Sunday July 1, 2018, 84 km (52 miles) - Total so far: 1,862 km (1,157 miles)
I had a feeling. All the bugs flitting about the rain fly sounded like rain. A sizzling all night long. This a.m. I made a quick potty dash. Oh boy. I scrambled back into the tent. I decided to forgo firing up the stove for hot water and had a dry breakfast. But eventually I'd have to come out of the tent and pack. It was like zombie bug apocalypse. They swarmed me as soon as I crawled out.
At one point I quickly switched out shirts--but not fast enough. It was like I was covered with fur. They were so thick I could hardly breathe. I coughed and shoved and batted them away with my hands. I was out of breath just getting away.
Then my chain fell off. And there were hills out there. Then my chain seized up almost sending me to the ground. It was early morning Sunday, no one around; I felt alone and afraid. What if my bike breaks? What if I do smash to the ground? The higher I climbed, the more absolutely barren and empty the landscape became. My God, I thought, I might die. It was still freaking early when I turned into Hallbjønnsekken where there was only a hotel and a cafe. Which was closed. But some people were knocking on the windows. They wanted to pay for their room before leaving. So they roused the owners who saw me and and the woman took pity. Would you like a cup of tea?
My tea thermos was in my handlebar bag. Earlier I thought it was making a lot of noise, klinking and clanking, until I discovered it was sheep with bells around their necks. I could hear the bells echoing off the rocky slopes. While she filled my thermos I went into the bathroom. Sheesh, what a disgrace. My face was sooty with bug carcasses. I spit into the sink and it looked like pepper. I used a paper towel trying to get all the bugs off my teeth.
The cafe was closed but I asked the lady about distances and using my hand, up or down. Then I said I'm afraid. She looked confused. My English not so good. Very little traffic. So she sent me on my way.
I'm going to die, but I kept pedaling. And it didn't seem as scary after awhile.
It was ALL downhill after awhile. I flew into Valle. It all seemed actually not to be as far as the lady indicated. I stopped right before Valle at where a river spills around flat rocks where people where swimming and sunbathing. A hardcore motorcyclist pulled up and looked at me. Respect, he said, and gave me a package of cookies. I was starving.
In Valle I had a gas station sandwich and filled up water bottles. Also tried to send messages. My phone is a big piece of ---. The stupid thing keeps shutting off or turning on the flashlight or any number of settings I don't want. Last night it dialed a number without me pressing any buttons.
So I leave Valle and like what seemed like five minutes later I was at the turnoff for a big climb up to the Suleskarvegen, the famous road over the mountains all the way to Sandnes. I wasn't at all sure I'd get this far today. By my records,1 pm, I might just make it to the mountain hut I'd dreamed about staying in.
If I hitched a ride to the top. Once again an eager person stopped who had a full trunk. And he only spoke German. So I threw everything off the bike and quick released the front tire to show him we could get it into the back seat. He was game. And that's how I got up.
But it was hard to know where the top was. He drove and drove and there was always more up. I was worried he'd drive past Oyuvsbo. Silly girl. Even when he did put me out I still had to walk the bike. Up. Up. Up. But I also rode and it was high in the mountains and I was in Norway. Then I was there, at the parking lot for Oyuvsbo. Where's the hut?
I was greeted by sheep. I took their picture, their cute little faces. Then they proceeded to try to eat my $140 Ortlieb panniers.I smacked it on the head. Shoo!! Okay, this is going to be a problem.
My plan had been to carry in only what I needed and stash a bag by a rock and pick it up the next day. Roaming sheep meant having to carry in EVERYTHING. Okay, no big deal. Only 1.5 KM. But, oh my god, it took forever to relay my bags as there were too many for one load.
I'd given up on sunscreen. I mean every day I'm outside ALL day. But today was different, so high up, cloudless skies. I thought my sunglasses made my skin look so red. No I was frying. It took 1.5 hours to get to the hut. I was exhausted.
As I sat trying to recover and thinking about the hard last few days climbing and what a pain it was to get here: I decided I would stay 2 nights. It's pricey, at $40 a night, but I worked too long and hard to get here to pick up and leave the next morning.
I bathed in the lake. Ate a good supper of ramen noodles, and had tea on a bench in solitude. Except for the tinkling of sheep bells.
I need an extra night and day just to enjoy Norway. That's hard to do when climbing or running from the insects. Or carrying your stuff in like a pack horse. So happy now, knowing I don't have to move in the a.m.
UP 1,321 m · DOWN 943 m
|Honnevje, a bathing place where water flows over rocks|
|before it started eating my bag|
|view from my mountain hut|
|Sunset at mountain hut|