Lyngdal to Hague i Dalane

Distance 140.5km
Time 10h59m

Map

It is now almost 11pm, it is still light and I got into the campsite about 30 minutes ago. It has been an extremely long and beautiful day, even if I couldn’t find a suitable place to do wild camping.

Lake Lake

I left the campsite at 8am without thinking too much about where I was going to stay. I followed the EV1 up until the point where I noticed there was a way to avoid the coast section (which just went out and back-in again) and cut straight over the land to rejoin the cycle path.

The night before I had downloaded Norwegian lessons, and I was doing these as I climbed the closest thing to a mountain yet. I think the highest I have been so far is around 300m but you are always starting from sea level, and this climb took a while.

Bike and Fjord Bike and Fjord

Whilst I was climbing I saw two cyclists coming down the hill at speed. They had paired up and a young guy was hunched down while an older guy was stood up (in his slipstream I guess). They had racing numbers. I nodded at them, but unsurprisingly they didn’t take any notice as they hurtled down the hill at top speed. Then more came, and more.

Nodding at fellow cyclists is a strange game, you don’t want to nod and be ignored, but you don’t want to be nodded at and not nod back. The only way to win if you both nod. Sometimes it’s obvious, especially with cycle tourers, there will usually be a big wave and grin.

Another Fjord Another Fjord

There were lots of cyclists spread out, and eventually I broke out of their circuit.

The landscape was wonderful and reminded me very much of being in the Alps. There were many lakes and the climbs today were usually long climbs. I much prefer long climbs to short ones. I don’t care if it’s 1 hour of 4. You get into the pace of it, I prefer ascending to descending. It’s less dangerous.

After this first cut-over-land I was into the next Fjord and I encountered cycling pair, they were Norwegian and from a town near Oslo. They warned me about the steep path up ahead, and I told them about the way that I had come. I asked them if there was camping in Fekkefjord (the next town) they said there was, we wished each other happy journeys and went our separate ways.

So this is where my day got interesting. I had already clocked up 70km in 6 hours. I wanted to do 100km, but not if it meant cycling, for example, 140km. Which is what I did.

Another Lake Another Lake

The couple were right, the way ahead was incredibly steep and gravelly. It was actually an old road built in 1830s abandoned in the 1920s and I drank a beer at the “stopping stone” a huge rock by the side of the road which had been used as a resting place, there were engravings/graffiti of the type “I was here” on the rock, and some of them pre-date the road from the 1700s.

Information about the old road The resting rock and a sketch of the old road

When I got into Fekkefjord I realised I had already passed the campsite that the couple mentioned. It was 5km back, the next campsite was 40km ahead, over mountains. I decided better to go back, but as I was cycling I remembered the trouble I had with the steep path, and decided, bah “I’ll carry on and if I run out of time I will do wild camping”.

Up until this point time had passed incredibly quickly. The first time I had checked my bike clock, 1 hour 20 minutes had passed, the second time, 4 hours. Riding the “mountains” is an absorbing task.

I encountered my first “long” tunnel. This one was 770m long and I could see the light at the other end of it. When a car entered the other side you could hear the reverberations growing louder and louder until they peaked at the point that the car was about to pass you, it sounded like waves crashing on the shore and was incredibly loud (and somewhat frightening).

Tunnel The long(ish) tunnel

But now it was a more and more exhausting one and I was gradually beginning to accept that I would need to find a wild camping spot. But I found this to be quite difficult. Most of the terrain is inaccessible to the bike, and the few places I did find were close to the road, or the ground was too hard (well rock).

I went on and on, I rode into one Fjord which was the scene of the first World War 1 battle in Norway as I climbed my way back out of it there were tunnels, and a cycle path along side the tunnels, which was presumably the old road. I thought, hmm, maybe I could stay here. But as I rounded the corner I saw three hammocks blocking my way, and a family sitting at the picnic table (it was a rest area) eating and listening to music. A little girl was ordered to come and take the hammock down and help me through I said “Hi!” and carried on.

There was little chance I would have stayed, but seeing the family there (I had assumed wrongly that they were cycling) I wanted to ask if I could join them, I’m glad I didn’t as they had driven up and it seemed to be a family occasion.

Road and Water Road and Water

So now I had ridden for about 10 hours, it was 9 o’clock and it occurred to me that I’d prefer it not to be dark (incidentally it is now 11:30 and it is still not dark). I then noticed that I was close to the campsite I had planned to stay at, but it was 5km off the road, I rang them, no answer. I didn’t want to take my chances with 5 unnecessary kilometers, so I carried on.

I saw the sign to another campsite (actually the one I had targeted this morning, without realising how tough the road would be). It was now 21:30 and I knew the reception would probably be closed, but thought I might be able to catch somebody there, or just pitch my tent and pay in the morning.

There was nobody at reception as expected, I waited around, pressed a button or two, and then wrote a note before walking into the campsite. I asked the first couple I met and soon their neighbors, 2 girlds, offered to phone the owner and I was officially blessed.

I just spoke to the girls who helped me out when I got in, they said they were here today and tomorrow and they came to see the “Dick Rock”. I checked myself, maybe it was a Norwegian word, I looked at her for clarification: “.. it’s shaped like a Penis you see, so we came to see it, a girly trip”.