[ blog » 2022 » 07_Tour_Norway ]d17: Skei to Åndalsnes (by Philipp Gesang, location: Andalsnes campsite)


Today began as yesterday ended: with cold rain. Talk about consistency! I had slept in, hoping in vain for the rain to go away by itself, but some of my clothes still hadn't dried. Those are the worst days.

The route began with some mild climbing to get to Baeverfjord and from there to the next valley. Elevation gained accumulated quickly during that part but after it stopped raining it was actually quite pleasant on those slopes. No complaints. Yet.

Unfortunately that was over once I joined the long road west, in this case the E39, which in these parts connects a number of peninsulas and islands via bridges, causeways and a ferry. On those islands in particular, Aspøya and Bergsøya, the road is quite exposed to the wind which tends to blow in from west / northwest, resulting in a strong headwind for the bulk of the riding today. Some of the "false flat" type sections were excruciating: hands on the drops, trying to minimize my crossection, pedaling as fiercely as I could, but still going less than 10 km/h. Island for island, bridge for bridge this went on without respite almost until I reached the highest point of the pass from Batnfjordsora to Molde.

I skipped Molde though as the sea tunnel is off-limits to cyclists and I didn't want to deal with the bus, and took the scenic route instead.

La route ne ment pas, la route ne mentira jamais

That decision may have caused me some undue stress later on. I arrived at the Solsnes ferry for the 21:00 h sailing during which I checked out the shopping opportunities along the road. The problem was obvious: all those shops were about to close or closed already. Only in Åndalsnes, to where it is more than 31 km from that ferry, the supermarkets are open until 23:00. And it was past 21:10 already when I disembarked from the ferry, my food supplies down to just an apple.

Time for some thrilling heroics! I had less than two hours to reach Åndalsnes otherwise the recovery window of that night would have been ruined. That realization must have unlocked some strength reserve cause after some 130 km in the saddle I found myself pedaling furiously. The urgency aside those last 30 km to Åndalsnes actually were the best riding I did all day: barely any wind, gentle slopes, smooth and clean road surface, little traffic -- all in all close to ideal riding conditions.

And I made it! I actually made it to the first supermarket in Åndalsnes with 18 minutes left for stocking up on fiskekaker and kesam.

What a ride: 166 km total with a whopping 1900 m of elevation gain and plenty of headwind. Even without the tension at the end this was one of the harder days I've had so far. The campsite reception was past opening hours but I spotted the receptionist in the building and got at least an ok for a pitch from her.

After a day like this there's nothing better than pitching in the dry, doing your laundry, and then taking a hot show ... -- wait, you have got to be kidding me! That shower needs special tokens to function?! So not even coins but tokens that you can only purchase at the reception, for which it was too late by now. What the hell. 166 km in the saddle for a freezing cold shower, I've got the worst luck. Let's just hope the legs don't respond with cramps to that mistreatment.


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