|Journal for 16-Sep : Nesika Beach|
As promised, all but one of the tour buses had left by 1:30, so I hit the virtually deserted road back to Honningsv°g. Slow going, even though I was working the climbs pretty hard to keep warm.
At 3:30 am on a Sunday morning I saw some Norwegian nightlife. Teenage kids rolling a huge round wooden pallet down hills (and crashing into things), and an open (and very welcome) kebab shop!
Slept for an hour in the doorway to the *locked* waiting room for the ferry. I was so cold that even with every layer of clothing I have on, I still needed to get in my sleeping bag.
Kept micro sleeping on the scenic bits of the ferry ride. Eventually got an hour of proper sleep (woke in a blind panic: shit, I've missed my stop!), then bought a coffee.
Road 889 out of Hav°ysund spectacular, but very difficult with two major 200,+ up and overs. Some spectacular shoreline cycling too, if a bit windy.
Road covered in broken sea urchins. I could see the gulls diving in and plucking from the ocean shallows, and I suspect they leave them on the road then wait for the cars to crush them open.
Stopped at a lovely cafÚ in Snefjord (it means "snow fjiord"). Initially for a coffee, but it ended up being for hot chocolate, apple cake, a snooze in the sun, waffles and more coffee.
The tourist brochure told me this route ran along the ocean foreshore. The first few Ks did, but after that it was back to the Norway formula of 3k up, 3k down, 2k flat 3k up etc. But from here on the brochure was spot on. From my maps I was expecting another 3 serious up and overs, but these turned out to be nothing. Still, lots of headwind, and I struggled to maintain 17kph for a lot of it. Even so, it is a magnificent cycling road. And not a tunnel in sight.
Beautiful little fjord, with babbling brook and a hanging waterfall at Lillefjord.
Cycled through a forest of natural slate stacks.
The other thing the tourist brochure told me is this is to become the "official" bike route to Nordkapp, which I take to mean they are waiting for enough cyclists to be killed in the tunnels before they ban them.
Last 20ks to Russenes ridden with great effort (as distinct from great speed), maintaining 20kph up gentle the hill into the not so gentle headwind. Why? I getting seriously painful stomach cramps. Two things that are sure to irritate my irritable bowel are not enough breakfast and too much caffeine.
Reached the roadhouse/campground, but even after relieving myself I was still in pain. I had a stitch (from riding too hard), other cramps all over the place, a rasping sore throat and I felt abysmal. Laid out my groundsheet in the car park and got to lie down for the 15 minutes it took for me to be able to stand up again.
Shared a table in the camp kitchen with a cycling Italian couple. At one point we all managed to drop something at the same time. I managed to keep a stony face through the t three attempts it took to throw this one over the language barrier: "gravity is stronger in the North".
Slept really well. Late start.
Apart from the detour around Umpqua lighthouse (where I missed an unsigned turn and did 2ks before I got the "Dead End" sign), it was more of the same un-enjoyable busy (~500 cars per hour), narrow shoulder boring rubbish as yesterday - with headwind. And I got another puncture. No surprise really. My tyres are being cut to shreds by all the glass I can't avoid on the narrow shoulders.
Spent 20 min walking my bike over the narrow sidewalk of the spectacular bridge leading to North Bend, trying not to look down.
Left North Bend safeway at 1:00pm, on balance slightly heavier. One trip to the rest rooms vs a bananna and a big slice of chocolate cake.
Off the 101 at last, but road to Charleston not any better. Right by the water, when I got the chance to look.
Seven Devil's Drive hilly, but enjoyable back road through forestry country.
A glorious sunny afternoon emerged.
Brandon a surprisingly nice town, with a very pleasant waterfront. Over commercialised of course, this is America after all, but there was some *public* space to enjoy the harbour vistas from.
Table rock detour, coast the motels, condos and golf courses well worth it.
Highway not so bad now. Less traffic, but best of all, there was almost a tailwind - and definitely no headwind.
after Port Orford the traffic really eased of, and the road started hugging the spectacular Oregon coast. Incredible 30-40ks of magnificent cycling.
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