Friday, 15 June 2012

Thursday and to the border and Arvica.

I have made it to the border and went flying through at 1045 and 423 miles. I was supprised there was no passport control, but I was in. I stopped at a village called Skotterud that would do for lunch. The swedish Kroner goes much further than it's Norwegian counterpart and there is much more of a selection in brands and prices. I was sad to leave Norway but it has served me well. The scenery has changed, more softwood trees and huge lakes. The roads are well kept and the people aren't all blonde and blue eyed. In the middle of a forest I came across a statue of a woodsmen as if coming out of the woods, he must have been a famous chap around these parts, pic to follow. I was very thoughtful today probably from leaving Norway and the roads I have before me. I'm enjoying my self  and am enjoying the challenge and I like the uncertanty of what's ahead. I do miss the banter of a companion on and after the ride but I'm not lonely. I do after all have Mr Lion and of course the midge. I also have your messages, which I enjoy as much as I hope your enjoying my journey through my pictures and blogs.
Arvica is a small town and I have found a camp site for the night. There is a lot of noise in the town as old beaten up cadillacs draped in branches parading around the town school leavers. The boys all have sailors uniforms on and the girls are dressed in white, why I don't know. A farmers daughter I presume has spruced up his old tractor and trailer and the kids are in the back having a great time. There are no stretch limos and I can only imagine how horrified the kids would be back home to be paraded around in old clapped out vehicles, and yes there is no police about to keep control, as no control is needed.

Wed Oslo The City

My plan was to have a day in the city and move out later in the evening to a nearby camp site. I took the bike in all packed up and did a tour of the city and a great mixture of old and new. I headed for an internet cafe to update the blog. On my way I noticed a huge prescence of police, which was strange because that was the first time id seen an form of emergency services on my trip. I t turned out I was passing the courts where the trial was taking place of the killer.  The courts were right next to the bomb site all boarded up and in restoration mode. I felt quite self concious with all my panniers and was getting paranoid that the locals and police might think there was a bomb in them! I updated my blog and came back to the bike half expecting it to be removed destroyed , but no there it was my stallion.

I grew tired of the city and it's bustle and longed for the country so left at lunchtime and headed out of the city and made my way towards the border, this took a while some 2 hours just to get out of the city!
3 miles from my last stop there head a ping and my saddle slipped to the side, it turned out that one of the saddle supports had snapped and i was know riding side saddle. But luck was on my side I popped into a shop to get suppies and there was a sports section and yes they had a saddle.

I wild camped that night on a hill overlooking a large lake with company of the midge, a bottle of beer, baked beans and instant mash potato and fried eggs. This was the view from my camp site

Tuesday To Oslo and the Island of killing

Construction workers start early in Norway 6pm I know this because my quiet campsite woke to roar of diggers,breakers and lorries to continue work on the overpass right next to the site. Hey ho life goes on  theres a city to visit. Some 20 miles into the ride i started to have cravings for some pastries so i pulled into a Remmi store and bought myself a couple of norway pĂ„sries and sat outside looking over the lake enjoying the fine food. I was joined by a blue eyed blonde haired bare chested cyclists , male i hasten to add. He opend a jar of olives and began to eat them. we talked of our journey and he offered me an olive  i accepted and felt obliged to offer him something back, hopeing he wouldnt accept i offered him one of my pasties and blow me down he accepted an olive for a pastry not really a fair swap i think. We got talking and he asked me if i was going to see the Island of killing. I wasnt sure what he meant, and it turned out to be the island that the killings took place last year of all the children, i would be cycling past it on my way to Oslo. Weird in all this beauty how something terrible could happen. I was invited to go into the woods with him on a short cut to Oslo I said thankyou but my bike wasnt up to shortcuts. We parted ways  and off he tootled into the distance. Some miles later I approached a large island in the middle of the Lake, I looked why what was i going to see, i wasnt even sure if that was the island, why are we needing to look at scenes of misery! I dont know why.
I continued into Oslo and navigation took some doing as my poor scaled map could not cope with the many twists and turns. The people are very friendly and soon i arrived at the hostel. I ate and with an unladen bike i mad my way into the city the bike felt to light but boy could i get up the hills. What I was suprised to see was that there was cyclists every where having not seen any since Bergen I felt obliged to hay Hi to everyone(Hi  is international) strangley I got Hi s back and smiles. I headed into the city cycling lanes everywhere, and came across the posh end of the town diners were out on the harbour front dressed to the nines laughing, posing and spending all that money, how can they afford all that , they must be so rich. I must have looked like a tramp with my tounge hanging out. I moved on to the Harbour and a crowd had gathered around a Swing Club that were doing their thing on the harour front. They and the spectators me included, looked to be having so much fun.