Sunday, 5 June 2011

Saturday 4th June

It was raining when I first woke at about 4.30 and it was still raining when I was on my way at 7.30. More mountains, more snow, more raging white water rapids, more cascading waterfalls, more lakes, can you have too many? At the moment I will say definitely not, I'm just loving the fantastic scenery. Can you have too much rain? Definitely yes!

The rivers seemed to be swollen more than maybe their usual as instead of the clear water of freshly thawed snow it was more muddy and the rivers were flowing over grassy areas and among trees. Maybe not too unusual as despite this there was no overflow onto the road and I could see that any buildings and tracks were still above the water.

The European Route 6 (E6) is the main north/south road in Norway however don't expect it to be up to even UK standards for all of it. The winters cause the surface to break up and they obviously don't repair them all each year so there are cracks and potholes in many places. There are many roadworks and as there are often no alternative routes you have to drive through them, today I had about 5 miles of this.

Later I parked by a river for a break, you might be able to see a little white on the water just below the railway bridge.

The wide but seemingly gentle river becomes this under the bridge.

There was another VW camper parked and the Germans in it were hoping to kayak down this, I left them to it!

So rain, potholes, steep hills, what more could there be? How about hundreds of cyclists in some sort of race? Groups of maybe two up to fifty would appear as I chugged slowly up a hill or came round a bend and this went on for at least 15 miles. It must have been a major event. 

The rain stopped as it started to snow! Just in time for me to reach the Arctic Circle, seemed appropriate. Pictures were taken of Fluffy and myself showing we had at least made it to this level.

The snow it seems is unusual at this time of year but not unknown as we are at quite a height. As we dropped down the mountains on the other side the snow stopped and the rain returned. The next port of call was Saltstraumen, the biggest maelstrom in Scandanavia. Twice a day the powerful currents and narrow channel create violent kettles or whirlpools. I could see some of this from the bridge but I was not there at its peak.

Next to a campsite near Fauske where after 2 nights of wild camping I can at least have a shower and do the washing up. It also a laundry room and oh joy, it has internet so I can update the blog and Flickr.


Sarah said...

Those roads look even worse than our B roads in Norfolk! We could do with a little bit of your rain though...
I'm so glad you didn't join the Germans for a spot of kayaking.
Lovely picturesque evidence of your reaching the Arctic Circle! I hope there was a nice cafe and Visitors' Centre in that building.
Just looked at Flickr and more wonderful pictures. Keep up the good work. xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Its Sunday evening and we've just sat down to read your blog - it's great. We're really getting a feel for the landscape you're travelling through and the adventure you're having. Had another look on Google Earth and we are guessing that in another 4 or 5 days you'll be at the top? Best wishes, Tim & Selina

Big Bruv said...

Hi Little Bruv, have heard from Sarah that you are currently wi-fi free, but that you have reached the Northern limit of your journey, WELL DONE.

Have only looked at photos on the blog. Will have to try to get at the others you have posted elsewhere.

Karen said...

glad the trip has gone so well and you have reached your quest with the cyclists and roads! look forward to seeing the photos of you and fluffy and the midnight sun! See you soon

Gavin Ostmo said...

Have been following the journey with fascination and a fair bit of envy Paul! Lots of great photos and loved the indirect route from Oslo to Trondheim in order to take in Flam! I hear that you have now reached Nordkapp, so look forward to the next instalment! Enjoy the return journey- there will be forests! Love Gavin and Nicky xx