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Old 10-07-2012, 06:54 AM   #38
Thijs_B OP
Keeps on dreaming
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: That floaty bit just north of France
Oddometer: 84
Talking Day 11 - Start of route 17

GPS track of the day:

Because we put the tents on the path leading down to the water, they were on a slope. I found out my sleeping bag has no grip whatsoever on the air mattress, so I woke up curled up in the bottom end of the tent a couple of times. Means that I got up early

Sunrise, full 360 degrees! Taken by the waters edge, the tents and bikes can be seen about three quarters to the right.

We decided to ride together, and go to the 'famous alternative to the boring E6', route 17 through the fjords. The E6 wasn't boring at all up until then (on the contrary) but the map showed it went inland further south, to become less twisty so it wasn't hard to imagine that it would be soon.

Months together on one bike, and still having fun!

The first ferry! (It's the boat on the right ) Although this was still the E6, and was therefore unavoidable if you wanted to go south, it was not free…

Bart & Jasmin wanted to be in Trondheim by the end the next day, to meet with their couch surfing host, so they wouldn't ride the complete route 17 because of the time needed for all the ferries. Looking at the map, they would have multiple 'escape routes' to get back to the E6 so we just got started and would decide later where we would split.

Finally off the E6, somewhere between Fauske and Bodø.

Then route 17 started, it was very wide there and brand new, it wasn't even on my GPS so I just followed the sign. I noticed the road to Bodø was also recently constructed and not as the TomTom indicated. After the new section was over we got on the 'old' road and it narrowed a bit to make for some excellent riding.

View at one of our reststops.

The weather was absolutely perfect, and combined with the nice riding and scenery this was on of the best days of the trip.
We got to the atlantic coast, and there was nothing but water between here and Greenland since we were still north of Iceland.

Having fun in Norway!

A little bit further the road turned inland for a bit. The area between the mountains was completely flat and provided space for lots of farms, guess this used to be the bottom of some ancient fjord.

Getting the small snapshot camera out again while riding.

We encountered quite a few tunnels while riding, but they weren't that long. Then just before entering another one I got a quick glimpse of a sign saying '7,5 km', wut?! It was long enough to see the ceiling light merging with the road in the far off distance. On the GPS track you can see the tunnel, where the line is broken at the bottom. Sure, the Lærdal tunnel is longer (24.5km, more on that one later) but this one was way colder and more wet, so I just ducked behind the small windscreen to avoid hitting the cold air.

Getting out of it, we saw our first glaciers!

Nice leg stretching break, and we filled our bottles in a nearby stream.

Got chased by dark skies most of the day, but the weather was still great!

Then we got on the ferry to Ågskardet, after which the next ferry would be less than 30 km away. Because it was getting late, and the next ferry would on of the 'big ones' (probably an hour or more to cross, excluding possible waiting time) we wanted to stay somewhere along this section.

After some looking around we stopped at another resting area. This was again one with park benches and a small toilet, so it doesn't really qualify as 'wild camping'. There was even a small lake, so fresh water also wasn't an issue. We only had one (luxury) problem, at first we couldn't decide where to put the tents since there were so many good places

We put our tents between the benches, the sun already set behind the mountain behind us.

My bike felt a bit rough, and sometimes skipped a beat, so I changed my spark plugs there. I also tightened one of the bolts holding my panniers in place, the shaky Rotax single almost caused another one to fall off

Even though the weather was great we saw dark skies closing in, but because we were closed in by mountains on three sides it seemed to stay behind them for a while. Not for long though and when it finally hit, it hit hard, with rain and very strong winds. We got into our tents very early just after dinner, and I spent the evening writing my journal, finishing one of my books, and having a look at possible routes for the coming days and the south of Norway.

Despite of the storm, I slept like a rock that night. Guess the idea of having a dry place, even though it's only a tent, in this kind of storm is a soothing one

Daily achievements:
Travelled around 400km in 6 hours with an average of 70 km/h (including ferries). 'Only' 1725 km away from home.
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