Cycling the Kystriksveien - Day 5

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Updated 27 May 2007.

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06/08/06 Namsos to Inner Vikna (Kleiva Camping)

A concerted effort by everyone on getting up earlier sees us all up and dressed at 8 AM. Bright sunshine, few clouds, 1007 on the barometer. We eat muesli with grapes and bananas for breakfast, then pack solidly until 10:40 when I start to get anxious about the time because today we plan to take the 11:45 express boat from Namsos to Rørvik on Vikna, an island some way up the coast. We pedal off with about half an hour to spare though, arriving at the Tourist Information office again to find the boat moored at the quay, chugging quietly - we soon have our bikes stripped of their luggage and stowed below at the foot of the gangplank, where there is plenty of space for bicycles and other luggage against the rear bulkhead at the stern of the boat. Altogether about a dozen other passengers join us in the air-conditioned cabin, which is spacious. The seats have aircraft-style lapbelts for rough weather. P. would love to be on the rear deck, but the crane is being used to lower pallets into place and children are not allowed on top when the express boat is moving.

Instead we get talking to Reidar Tessem, another cyclist making a day trip to Vikna, who turns out to be a senior IT manager with the North Trondelag health authority. He's very taken with P.'s trailer bike, not having seen one before, but we are soon deep in planning mode over my map as he points out what he knows about the route in front of us; we also have a lot of common ground in health IT systems since he's been on fact-finding tours of the UK and knows NHAIS and other systems used in the UK from a stay at St. Thomas's Hospital in London. Reidar tells us he was born and raised in the shadow of Bodøsjoen church, which is next to the campsite where we finish each trip to Norway. Small world!

Boarding the Namdalseid Express Boat

The ferry trip takes about forty-five minutes; on the way it stopped at the very scenic island of Jøa which we would like to have visited, but had to pass on because the ferry only calls once a day and there was nowhere to stay for the night. Still, the trip to Rørvik strikes me as being good value for money, since a concessionary ticket for the three of us costs 344 Kr.

Scorchingly hot in the midday sun at the quay in Rørvik - Reidar gives us ten minutes to remount the bags on the bikes so that he can take a short video clip of us for his Yahoo! video diary before he pedals off. We pull the bikes up in the shade afforded by the awning of the Museum of Coastal Life, which is opposite the quay. Of course I'm anxious to get in for a look around, but first we should really sort out some accommodation. The front desk at the musuem doubles up as the Tourist Information centre for the island, and provides us with a two-sided A4 sheet with accommodation but some 'phone calls show that we aren't going to find anywhere nearby, so we settle on Kleiva Camping, which is listed in the Kystriksveien Guide but initially doesn't look particularly promising.

There follows an untypical map-reading error that has us riding up a steep hill out of Rørvik and missing a turn to the airport and campsite at the top of it. Instead we cross the tall Nærøyabua suspension bridge beyond the turning and ride hell-for-leather for six kilometres along the 770 before we realise our mistake and ride slowly back in the fierce heat to the bridge. Still the views make the detour worth it - the water is an unusual turquoise colour as the road winds its way back over low skerries; I regret not spending some more time with the camera here but Janet is not unnaturally anxious to get to the hut we've booked over the 'phone before it gets given away.

Summerhouse near Lundring on the RV770

Back the other side of the suspension bridge it is impossible to miss the sign to the airport, but for some reason you only see the back of it as you leave Rørvik. The road from here is perfect for cycling, and we have it all to ourselves. And the campsite itself is wonderful!

When we arrive we are greeted by Oddvar Evenstad, the elderly yellow-bearded Norwegian patriarch who owns the site and bears a strong resemblance to the fisherman on the sardine tins from the turn of the last century. He initially seems a bit severe and speaks only Norwegian, but is gently humourous once P. appears, and gives us the key to one of his two large cabins (Petra) for 450 Kr. This seems like a real bargain since it is huge, spotlessly clean and tidy, and comes with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large deck for us to sit on. For the first time, we have done our day's cycling and still have a large chunk of the afternoon free for enjoying ourselves, so we unpack, shower, and go down to the inlet in front of us to sit on a pontoon and paddle our feet in the clear blue water. This is a lovely place to stay if you value peace and quiet, and several of the residents seem to have been here in their caravans on the hard standings for several months, just soaking up the tranquillity of the place.

P. and Janet at Petra Hut, Klieva Camping

View Kliva Camping and surroundings in Google Earth

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