Cycling the Kystriksveien - Day 6
Updated 30 May 2006.
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The bike has been sorted out, but today is turning out to be a really tough day physically for me - the scenery is outstanding though by way of compensation. We are riding along the 770 to Kolveried and on up to Sildvika Camping, which is at Tangen near Gravvik - 57 km, the last stretch along gravel roads, and it is scorchingly hot.
The road from Næroysundet to Kolveried is generally flattish or rolling and quiet, very quiet. Gorgeous farming country with lush meadows and tall banks of lupins, with towering fir trees behind. The heat is turning out to be a real problem though, it is up in the high twenties and we've drunk our way through six bottles of water each in the first couple of hours.
Along the lakeside to Kolveried
When we arrive at Kolvereid (after a lovely stretch beside the lake) I think we are both more than willing to find somewhere very close for the night, somewhere shady out of the midday heat. The settlement is on a hill above the lake after quite a steep climb. It's a funny sort of town, looks like it is all less than a year old with the road up for most of the high street, and just one row of buildings on either side of it. I stepped into the super chilled Co-Op store and started shopping for food - but within a minute or two I felt a wave of nausea and dizziness wash over me; either it's the effect of coming from a hill climb into an 11° C supermarket, or it is sunstroke. Either way I can see that Janet is feeling ill too, so we grab what we need for lunch and some more bottles of cold water, and retire to the only shady spot we can see - across the parking lot from the Co-Op.
View from our refuge under a tree
So this is going to be our hideout for the next couple of hours until the heat drops a little. Not much of a view, is it? We lie propped up on the panniers containing the sleeping bags, eating yoghurt and cucumber, and gradually doze off to sleep.
Wake up some time later to find that P. has been into the shop with some small change to buy us both an ice lolly because he's concerned about us.
By now it's 2.30 and we're both feeling much better. I psyche myself up for a walk back to the main street (beyond the orange building in the picture above) for a look for somewhere to stay for the night. The Tourist Info office seems to be on the second floor of the municipal office. Actually the noticeboard here is pretty bare, but the library upstairs seems to be open, but strangely empty. Not entirely empty though; in one corner there's a helpful young librarian. We talk mostly in Norwegian but she speaks a bit of English too. It turns out that the nearest hut is going to be at Nambukta, about 25 km further on. She has a telephone, and uses it to make a booking with Bjorn Tangen, the owner of Sildvika Camping. She writes his name and 'phone number down for me on a piece of paper, and I gratefully thank her and head off to tell Janet the good news - we need to put another couple of hours in!
Back at the bikes, Janet is as ever stoical and uncomplaining at the news. I put on my long sleeved top and Tracksters to keep the sun off, and we start pushing the bikes up the hill to the other side of town, P. trotting along happily beside the trailer bike. Fortunately after about 2km of steady unrelenting climb we are at the summit, with a swooping downhill before us. The road here is generally a rolling one - we have to walk up some uphill stretches, but we make reasonable time on it. The scenery is very beautiful in parts; these water lillies in a pool beside the road are in flower, wish I'd brought a longer lens and a tripod for the camera.
Water lillies in bloom by the roadside
We finally reach Nambukta at 6.40 pm. There's a good Co-Op store here just before the turn-off to Sildvika, the first shop we've passed since leaving Kolveried. We have food for two days now, we'll shop here tomorrow for more.
The last couple of kilometres are on loose gravel and have to be walked - the uphill sections are just too treacherous with bike tires and heavy touring bikes. The turn-off for Bjorn's house is a very welcome site. He's waiting for us, and makes it all worthwhile ... shows us the neat ground floor apartment that is ours for the night under his house. The suite has a bedroom (double bunk bed), kitchen, and bathroom and is very snug. He explains that he was born here on the farm in 1937, and moved away to work for most of his life, returning in 1986 to take up the land that has been in his family for many generations. He has built the huts at the bottom of the farm as more of a hobby than a business. He speaks excellent English. His house has excellent views over the bay and the scene is utterly peaceful - can't have changed much for centuries.
We cook spaghetti with the delicious smoked sardines in tomato sauce. The shower is fantastic. We are all in bed by 10 pm. What a day!
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