Skogn, Norway - June 21, 2013

If I remember, we last left Sam at a hotel in Bogen, Norway. He was gazing at the sky, hoping against all hope that the next day would break bright and clear. Could it happen? Come children...let's pick up the story from that point...

Well, he DID wake up that morning and YES!!! the sky was clear...Oh Joy!... but not for long. It was soon raining once again. Oh, poor Sam. How God makes him the butt of His jokes! And the next day through the Lofoten Islands is was drizzling and grey as well. But then yesterday, after a wet night camping in the rain, our little bedraggled traveller took a three hour ferry ride to the mainland, hoping to escape the "Island Curse". But lo, such was not to be. On the mainland, our hero, mounted on his steed of steel continued smashing and murdering raindrops with his windshield and faceshield all the way down the coast (and even inland) to the fabled city of Mo i Rana... (an industrial town of no real obvious beauty, especially in the rain, but useful here at this point in the story). But brighten up children, for though exhausted and beaten, the quest had been achieved. Yes, that moldy little man had discovered that Norway is beautiful and crowned it five stars in his ever growing list of reasons to get his butt off the couch. Ah yes, five stars indeed. Now, let's let him continue in his own words...

Breakfast Delight, Bogen, Norway

Breakfast Delight, Bogen, Norway

Hello Everyone,

Sorry, I thought I had heard someone talking. Trust all is well with you. At this very moment, I am sitting warm and dry in yet another small gardenshed-sized cabin in yet another campground watching it pelt rain. I'm somewhere near Trondheim. I did escape the rain for virtually the whole day today, but I pushed it a bit too far. Not wanting to tent again in the rain, I asked the guy at the camp office if they had a cabin available. He said that they had one, but that he wanted me to drive up and take a look at it before I rented it. Thinking that was a bit odd, I went and had a peek, and yes, clean, cozy, fridge, hotplate... bare bed for a sleeping bag... all OK... except for this funny smell. I had smelled that before but couldn't place it. So I went back and told him that everything was OK (he seemed surprised) but when I got back and opened the door again, it hit me what that smell was. Cooked dead mouse. Yuck. As I couldn't eliminate the smell, I figured I could do what air fresheners do and mask the odor with another one. So I took my wet boots off. Oh yeah... that took care of the mouse smell all right! Nobody's gonna be staying in this cabin tomorrow night! No sir-ee! Whew-ee!

Anyone Smell Something?

Anyone Smell Something?

Lofoten Country

Lofoten Country

Viking Museum

Viking Museum

Anyway, despite the rain, I had a nice ride yesterday with a guy named Roger from Dieppe, France. I had met him at the campground the night before and so we sat and chatted on the ferry and then rode together the rest of the day. The route hops along the mainland coast, in and out of bays and taking several short ferry links. The route is pretty famous... it's just called Route 17... but it is very, very nice. It goes for quite a ways, and so after a full day, we only really covered about one-third of it. It's very slow going of course as it is quite narrow and winding in places, and everyone collects at the ferry terminals. Motorcycles are first on and first off the ferry, but if you even stop to take a picture, the RV ferry traffic swarms past you and you move to the rear of the line. No rush really. We just all meet at the next ferry terminal anyway and start the game all over again.

Roger and his Monster Bike, a new BMW

Roger and his Monster Bike, a New BMW

When Roger and I parted, I told him that he lasted longer than my last riding partner who got schmucked by a truck within the first hour of riding with me. He thanked me for that little story (and was glad to hear that Neils had not been hurt) and we wandered our separate ways. While Roger was going to continue on with the rest of route 17, I saw that my going on was not going to work too well for me getting back to London on time. It would have been nice to go on, but there was still a long way to go that way, several ferries to wait for and the forecast for the next several days along the coast was for the shits as well. So I came inland. Still beautiful here, although more in a foresty kind of way rather than a dramatic island-jutting, jaw-dropping kind of way. But I saw enough of 17 to realize that I'd like to come back with Diane and do the whole west coast, getting down to the deep fjord country on the southwest coast. I didn't get a chance to even sniff at that area this trip.

Southern Lofotens

Southern Lofotens

Along the Road

Along the Road

Mountains in the Mist

Mountains in the Mist

So I have come up with a short-term plan and and have made a hotel reservation in Goteborg, Sweden for Sunday and Monday nights, then for the ferry to Frederikshavn, Denmark on Tuesday morning. That gives me all day tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday to drive to Goteborg. If the weather is bad, it will be a grunt, but there are many grunt days on my trips it seems. Also, after those two days in what is forecast to be all rain, I will get Monday off to recuperate and see a city for once this trip. It sounds like a nice place, quite arty and they have the largest surviving Viking ship in Sweden. I've heard it's quite a pretty place. So except for seeing more of London after I drop the bike at the shipper's, this will probably be my only big-city stop. It's a bit off the normal visitor's list I think. My reservation is for a nice B&B downtown. Looks great in the pictures. Nice white sheets and duvet. But out of courtesy to others, it smells like I'll have to sleep with my boots on.


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Samuel Longiaru
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