us that the mountains can be gloomy, bleak and rainy, but it also has its own unique atmosphere:) It actually rained all day. Even the helmets were wet in the inside. We drove under the clouds, then in the clouds, so in the centre of the rain. Yet unfortunately the motorbike lights went dead and we had to use the head beam. Overall the route was very nice, just a shame that for the steamy visor I couldn’t see much. And because the clouds didn’t give the chance to see the nice valley so I admired the clouds instead:)
The whole day made us exhausted. To add to it we had a problem with finding something to eat, we got lost in the city and we had to look for a campsite for quite a while, and to top it all it rained constantly. We found a campsite near a hotel for 50NOK, so we thought why not. Unfortunately it had one big drawback (so probably that’s why we paid so little). The hotel was located by the river, which flowed down through cataracts while making incredible noise, so it was impossible to sleep.
DAY 23. DAY FULL OF SURPRISES
west of Notodden –> Dasnesmoen (153.2 miles)
It did not rain in the morning – that’s a surprise:) And even the flysheet has dried out. Unfortunately it didn’t start well. Marcin tried to repair the lights, without success. But he successfully discharged the battery. So that’s the end – we can’t go further. Fortunately, with the help of our campsite fellows and a bit of luck that one of the drivers standing at the parking got cables, we finally were able to start the engine. So we could pack the tent, put on wet boots, wet helmets, gloves, due to wetness incredible heavy, the rain suites of course, and off we go. As soon as we left, it started to rain, so we fought on. On the way we realized that the head beams went dead as well.
This time, however, we have chosen the right direction. The sky began to clear and the rain eased, sometimes it wasn’t raining at all. We ate our breakfast at unusual place, namely at the bus stop:)
And then we headed towards the sunshine and finally we get there, we took off the rain suites and enjoyed the sunshine and views. Only the wet gloves remained us about our rainy fight. But our joy did not last long. Miles passed, the road was nice, but we couldn’t find any petrol station. And the cities we passed, which on the map seemed to be quite large, turned out to be only a few houses, of course no petrol station around. Instructed by the locals and we turned into road no. 42 west. And there’s another surprise – there was a “pay at pump” petrol machine, but it did not accept any of our cards:/ A blessing in disguise, a nice local gentleman let us use his card in exchange for the money.
Today we found a very nice campsite by the lake. We ate our dinner, a delicious poppy seed bread:) Then we walked along the lake. Of course I had to go into the water, but this time without sandals on. In the evening Marcin managed to fix the lights even without discharging the battery.
DAY 24. NORDSJO
Dasnesmoen –> Brusand (148.1 miles)
It was to be a day of just a drive to Stavanger. However it turned out to be very interesting. After a lazy packing of the camp we moved on. To start with we joined a group of two motorcycles, and then another group. There were a total of about 9 motorcycles. We drove together for a while. It was a nice ride. After some time we parted the company. We turned in to the 466 road, where we ate a breakfast somewhere by the lake.
After a short discussion, we decided to take the 44 route to Stavanger. It turned out to be a very good decision. The road which is a part of the national trail called Nordsjo meandered between the rocks. The road surface was very good, so the drive was superb:) At the highest point the road reached a height of 257m above the sea level. We came across a tourist attraction. Cottages old as the world, squeezed under massive rocks, which served as a protection against the weather. A few miles further we stopped in a charming seaside village, where we walked to a view point overlooking a beautiful bay. The weather was extremely good.
Today we early stopped for a camping in Brusand. There we got disappointed, because not only it cost 170NOK (the most expensive camping so far) but also we had to pay a 150NOK of deposit for the key to the facilities. That caught us off the guard, but we let go of any objections, after all it was our last night in Norway. That campsite is located by the sea, so after we set up the tent and did some shopping in a nearby town, we went to the beach. We were surprised that although there was a campsite full of people nearby, the beach itself was completely empty,
probably they all were sitting in their caravans. The water was clean but extremely cold. And of course I made a “booboo”. In a moment of “childlike joy” I ran toward the water and… bam… I tripped over a wet stone. Trousers wet, bottom hurt, the skin on the foot torn off, but the joy stays mine:)))) The beach was full of large stones, shaped by the crashing waves. One of them was special, it looked like a whale.
DAY 25. THE LAST DAY
Brusand –> Stavanger (55.1 miles) –> ferry to Newcastle
I woke up even earlier than on the previous day, i.e. at 6am, I laid down a bit and then went to the beach, to contemplate our about to end journey. We started to pack up slowly, as we had plenty of time to get to town. The sun was shining from the early morning. Ahead of us, last few miles to port. On the way we stopped at the “seaside” graveyard, where the victims of maritime disaster were buried.
Then following the road 44 we headed to Stavanger. There we got lost when searching for the port, because we lived in wrong assumption, that it is just off the E39 road, and it is not. After locating the port we went to town, because we had plenty of time before the departure. There was a festival in the city. We waited a bit, ate something and headed to the port. We departed ahead of time.
The last moments of the journey are the time for thoughts and meditation. This journey I surely will remember for a long time as it was an amazing experience.
DAY 26. BACK HOME
Newcastle –> Leicester (200.1 miles)
We arrived on time. Ahead of us, the last miles of our journey. It wasn’t raining and although it was cloudy, it wasn’t cold at all (unless we felt that way after the harsh climate of the far north). With bags full of excitements, new experiences and clothes to wash, safe and happy we got home.